Singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, slide player, painter. As a performer, Joe Crookston is a true artist, painting compelling portraits of the unsung anti-heroes who populate the American landscape. From the depths of despair in the prison cell of high school dropout, Freddie "the Falcon", to high above the New York skyline where a window washer sings of his young child who thinks he can fly, Joe's masterfully crafted lyrics will take you on an emotional journey that will delight your ears and engage your heart.
Joe is a consummate storyteller and skillful musician whose dexterity on guitar, claw hammer banjo and violin to name a few, is sure to astound you. His songs have been performed and recorded by Irish harpers, acapella gospel choirs, solo artists, bluegrass bands and even by a certain Buddhist sect in France! His heart-wrenching song, Blue Tattoo, based on the life of concentration camp survivor Dina Jacobson, was the inspiration for a documentary of the same name, and was featured this summer in a special news segment on ABC. Joe was awarded a year-long songwriting grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to travel throughout New York State, to collect stories and write original songs, and in 2016, he was named Artist-In-Residence by Folk Alliance International. Joe has appeared at countless festivals and venues here and abroad, playing alongside the very best including Suzanne Vega, John Gorka, David Francey, Dar Williams, John McCutcheon and Judy Collins.
When not touring, Joe enjoys painting as well as teaching and facilitating at songwriting workshops across the country. His impressive discography includes Georgia I'm Here (2014), Darkling & The Bluebird Jubilee (2011), Able Baker Charlie and Dog (2008), Fall Down As The Rain (2004).
Get the word on Joe Crookston...
"At every festival I hope to find the gift of one artist whose songwriting and preforming stand out. Joe Crookston was that gift for me this year at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Stunning performance, great songs, and not a word wasted! I LOVE that!"
-- David Francey, Songwriter Ontario
"Notably, Crookston's no newcomer, and so it's no surprise that his music sounds savvy and assured, lacking any hint of pretense or needless redundancy. This is wonderful, engaging and gorgeous music, born from an artist who fully deserves a boatload of acclamation."
-- Lee Zimmerman - No Depression
With all the performers out there, an artist has to go beyond good... and Joe does"
-- Sing Out Magazine
Pat Wictor first burst on the folk and acoustic scene as an innovative slide guitarist known for fresh and memorable interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. He has since made his mark as a singer-songwriter penning lean and poetic songs that honor - and subvert - rural blues and gospel traditions. For seven years, he toured as one-third of Brother Sun, the powerful harmonizing trio with Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, garnering critical acclaim and two #1 CDs on the Folk DJ charts plus a continent-spanning tour schedule. His latest solo release, This Is Absolutely Real: Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs, was nominated for an Independent Music Award in their Best Tribute Album category.
An adept improviser and accompanist, he is sought after as a collaborator, sideman and session musician with over 60 recording credits to date, including recent releases by Sloan Wainwright, Joe Vezner, Joe Crookston and David LaMotte. He is a music educator of note, teaching workshops, songwriting, interpreting and rearranging songs on slide guitar and other guitar techniques, vocal and instrumental improvisation and various topics of music history.
Among his many accomplishments, Pat won the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase, was nominated as Emerging Artist of the Year by the Folk Alliance, was nominated for Gospel Song of the Year by the Independent Music Awards, and was a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting contest. His CDs, "This is Absolutely Real" and "Sunset Waltz, both reached #2 on the Folk-DJ charts and songs "Heaven is so High" and "Waiting for the Water", both reached #4
"If you can make it to only one concert this year, let it be a show by Brooklyn's own Pat Wictor, who plays heart-felt blues-based roots music like the only begotten son of Bonnie Raitt (same red hair!) and Chris Smither. And unlike blues interpreters who have seen too many stormy Mondays with hellhounds on their trail, Pat is also an excellent songwriter whose new/old compositions will send you on a journey through the old Dock Boggs and Son House 78s. But these aren't old songs, they're originals that, to paraphrase Mr. Smither, are "still flopping around on the deck."
-Jim Motavalli, WPKN, Bridgeport, CT
"Unquestionably, anyone who has ever heard a Wictor show will permanently place him in the company of the best in the genre- Harry Manx, Kelly Joe Phelps and Ed Gerhard."
-Frank Matheis, TheCountryBlues.com
"Pat's Zen-like quality instantly puts the audience at ease, and I'm afraid it underestimates his skills. Like Joe Dimaggio could make a spectacular catch look rudimentary, Pat Wictor delights in sharing original and traditional songs in his unique style. His original songs are gaining a lot of attention and a number of artists are beginning to record him."
-Ron Olesko, WFDU Teaneck, NJ
"...the clarity of his voice is an interesting juxtaposition to the glorious grit of his musicianship.....He manages to creatively absorb the work of others, leaving their musical intentions beautifully intact, while adding his own sonic signature to the mix."
-Ellen Geisel, Dirty Linen