AMERICANA DUO READIES NEW STUDIO ALBUM
Release Date June 19 via Admiral Bean Records
Loxley, AL (March 25, 2020)—Sugarcane Jane, the Alabama Gulf Coast-based duo, will release their new studio album, Fellow Man –an album they conceived amidst the ongoing pandemic sweeping our nation. The album will be released via Admiral Bean Records on June 19.
Sugarcane Jane has amassed an
extremely loyal following. Anthony
and Savana Lee Crawford purvey
what they proudly call “Organic Mu-
sic at its Finest.” Rich, homegrown,
and natural, their brand of Ameri-
cana draws from a deep well of roots
influences, interwoven with inflections of gospel, country, folk, and rock. Anthony, the songwriter, is a multi-instrumentalist who can play anything he picks up, but live you can bet on him having his Gibson J45 acoustic guitar and har- monica. Savana Lee plants the groove with her Kala U-Bass guitar.
Anthony Crawford is known in most circles as a sideman to the stars. Over the course of the last 25 years, he has performed with Neil Young, Sonny James, Steve Winwood, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, and Rodney Crowell, and has written / co-written songs recorded by Kenny Rogers, Steve Winwood, Dwight Yoakam, Lee Greenwood, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to name a few. Yet, even with his history of working with heavyweights, Crawford feels Sugarcane Jane – his musical venture with multi-instrumentalist wife Savana Lee, is his life’s calling.
Recorded on a SoundWorkshop Series 34 board, better known as the poor man’s API, at Admiral Bean Studio in Loxley, Alabama, this current musical collection dances with the times, going hand in glove with the topics of the day. “Fellow Man,” written by Anthony Crawford literally weeks ago urges us to look out for our neighbors. It came flooding in as if the song had written itself. This album is thoughtful, reflective, and hopeful with classic Sugarcane Jane harmony. “There’s Got to Be More” (A Crawford), pulled from an early 90’s Pete Anderson produced, Little Dog Records release, seemed fitting as the lyrics yearn for answers to the question, “Is there post life after this?” Their love for music and each other is evident throughout each song. “The Original Peace and Love”, a sister song to the aforementioned, is more proof that the inspiration was plentiful. On the song, “Blue Sky”, the spirit of Crawford’s former (The Shocking Pinks/The International Harvesters/The Electric Band) bandmate Neil Young surfaces, and makes you question if Young had penned the song himself. The album closes with the mournful “Change is Coming” (A Crawford), a beautiful contemplative look on life as we now know it.
“These are the most relaxing times we will ever have, if you can handle the uncertainty.” (Anthony Crawford)
If you haven’t gotten to know Sugarcane Jane yet, Fellow Man is a great way to make their acquaintance. You can also catch their Facebook Live Streams every night, filmed at Admiral Bean Studio, at 9:30pm CST. www.facebook.com/sugarcanejanemusic
For more information, please visit: www.sugarcanejane.com
1.) Fellow Man
2.) The Original Peace and Love 3.) Lucky
4.) Put It On Ice
5.) Blue Sky
6.) Got to be More
7.) Secrets In The Sorrow
8.) Praise Now
10.) Ever Last
11.) Change Is Coming
Sugarcane Jane Tour Dates: HIBERNATION TOUR
Monday March 16 - Front Porch
Tuesday March 17 - Living Room
Wednesday March 18 - Studio
Thursday March 19 - Back Porch
Friday March 20 - Oak Tree
# # #
Sugarcane Jane Make the Most of Social Distancing with Free Single 'Fellow Man', Hibernation Tour Shows
The COVID-19 virus quarantines have been rough on everyone, but especially on musicians who have seen touring, the primary source of revenue for most independent artists in the face of small streaming payments, dry up. But, being the creative people they are, many artists are finding creative ways to use that time. Some are working on writing or recording albums. Some are doing online concerts. Some are taking to crowdfunding sites like Patreon. One band, Alabama's Sugarcane Jane, is spreading the love by writing new music and giving it away to their fans.
The single and video “Fellow Man” is about as timely as you can get. It was written during, and about, the quarantine. As is often the case with Sugarcane Jane, the band makes the best of a trying situation by noting that hard times are also an opportunity to do good for your fellow humans, whether that's buying supplies for the home bound, donating to a relief fund for displaced workers, or just staying inside to protect the immuno-compromised and “flatten the curve.”
