This August I am celebrating two milestones: The release of “Howdy High-Rise”, my second full length LP with my band Croy and the Boys, and the 10 year anniversary of heeding the call of music that drove me from my home town of Bowling Green, Ohio and dropped me in The Live Music Capital of The World, Austin Texas. I would say that those 10 years flew by, and they did, but when I look in the mirror today, I see a man shaped by his adopted home and the decade of living that has taken place there. I quickly took a job on a landscape crew which introduced me to Norteño music, altering the course of my own sound for the foreseeable future. My truck broke down, not long after, and I bought a motorcycle, strapped my guitar on the back and went on tour across the country just my bike and me. I met a Texan woman, fell in love and got married. Had a son. Learned a hell of a lot about the history of country music and the ways in which country music and cowboy culture still thrive in Texas today. I learned what a dance hall was and eventually, learned how to keep one moving all night long. I learned what it means to be an artist and to pursue a dream. But I’ve never forgot where I came from. The hard edge, knuckle busting life in the rust belt and the humble, hard working people that live there.
“Howdy High-Rise” distills all of that into a modern country sound that could only have been made in Austin, Texas. The characters throughout are based on my own life and the lives of friends and family back home, our struggles, beliefs and world views. But the sounds are unmistakably country, in that particularly cosmic, tex-mex type of way that Austin has become famous for. The formula is as such: Take a midwestern songwriter with a knack for story telling and put a band behind him full of Texan characters as big as himself.
“Analogue” Amy Hawthorne, the original Boy (the longest serving member in the band) may have been born on an air force base in Arizone but her people have always been from Beaumont, Texas. Her mother was a champion barrel racer, her father was a pilot. She plays a pink 1962 Fender P-Bass that she got for a steal of a trade off an ex, a lifetime ago and has been playing music in Austin since 19-dickity-2.
Casey “Queso” Seymour, the bathing cowboy was born in the legendary town of Lubbock, Texas, relocating with his family to the hills of Dripping Springs when he was 10. Growing up next door to Austin, he casually learned to play drums from legends like Ernie Durawa and Pat Mastelotto.
“Smoking” Joe Cornetti, raised in Victoria, Texas. Proud father of two darling boys. Like most great musicians, Joe cut his teeth playing keys in a family church band with his brother on drums, his other brother on bass and his dad up front taking turns as pastor and band leader (Joe has since left the church and is in no way affiliated with the ideologies therein).
Together, we are Croy and the Boys. We ain’t perfect, but we’re “Good Enough”.
– Bad Boy Croy