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River Music: Vinyl
  • River Music: Vinyl
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River Music: Vinyl

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With an intercontinental band, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Lee Crosby blends essences of American folk-blues and North Indian raga into meditative songs of impermanence, compassion and joy. Crosby’s music is a pleasing mix of improvised and composed material, performed on traditional and modern instruments.Through his recordings and performances, Crosby hopes to inspire peace, openness and respect - for tradition, for culture, for each other and for one’s self.

The result of years of study and practice, River Music integrates blues from the hill country of North Mississippi with textures of North Indian Hindustani classical raga. Crosby performs on electric 12-string guitar and chaturangui (the 22-string Indian slide guitar designed by Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya) and is joined by fretless guitar, tabla, harmonica and calabash (West African percussion). The raga influence is heard through the band’s hypnotic, almost trance-like motifs, and the blues seeps through Crosby’s dynamic vocals and masterful, single-line guitar melodies.

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Busker On The Broad Highway: Vinyl
  • Busker On The Broad Highway: Vinyl
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Busker On The Broad Highway: Vinyl

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SEARCHING FOR THE SACRED IN THE DEVIL'S MUSIC

From a very young age, I found myself being lifted by the sound of it.

Hearing John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" as a child set the stage for a life devoted to music and in recent years, increasingly to the Blues. There has always been something in the sound of a propulsive rhythm driving a "blue" melody that has helped me connect to a power greater than myself. As a boy, I had concluded that the Blues went deeper than other musical forms. In later years, I recognized this as the sound of redemption, which can soothe a longing spirit saddled by earthly burdens.

Paradoxically, I believe that to play "the Devil's Music" is an act of faith. It requires patience, focus, and devotion. To play the Blues is the expression of a relationship with a higher power. To sing with one's soul, to play with one's heart, to make one's self vulnerable before the world is an act of surrender, which is born on the plane of inspiration.

I hear the Blues as the sound of a soul reaching for oneness with the universe. This sound brings me closer to my maker, to myself and to my fellows. Yes, it has been called the Devil's music, but to me, the Blues is a gateway to the divine kingdom.

R.L. Crosby

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