You can see the video for “Fellow Man” below and download the single for free when you sign up for the newsletter on their website. They are also among the many artists who are doing virtual concerts, or what they call their “Hibernation Tour” on their Facebook page daily with a virtual tip jar to raise funds.
Distractions: 5 more quarantine-friendly music releases
Sugarcane Jane performs at a festival in Foley. (Marc D. Andersonemail@example.com)bn
As the coronavirus shutdown continues, more artists are turning to Facebook Live and other online platforms to stay connected with fans. Here’s a sampling of a few recent offerings, with an emphasis on coastal Alabama acts:
Sugarcane Jane, the husband-and-wife duo of Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee, recently posted a whimsical video for a new single, “Fellow Man.” Inspired by current events it features the refrain, “I’m amazed and I wonder why/ you’re asking me to stay inside/ all due respect I understand/ Lookin’ out for my fellow man.” The video features Lee unloading supplies for a quarantine lockdown, and raises the question: Where’d she get all that toilet paper? If you like their spirit, their “Hibernation Tour” features live performances at 9:30 p.m. nightly Central time at www.facebook.com/sugarcanejanemusic/.
Sugarcane Jane – 2019 Music Artist of the Year
An Article by Johnny Cole | Photos by Stephen Anderson
The Southland Music Line loves devoting its time to spreading the word about the great music, venues and musicians that we are privileged to encounter during our travels around the globe, but primarily those from across the Deep South. The Southland Music Line is now entering seven years of sharing our love for music with others. Each year, we recognize a band or musician as our annual Music Artist of the Year. In past years, we have recognized Willie Sugarcapps (2014), The Mulligan Brothers (2015), Lisa Mills (2016), Grayson Capps (2017) and Abe Partridge (2018).
With 2019 soon coming to a close, we began considering a number of musicians for this year’s selection. Several things factor into our process of choosing. We want it to be someone our readers admire and embrace as fans. Also, we look for someone who has had a successful year based on an array of accomplishments. Sales and marketing of an artist don’t always play a part, but creativity and connection to fans has much value in our final decision. Several have had an impressive year and are to be congratulated for their successes.
After three consecutive years of being voted Favorite Music Artist in our annual Readers’ Choice Awards, The Southland Music Line is proud to recognize Sugarcane Jane as the 2019 Music Artist of the Year as voted by our staff and contributors.
We have covered Sugarcane Jane abundantly in the past several years including our 2015 article, “Why We Love Sugarcane Jane as Told by the Friends & Fans of Sugarcane Jane”, which to date is our most read article. Sugarcane Jane also played a significant part in the formation of The Southland Music Line. Seven years ago, I was invited to Jack’s by the Tracks by Stephen Anderson and Robby Amonett to check out a duo called Sugarcane Jane. They told me the duo included a guy named Anthony Crawford who had once toured with Neil Young. After hearing Crawford’s name, I responded “didn’t he also perform with Steve Winwood in the late 80s and was part of Young’s Shocking Pinks band?” Obviously, I went to Jack’s that evening and have been a fan since that first performance. Shortly afterward, The Southland Music Line was formed at the popular Pascagoula, Mississippi venue. The husband-wife duo of Anthony and Savana Crawford have always been supportive of The Southland Music Line – we are very thankful.
Anthony Crawford has had one of the most amazing careers – recording and touring with some music’s biggest stars (Sonny James, Neil Young, Vince Gill, Steve Winwood, Dwight Yoakam, Steve Forbert, etc.) and has written for such artists as Kenny Rogers, The Oak Ridge Boys and Lee Greenwood. He has shared the stage with industry giants like Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen and has appeared at the monumental events, Live Aid and Farm Aid. His stories of the road are priceless and deserving to be told in print.
Savana Lee Crawford carved out an interesting career prior to the forming of Sugarcane Jane, too. While living in Nashville, she spent time writing and performing at some of Music City’s most famous venues. She also co-owned and managed the vintage analog recording studio, Deepfield Studio, where many major label stars recorded. This is where she would meet Anthony, her future husband and music partner.
In recent years, Anthony and Savana have been non-stop recording and performing as Sugarcane Jane and as part of the Americana supergroup, Willie Sugarcapps, along with Will Kimbrough, Corky Hughes and our 2017 Music Artist of the Year, Grayson Capps. One of the most impressive things about Anthony and Savana has been their balance of a career and their beautiful family (Nine-year-old Loretta Raine, seven-year-old Levon Cash, and four-year-old Dusty Lee).
