It’s Just Craig started as a planned mid-life crisis just before Craig’s 40th Birthday. Craig ran off to San Francisco with ten songs and six friends, Elijah Ford, John Vanderslice, Marc Ford, Kirsten Ford, Jason Slota and Rob Shelton. They put those ten songs on two inch tape at Tiny Telephone and convinced Bernie Grundman to master the record and cut the lacquers. And, with that, Blood On The Table was born.
In today’s world, when making an album you can fix everything – pitch shifting vocals, playing parts to death until they are “perfect” manipulating everything until you’ve completely removed the soul from the original song. We intentionally didn’t do that. All the songs on Blood On The Table were done with the drums, initial guitar, keys and vocals together and usually in one or two takes. Sure, there are mistakes, but they translate as cool moments, they communicate the essence of the songs they are in. They give the record life. As J.V. is fond of saying, “You have to be willing to leave a little blood on the table.”
Craig didn’t know what to expect when putting out the record. He didn’t expect to be asked to play at his favorite Indianapolis venue (the HiFi), guest on The DoitIndy Radio Hour, be featured on amazing music blogs like the Revue, to have his album featured at Record Store Day at Luna Music, to have his story written up in the Indiana Lawyer, to play seven shows – including opening for Jenny O. and Robert Ellis (two of Craig’s personal favorites), to have more than 1,000 copies in circulation (digital, CD, & Vinyl), to have people streaming it every single day, to licence a song for commercial use … and who would have expected significant radio airplay in Europe? Certainly not Craig.
When M.P. Cavalier interviewed Craig for the DoitIndy Radio Hour, he asked what was next for It’s Just Craig. Going into the interview, Craig had expected the radio show to be the bookend on the project. Write ten songs, record them with amazing friends and musicians, have them mastered by an icon, release them on all formats, sell out the HiFi, and do a radio performance and interview seemed like all one could ask for. However, over that twenty minutes, Craig realized how important creating had become for him. He realized he didn’t know how to, or want to stop. He realized, inevitably, there would be more.
Now, Craig has written eight more songs, and with the same core group of friends, and with Jess and Kelsey from Von Strantz, they are recording album #2, tentatively titled Dark Corners, starting March 31, 2017, in Oakland, CA at Tiny Telephone Oakland.
This album is the story of a cargo boat captain and his journey. From the moment he leaves home, both excited & full of reservations, on a sometimes lonely path,
getting stranded within view of his destination port, fighting temptations of the sea, struggling with being out of touch with his partner on land, & ultimately deciding whatever it was he was deciding, only to learn that the decision may no longer be his to make.
We can’t wait for you to hear it!
Photo with Marc Ford and Bernie Grundman by Bernie’s assistant. Photos from the HiFi by Jon-Tyler Core and Kyle Helmond.