Todd Albright is a country blues, twelve string guitar player and vocalist based in Detroit, Michigan. Grounded in the pre-war era of the blues tradition (1880-1939), Todd is a mindful purveyor of blues history. His repertoire upholds musical pillars such as Blind Willie McTell, George Carter, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly. His life’s work continues the distinguished tradition of the very roots of American music as told by the African American musicians who created it.
Todd’s vigorous, gritty and soulful performances are accompanied by stories of the masters and a deep intuitive sense of respect for craft, providing audiences with a meaningful experience while creating a transcendent moment. One of the top blues guitarists in the world, Todd is the only contemporary twelve string player in his genre.
Todd began playing the blues while still a teenager, some twenty-five years ago. Initially, he was drawn to the sound of the finger-picked style and has since immersed himself in the foundational music and narratives of American culture. Over the years, Todd has shared the stage with artists such as Roy Book Binder, Charlie Parr, Paul Geremia, and Dakota Dave Hull.
Ryan Lee Crosby
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.
River Music, Crosby’s sixth full-length album, will be available on LP and CD on 10/10/18, co-released by Germany’s CosiRecords Schallplatten and Seattle’s Knick Knack Records. 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 music. 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.
Crosby describes himself as a ‘seeker’ within the music: producer and listener, performer and enthusiast, teacher and student. Crosby’s music-making is an inward process: creativity through meditation, devotion and discipline, but it is also oriented around community-building. As a bandleader, Crosby is guided by the potential of music to connect the internal to the external, the individual to the group, and to bridge seemingly disparate cultures and traditions.
Ryan Lee Crosby has been nominated for two Boston Music Awards and was named “Best Singer/Songwriter” in the 2006 Boston Phoenix/WFNX Radio Music Poll. He composed and performed the film score for the award-winning documentary Racing the Rez (2012, broadcast nationally on PBS). Crosby tours Europe annually and select US regions. He currently lives in Medford, Massachusetts and performs regularly in the greater Boston area.