In 2018, Sugarcane Jane released their album “Southern State of Mind” (produced by Anthony & Buzz Cason) to impressive reviews, chart successes, and enthusiastic fan reception. The album was also voted as the fan favorite in our Readers’ Choice Awards. By the end of 2018, continual interest in the new album had them appearing on multiple radio shows including a spectacular interview on Sirius XM’s Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale Radio Show.
Things continued to thrive as the album made headway, charting on RMR (Roots Music Report) for much of early 2019. By late summer, Sugarcane Jane took things to the next level, adding The Bucket Fillers to accompany them on several dates with old friend Dwight Yoakam. The addition of Pete Nice (pedal steel, lap steel, and mandolin), Leif Bondarenko (drums), and Gary Edmonds (guitar) shined new light on their already great songs, earning Sugarcane Jane & the Bucket Fillers standing ovations while on tour with Yoakam. Due to the heavy workload and future touring, music veteran Rick Carter came on board as manager, too.
Following the Yoakam tour, The Southland Music Line caught up with Sugarcane Jane & the Bucket Fillers at two exciting shows at T-Bones Records in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Slowboat Brewing Company in Laurel, Mississippi. Article contributor, Cindy Thamert, saw their show in Shreveport, Louisiana. She commented, “We were lucky enough to be in attendance to see this wonderful, high energy show at Shreveport House Concerts. It was our first time to see the full band since they’ve come off the road from opening a number of shows for Dwight Yoakam and we were not disappointed.”
Also, we must acknowledge the incredible article about Sugarcane Jane in Portico Eastern Shore magazine by longtime friend, Jim Hannaford. He gives a fully detailed account about this much loved music duo – past, present and future.
On November 1, Sugarcane Jane released a much requested live album with the Bucket Fillers. Sugarcane Jane’s eighth album (first live album) was recorded at Fairfield Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana during a September house concert and mastered at the Crawford’s Admiral Bean Studio in Loxley, Alabama. As always, reviews have again been positive.
2019 has definitely been one of Sugarcane Jane’s most successful years. The Southland Music Line is pleased to recognize them as our 2019 Music Artist of the Year. They continue to make new fans wherever they go and we can certainly expect more good things to come from this amazing duo.
Savana and Anthony Crawford at Admiral Bean Studio
At home with Sugarcane Jane
Will The Circle Be Unbroken: A Look Inside the Lives of Local Musicians
A decade into Sugarcane Jane, Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee revisit their roots
By Jim Hannaford of Portico Eastern Shore
Photos by Stephen Anderson, Barbara Beaird, Leigh Ann Edmonds, MCE Photography/Chad Edwards, Neil Ladner, Keith Necaise and Frank Serio
Looking out for his musical future, Anthony Crawford ended up reaching back to his past, to a time when he was a budding musician in Birmingham. This recent journey has been a rewarding one not just for him but also for fans of Sugarcane Jane.
The talented multi-instrumentalist has been a recording and touring pro since he left his hometown of Mountain Brook for Nashville almost 40 years ago, making music with some of the top names in the business. For the last decade he and his wife, Savana Lee, have enjoyed their own success in the Americana field with the sweet sounds they make with their memorably named duo. They recently decided to put together a full band, in part because of an opportunity to go on tour with old friend Dwight Yoakam, with whom Anthony performed and recorded in the mid-90s. But because the opening act’s job is to excite the crowd and build anticipation for the headliner, they knew that a duo wouldn’t do. When they were thinking about supporting musicians they could call on to flesh out their sound and create more energy, an interesting possibility from his past emerged.
“Savana and I were playing at a festival a few months back, and I was on stage setting up, and I heard this great pedal steel that was playing over the sound system,” Anthony says. “I asked the sound guy who it was, and he said it was a group called Rose Colored Glasses, and it was Pete Nice playing steel. And Pete was at the festival, too (to play with a band called The Starlings). When we got through with our set, I walked right up to him and asked him to join our band.”
