Bluesman Tas Cru to perform at Norwood Village Green on Thursday
Monday, June 16, 2014 - 11:34 am

NORWOOD -- The Norwood Village Green Concert Series continues June 19 at 7 p.m. with bluesman Tas Cru at the Norwood park in the village green band shell.

He will be accompanied by Chip Lamson, Meagan Janovsky and Laura Fitzsimmons Gilbert.

Meanwhile, on June 12, a three-day Chamber Music Festival June 12 with a shared performance by the Onyx Clarinet Quartet, Riverside Brass Quintet and Sonic Escape will take place at the Village Green.

The opening concert for the festival begins Thursday, June 12, at 7 p.m.

The series will also host two performances of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s (RPO) Marimba Band on June 5. The first performance featuring ragtime xylophone pieces and novelty music from the early decades of the 20th century, many Latin and jazz tunes, will take place at 1 p.m. for Norwood-Norfolk Central School students. Then, a 7 p.m. performance will be held for the general public at the Village Green.

Sonic Escape will perform at the village green on June 15 at 7 p.m. They will also hold meet and greets on June 14 at Ives Park in Potsdam at 1 p.m. and on Park Avenue in Norwood at 4:30 p.m.

Tas Cru has been called "the master of the triple entendre." His songs are blues poetry, telltale life lessons crafted with verbal flair and delivered with a power and passion the heights of which only the seasoned concert entertainer can reach.

Raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru's songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today.

Cru grew up in a very musical family. Unlike his talented brother and sisters, he did not pursue music in school, instead choosing to explore and develop his talent by taking up with a rougher crowd of self-taught musicians. In these early bands he was introduced to the Sun Records heroes of that day.

Cru's first foray into the blues came after leaving the US Navy when he was asked to join a band formed by a former shipmate named Delray Streeter, a bluesman of unlimited bravado and attitude but limited singing and harmonica skills. This partnership, though short-lived, proved to be very influential as Streeter's repertoire tended toward the older and much rawer country blues. Cru's schooling in country blues later served as a counterpoint to the rock- blues influences he idolized like so many other young guitar players of his time.

Based out of upstate New York, Cru performs in a variety of formats ranging from solo acoustic to a seven-piece backing band.

Recent Blues Festival performances of note include Billtown, Chenango, Kalamazoo, Niagara Falls, and NYS Blues Fest in Syracuse. Noteworthy recent major club appearances include BB King's and Rum Boogie Cafe in Memphis, TN; Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale, MS; Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford, CT; and Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs.

Tas Cru's discography includes four albums of original songs - "Biscuit" (2006), "gravi-Tas "(2008), "Grizzle n' Bone" (2009), and "Jus' Desserts" (2010).

His latest album "Tired of Bluesmen Cryin'" released in fall 2012 is still enjoying wide airplay world wide. The album made the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Blues albums for ten consecutive weeks and the Top 25 on the prestigious Living Blues Chart (Dec. 2012).

In addition to these recordings is Cru's 2009 release, "Even Bugs Sing the Blues", an album of original blues music for kids. This album is not for sale. Instead Cru donates copies to schools, community groups and blues societies to use for their fundraising efforts in hopes that it will help inspire a new generation of blues fans and musicians.

Cru's earlier albums have also received wide recognition. Downbeat Magazine named "Grizzle n' Bone" as one of its top 10 blues picks for 2010 saying "Tas Cru has the soul of a poet’. Tas' CD, "gravi-Tas " and his solo acoustic CD, "Biscuit," both enjoyed wide international and national airplay; especially "gravi-Tas" that was featured as a "Pick to Click" on XM Radio's BB King's Bluesville.

A new album, "Keep the Money" is currently in the works with an anticipated release in the fall of this year.

Cru was named to the New York State Blues Hall of Fame in 2013 as a Master Blues Artist. He is a nominee for the 2014 Blues Foundation's Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) for Blues Education and in 2009 he was named by Blues Festival Guide Magazine as its 2009 Blues Artist on the Rise.

Info: norwoodvillagegreenconertseries.org.