While sorting through some CDs that I’d slipped into Pro Sleeves (to save space,) boxed and then not touched since before the turn of the century, I discovered a “Live Solo Acoustic Demo” by Dave Crossland, recorded at Club Passim in 1998.
I don’t know if you remember Dave but his was an important part of the folk scene in the 90s. He had all the tools, nice voice, good guitar, fine writer who, when he hit an inspiration knew what to do with it, and, more importantly, when he didn’t have a good inspiration didn’t keep writing and rely on craft (of which he had plenty) just to get another song. Above and beyond all this, he was a nice guy. Always a good interview, and a joy to chat with on, and off, the air.
I realize that it sounds like he passed away. He hasn’t, I just haven’t seem him in many years. He became friends with John Stewart, joined John’s group Darwin’s Army, and moved to California. Here’s Dave performing at the John Stewart tribute concert:
In California, he started acting and, based on his IMDB page he’s been rather successful. He has continued to write, record and perform. His latest album was released in 2015. Sadly his website has not been updated since the release of that album.
The reason I selected this song is that it features Dave joined by Garnet Rogers, making it a one of a kind performance and proving once again, that no mater what he says, Garnet is one of the nicest guys around.
The song. Shenandoah, is an interesting one. It’s the story of a Canadian Voyager who, while trapping (I assume) in Upstate New York, falls in love with the daughter of the Oneida Chief Shenandoah (who was a real person.) Listening to the song with this in mind you can see how with would have made a lovely canoeing songs. (I think I have a book on Canoeing Songs of the Voyagers… must look that up.) It first pops up in the early 1800s. It later became a shanty aboard boats on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. No matter what it was used for, it’s just a wonderful melody.