Pete and Anthony were big-time pals growing up but had drifted apart as adults. They learned to play guitar together as kids and ran track alongside one another at Mountain Brook High School. During their teen-aged years they performed as a duo, first at school events but later at popular night spots such as The Lowenbrau and Joe Bar in Five Points. They even recorded an album in Nashville before parting ways – Anthony soon hit the road with a dizzying succession of world-class musical artists while Pete started a family and a career in construction and, later, high-end home decor, while still playing music on the side.
They also reached out to ace drummer Leif Bondarenko and hotshot lead guitarist Gary Edmonds, and the new backup band (soon dubbed The Bucket Fillers) was instantly thrilling crowds with its natural chemistry and professional prowess. On the road with Yoakam, their explosive energy grabbed attention at theaters and casinos in the Mid-Atlantic region and up the Eastern Seaboard.
“We had standing ovations at every show,” a jubilant Anthony said at the end of the triumphant run of shows in August, “and we sold everything we had but a couple of CDs.”
They’ve kept the five-piece band together for a string of club and festival dates since, even though, on paper, it may not make financial sense. It’s part of a concerted effort to take Sugarcane Jane to the next level and in front of new and bigger audiences, even though it comes with a price that includes extended periods of time away from their three young children.
“We’re going out on a limb, but we just feel like it’s going to pay off for us in the long run,” Anthony says. “We felt like we had kind of reached a glass ceiling with the acoustic duo.”
Brushes with greatness
Anthony worked off and on with Neil Young for years starting in 1983 and later toured with Steve Winwood. He has also toured or recorded with a long list of other stellar artists such as Eddie Rabbitt, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Pegi Young, Blackhawk, Steve Forbert, Nicolette Larson, and Tanya Tucker. Many others, including Yoakam, Sawyer Brown, Kenny Rogers, Lee Greenwood, and The Oak Ridge Boys have recorded his songs.
He got his start on the road in the early 1980s after he got word that country hit maker Sonny James, who was nearly 30 years his senior, was looking for someone who could play banjo, sing harmony, and help out driving the tour bus.
“He wanted to know if I knew how to double-clutch, and I said, ‘Of course I do.’“ He had to learn that last part literally on the job but recalls that, after maybe grinding a few gears at first, he became so smooth at it that he was soon pressed into double shifts behind the wheel on longer trips.
It’s not his nature to boast of his accomplishments, but he has some great stories. He says the only time he was ever star-struck was when Paul McCartney sauntered up backstage after a Neil Young show at Hyde Park in London. Just minutes earlier, Sir Paul had joined them on stage for the Beatles classic “A Day in the Life.” As the others had already taken off for the dressing rooms, he found himself face-to-face alone for a long and awkward moment with his favorite Beatle – he was virtually speechless for the first and only time of his life.
There were brushes with Bruce Springsteen (Anthony showed him the chords to “Down by the River”) Joe Walsh and others. He laughs about the time Faron Young offered him a shot of banana liqueur in a Nashville motel room. And he will never forget the time he performed “Blackberry Blossom” and “I’ll Fly Away” with country patriarch Roy Acuff at the Grand Ole Opry. But there are plenty more experiences he’s forgotten completely, and he has kept surprisingly few mementos.
“I didn’t really realize how special it was. I was just living it,” he says. “I never thought, ‘Wow, this is something I’m going to look back on and this is going to be a great story to tell some day.’ “
The Crawfords live at the end of a mile-and-a-half red dirt road in a secluded but not remote patch of woods near the small town of Loxley in Baldwin County. They are surrounded by nature, and their only close neighbors are members of Savana’s extended family. Just steps from their two-story dogtrot-style house is Anthony’s cozy but state-of-the-art studio where they have crafted most of their own seven albums and where he has also recorded three solo albums. As a busy producer for hire he has lent his expertise and instrumentation to the works of a couple of dozen other artists over the last few years. He can track virtually any instrument himself, and having Savana there to add harmonies certainly sweetens the deal.
Their three adorable and precociously creative children have names that reflect their parents’ passion for music. Nine-year-old Loretta Raine, six-year-old Levon Cash, and three-year-old Dusty Lee are already showing talent in a range of artistic pursuits.
Savana grew up in nearby Robertsdale, where her father was the principal and her mother the school counselor. (Now retired, Grandma and Grandpa live nearby and help out with the kids.) She was already playing piano when she sang in public for the first time at age five. Later, she took up clarinet and trumpet. As an adult, she pursued music on her own briefly in New Orleans and then Nashville, where she co-owned and managed a recording studio. One day Anthony came in to record, and their vocal harmonies were undeniably great. They sing like birds, yes, but perhaps more soulfully.
