Pierce Crask
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Pierce Crask


Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Mixing up many flavors of roots rock"

Mixing up many flavors of roots rock
By Pat Malecek
The lead and title track on “The Newest Ghost Town” will have you figuring that the Falling Martins work the vein of Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt and the like: weary anthems- country- tinged and rough around the edges- to forgotten towns and regular folk.
But the second track changes all that and sets up the pleasantly varied collection you get on this disc. That second track, “Bulletproof Heart,” with its roadhouse stomp and horn section, could very well be the B- side to the Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” And “Bulletproof Heart” is followed by the atmospheric “Iron Rail Queen.” With its Drifting Piano and distant guitar, this ode to rail travel is as open and airy as the private train traverses. So in the first three songs, you’ve got three distinct songs, and there are more to come.
The Falling Martins cite many references, with each of the band members bringing personal influences, ranging Gram Parsons and Bob Dylan to Bruce Hornsby and John Paul Jones. And that variety – all under the broad umbrella of roots rock – informs “The Newest Ghost Town.” The band ranges from nearly pure country on “Time Was” and “Loser’s Game” (which easily could be a Johnny Cash tune) to “Just Missed Her,” which sounds like “Suffragette City”- era Bowie. Even the lead vocal duties are shared among four members, adding to the disc’s diversity. Working in a genre that could easily constrain a band, the Falling Martins should be applauded for being inventive enough to color their material with all of their interests. (Check the improve freakout of “Line in the Sand.”) “Newest Ghost Town” is a rewarding listen that unveils new sounds with each spin.
- Sauce Magazine Sep 2006 By Pat Maleck

"Free Falling"

So a couple walks into Pat's Bar and Grill (6400 Oakland Ave; 314-647-6553) Late on a Wednesday night. "Hey, Glad you guys could make it all the way here," says singer/songwriter/guitarist Pierce Crask from behind the microphone. The couple laughs. "See, it's funny," he explains, "because they live right around the corner." The audience of some two dozen people also laugh, because they're kind of drunk and now in on the punch line. And it's funnier still, because there's the sense that Crask genuinely means it.
When he's not a one-man acoustic set drawing from a catalogue of hundreds of covers, Crask fronts the Falling Martins. But in contrast to his usually easy banter, he struggles to find words to define the sound of his band's origional material, even though they've played together for nearly six years. "it's kind of a singer-songwriter orientated, rootsy, americana kind of thing," he says. Like an extention of his own performances, "genuine" seems a good descripton of both the Falling Martins' earthy, organic Lyrics and the music that carries them. Their albums conjure hints of Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Hornsby, Wilco and Bob Dylan, and manage to be all of those things - yet none of them at the same time.
"It's tough to put it into certain terms," says Falling Martins' bassist-songwriter Rich Wooten. "I remember some biker guy one time said, 'You guys sound like a cross between Poco and George Thorogood.' and to him [the biker], that was a compliment. It's not some sound that's going to come and go. It's Music that transcends each decade."
Though the band started out playing covers themselves, they picked obscure enough songs and put their own stamp into them (like Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho and Lefty), so it made sense for them to write and record their own music, Wooten Says. The Falling Martins soon-to-be released third album, Nostalgia Train, also defies tidy classification. "It has a nice energy to it. It sounds more like us," Crask says of the disc, the first recorded with all the musicians live in the studio. They spend plenty of time together outside of the studio, though, typically playing around St. Louis six to ten nights a month.
Perhaps the best part of side-stepping strict musical taxonomy is that it gives the songs room to grow while letting the ebulient personalities and talent of each band member shine through. "We Play songs from our previous albums and they seem to evolve," Wooten says. "So if you have our first CD [Falling Martins] and you hear us play a song from it, the songs are different now [and] they seem like they take on a life of their own. That's what's fun about this band." Consequently, it's what's fun about hearing them too. - Riverfront Times By Kristie McClanahan


Still working on that hot first release.



Pierce Crask has been playing in and around the St. Louis area both solo and in The Falling Martins for many years. An accomplished guitar player who credits Bob Dylan, Warren Haynes and Townes Van Zandt among his many influences both as a writer and a guitarist, he is at home playing any style or genre.