As they got to know one another, they realized they had something in common besides the love of roots music that was about to help bind them. Though he had grown up in Mountain Brook, his parents had relocated to Daphne down on the Mobile Bay, just eight miles away from Savana’s.
During Sugarcane Jane’s early years, Savana played acoustic rhythm guitar before switching over to snare drum, which she played along with Anthony on guitar and bass drum (yes, simultaneously). She took up the bass ukulele – a smaller version of a bass guitar – a couple of years back as another way of filling out the duo’s sound, which has elements of bluegrass, country, and folk, and a dash of rock ‘n’ roll.
The business end
Savana has always booked the shows and tours and promoted them through social media and the website that she designed. She has used her graphic arts skills to design their CD covers, posters, and other promotional materials. And she’s the one who has kept them stocked with the all-important merchandise to sell at shows. She has coordinated itineraries for the band and made the hotel reservations, conducting a lot of their business while in the car going from show to show.
This is, of course, in addition to her duties as a mom.
“It’s certainly a challenge,” she says. “The reality of it is nowhere near as glamorous as it might seem. We’ve never had a honeymoon, and we’ve never taken a vacation – we just work hard.”
Because of the heavy workload, they recently asked Birmingham music veteran Rick Carter (of Telluride and Rollin’ in the Hay renown) to come aboard as their manager. Like the hand-picked band members, he and Anthony go way back – Anthony was even a guitarist in Telluride briefly before setting off for Nashville.
“It’s just one of those organic things that made sense to us,” says Savana. ”Rick is so knowledgeable and experienced, and he has such a good reputation in the industry.” Of the new band, she says: “We’re not just bringing in random players. We have a relationship with these guys, and that makes it feel really comfortable.”
Talking from the road, after a dozen or so shows under his belt on pedal steel, lap steel, mandolin, and occasional harmonica, Pete Nice was thankful to have made the reconnection with his old friend and was excited about the new music they are making.
“It does seem like a real twist of fate,” says Nice. “This all coming down like it did, the timing of it all, is perfect. I am happy to be a part of it – absolutely.”
Review: Sugarcane Jane and The Bucket Fillers- 'Live'
by Chris Griffy of Concert Hopper
Sugarcane Jane is usually a two-piece outfit, consisting of the husband and wife duo of Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford. If you want to see them as a band, you typically have to see them with roots music supergroup Willie Sugarcapps. But when country legend Dwight Yoakam asks you to put together a band and open for him on tour, you start finding musicians. For Sugarcane Jane, that became The Bucket Fillers, a set of instrumental ringers hailing from Birmingham. To celebrate their newfound status as a band, Sugarcane Jane and The Bucket Fillers decided to record a house show and release it digitally as Sugarcane Jane and The Bucket Fillers Live, available Nov. 1 through their website and on all major digital platforms..
If you're a fan of Sugarcane Jane's mix of rockabilly, classic country, and Gulf Coast boogie, you're going to love the fuller sound the band brings to favorites like “Cabin on the Hill” and “Ballad of Sugarcane Jane.” As much of a guitar hero as Crawford is, he's just one man, and fellow guitarist Gary Edmonds gives the whole thing an injection of Carl Perkins-esque rockabilly flow.
Of the Sugarcane Jane originals on the album, two standout in particular. The first, “Campfire” is from the band's most recent album Southern State of Mind, which Concert Hopper premiered the video for. The song was the feel-good highlight of that album and, as a full band live song, it pops even more. The second, also from Southern State of Mind, is “Man of the Fewest Words.” This song is the best feature of the pair's harmonies, and of their talent for passing vocal leads at just the right moment.
But the real sell of Sugarcane Jane and The Bucket Fillers Live is its covers. Crawford, who has performed extensively as a sideman for both Neil Young and Steve Winwood, pays tribute to his former bosses with a medley of Young's classic “Old Man” and “Can't Find My Way Home” from Winwood's Blind Faith. “Old Man” is an oft-covered song that Sugarcane Jane makes its own, though Crawford has obviously heard the song enough to inject just a bit of Young's Canadian twang into his vocals. The bigger feat is “Can't Find My Way Home.” That one has been covered a few times over the years, mostly badly, to the point that it's a song I consider near uncoverable. There's a quality to Winwood's near falsetto, Clapton's tone, and Ginger Baker's unique drumming that is near impossible to replicate. Wisely, the band doesn't, choosing instead to lower the vocal register (and let both Crawford and Lee share the heavy vocal load), balance the electric guitar flash with some acoustic grounding, and let the bass and drums keep it all on the rails. It's the best cover of the song that doesn't feature Steve Winwood in some way that I've ever heard.
The album closes with a surprise cover, “Folsom Prison Blues”, voiced by drummer Leif Bondarenko. Bondarenko's deep rumble is close enough to At Folsom Prison era Cash that the recording could probably pass for a live bootleg from the day. There's nothing new, innovative, or revolutionary in this cover, and there shouldn't be. Some songs are best left alone. “Folsom Prison Blues” is as perfect a rockabilly sing-along song as has ever been written and a down the middle crowd pleasing show closer is always a good idea.
It's not known if, after the tour with Yoakam, Sugarcane Jane will return to their status as a duo or continue to play occasional shows with The Bucket Fillers, but either way this album should be enough to convince you to see whatever iteration of the group comes your way. You can see their current run of tour dates here.
New album from local artists with big-name roots
by: Curt Brewer
Posted: Oct 19, 2018 / 01:42 PM CDT/ Updated: Oct 19, 2018 / 01:46 PM CDT
If you have lived in the Mobile area for any length of time, then you know that we have deep musical roots and some of our talent is known far and wide. One of those we speak of is decades-long guitar player for Neil Young, Anthony Crawford and his wife, Savana Lee. Anthony and Savana live in Baldwin County and have a groovy band called “Sugarcane Jane.” They have just released their seventh studio album titled, “Southern State of Mind.” I had a chance to interview Savana and find out a little more about this majestic duo that we get to claim exclusively.
Q: Where are you and Anthony from?
Savana: “Anthony was born in Birmingham. Moved to Nashville at 18. After he lost a brother who was serving in the Military his parents moved to Daphne, Alabama…literally 8 miles from my parents in Loxley, Alabama, which is where I grew up.”
Q: Where and how did you and Anthony meet?
Savana: “March, 2000, Deepfield Studio, Nashville, Tennessee. I co-owned and managed a private analog recording studio with my first husband. Anthony was recording there.”
Q: What is special to you about the new album, “Southern State of Mind?”
Savana: “It’s more romantic, to me. I teared up the first time I heard Southern State of Mind, written by Anthony and Buzz Cason. I pictured us growing old out here on this property, and memories flooding through about the kids… Christmases and Thanksgivings… it is a fairytale life we are living, truly. We Can Dream is another special one to me. But not to stray too far from Dirt Road’s End, we still have the pound on the dashboard up-tempos like Cabin on the Hill and Campfire.”
Q: What is your favorite song on “Southern State of Mind?”
Savana: “Man of fewest words. The melody hit us hard and we knew it was like a big fish. The concept of the lyric is based off of the search for wisdom.”
Q: What can people expect from a Sugarcane Jane live show?
Savana: “Leaving with knowing you just experienced love. We love what we do and it’s infectious..
Our fans choose love.”
Q: What would you be doing if not playing music?
Savana: “What we do now when we’re not playing music. We record artists at our home studio, Admiral Bean Studio, in Loxley, Alabama where we do projects on a regular basis. We are a full production company where we can make records, graphics/design, manufacture CDs, websites, promotion, videos, etc. It keeps us busy when we’re not performing.”
Q: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? 20 years?
Savana: “In 5 years, I have to age my children to figure this out… Loretta would be 13, Levon would be 11, and Dusty would be almost 8. I see us touring the country and homeschooling the kids, bringing them with us. Teaching them about the country as we travel. I remember my parents taking us up to Washington DC to see the monument and out West, to the Alamo and the Grand Canyon. Those left huge impressions on me as a kid and I want to give that to our kids. Plus it’s a great opportunity to go out and perform for fans across the country. We live in an area where people come from all over to vacation on the Gulf Coast, so after performing here for a decade we’ve gained fans all over that never get to hear us unless they come back to visit. Our snow bird fans… we love them. We want to go play in Minnesota and Michigan. Where ever people are that want to hear what we do, we want to go there. I think in 20 years…. Loretta will be 28, Levon will be 26, and Dusty almost 23. and we will be, hmm, 20 years older. I think we will be retired from performing except for maybe special occasions…. Anthony will be a highly sought after producer, recording at Admiral Bean Studio. We could possibly be grandparents technically at that time… I think I would just embrace family, and do more artwork. I used to do pen/ink, pencil, charcoal, scratchboard drawings when I was younger. I plan on getting back into that and I’ve always wanted to teach myself how to sew.”
For more information on Sugarcane Jane, please visit their website at https://sugarcanejane.com
Review and Video First Look: Sugarcane Jane Are a Musical Melting Pot on 'Southern State of Mind'
October 20, 2018 - by Chris Griffy
The Gulf Coast region of Alabama is a bit of a musical melting pot. In addition to their own water-born musical influences, their proximity to the musical meccas of New Orleans, Muscle Shoals, and Northern Florida has given the region a little bit of the musical flavor of all of those places. For Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee, the husband and wife duo who are collectively known as Sugarcane Jane, that musical melting pot gets even more flavors. Both Lee and Crawford have significant Nashville connections and Crawford spent a quarter century as a sideman performing in the bands of Neil Young, Steve Winwood, Vince Gill, and more. On their new album, Southern State of Mind, the duo teams up with another Southern music legend to bring all of those influences into focus.
For Southern State of Mind, Sugarcane Jane teamed up with Americana mainstay Buzz Cason, who co-produced the album, co-wrote most of the songs with Crawford, and is releasing the album Oct. 19 on his own ArenA Recordings label. The result of this meeting of the roots music minds is the most cohesive and wide-ranging album of Sugarcane Jane's career, and one that wears their influences on their sleeves.
The first musical influence that comes to mind while listening to Southern State of Mind is The Carter Family. Savanna Lee's vocals are so laced in the Carter Family tradition, she might want to consider a DNA test to be sure she doesn't have a little bit of Mother Maybelle's blood flowing in her veins. The Carter Family influence is most pronounced on “Cabin on the Hill.” The rollicking country barnburner invokes Rock City, moonshiners, and self-medicating grannies in what is the album's instant “got to make the setlist” track.
Another up tempo highlight is the album's first single, “Campfire.” Sometimes simplicity trumps subtlety and “Campfire” is a simple, exuberant, and fun-loving celebration of the Southern tradition of the group campfire. Read to the end of the article for a Concert Hopper first look at the video for “Campfire.”
But not everything on Southern State of Mind is so uptempo. “Man of the Fewest Words,” which best highlights how much the pair's harmonies fit like a well-worn old sweater, reminds us that, in an America that favors hyperbole over substance, sometimes it's the person who speaks the least who holds the most wisdom. “The One Before Me” is a mournful ballad about a woman who has to constantly compete with the memory of an old lover.
The pair's partners in the supergroup Willie Sugarcapps have also very obviously influenced their style. “Red Flag Warning” is a Southern gothic tune that, while not written by bandmate Grayson Capps, would certainly fit into his musical style nicely. The cadence and delivery of “Destiny,” another highlight, is straight out of the Will Kimbrough playbook. It's not surprising, considering how much time Sugarcane Jane has spent playing with Capps and Kimbrough that their styles have begun to bleed into each other, and it's certainly not a bad thing. It adds another dimension to a band that already has plenty of them.
If you want to see Sugarcane Jane performing songs from Southern State of Mind, you have plenty of opportunity. Rather than a traditional CD release show, the band is touring some of their favorite venues in the next few weeks to debut the new material as widely as possible.
Oct. 24- Watersound Beach Club- Watersound, FL
Oct. 27- Speckled Trout Tournament- Bon Secour, AL
Nov. 2- Big Beach Brewing Company- Gulf Shores, AL
Nov. 3- Playa Restaurant- Orange Beach, AL
Nov. 4- Frog Pond Social- Silverhill, AL
Nov. 9-10- FloraBama- Pensacola, FL
Nov. 9- Sunset Cork Room- Gulf Shores, AL
Nov. 11- Pirates Cove- Elberta, AL
Dec. 5- ArenA Records Showcase- 3rd & Lindsley- Nashville, TN
Now, as promised, the first look at Sugarcane Jane's debut video from Southern State of Mind, “Campfire”: