Blue Plate Special

I'm a blues guitarist from Wisconsin living in Minneapolis.

Crankshaft at Famous Dave’s 8/15

I was talking with my brother and his friend about what their plans were.  They kinda wanted to go to Icehouse on Nicollet because their friend’s brother was unveiling some new beer he had made.  Living in uptown, I suggested we go to Famous Dave’s blues club because they had $2.50 PBR’s and Crankshaft and The Gear Grinders were playing a free show.  Plus F.D.’s is in walking distance from my house. +10

So we got there and Crankshaft and his band take the stage.  He was laying down a mixture of what seemed like a mix of punk rock boogie and 12 bar Chicago shuffle.  It was cool and the crowd was feeling it.  I recognized a few of the songs he was playing from previous times I’ve seen him.  I particularly like “The Curse!!”.  That song is pretty cool.  I asked my brother and his friend what they thought.  My bro. “He’s good man!  You need to be playing more shit like that!!”.  His friend, “Not my style but he’s really good.  I haven’t heard much music like this before”. I was diggin it. 

I'm a fan of Crankshaft for many reasons.  He seems to be influenced by a lot of musicians who I also like.  His music is a file gumbo of 50's and 60's rock n roll, boogie woogie, grimy electric delta and Chicago style blues and also has a dose of SoCal punk rock and surf music.  He's also a good dude that has a lot of personality up on the stage.  Crankshaft knows how to work a crowd.  His songs and lyrics are made of words most folks living up here in MN can relate to.  Scrap Collecting Man (I know people that scrap), Praying For Snow (I have friends that rely on that snow to make loot) and the popular anthem Neighbor Boys (sounds like most suburban neighborhoods).  Crankshaft and The Gear Grinders have also recently won The Famous Dave's Battle of The Blues Bands competition and The MN Blues Society Road To Memphis.  (I was in those too!  W.B.J. 4 life)  He is also currently trying to win an online contest on Artist Signal in which he's in 1st place. This guy definitely has his mojo working.  

I went to talk to Crankshaft during his first break.  He didn’t recognize me at first because I just cut pretty much all my hair off.  After he realized who I was, he invited me to play a few songs during his next set.  Obviously I jumped on that.  I love playing guitar and Famous Dave’s is a pretty big blues stage here in The Twin Cities.

So he calls me up there and hands me his vintage Silvertone guitar.  I tell the bass player that I’m gonna play a 1 chord boogie in E.  I start playing my song Won’t Stop Boogie and he picks it up.  Then the drummer jumps in and we’re off.  The Gear Grinders are tight.  I’m playing a goofy song I wrote and we sound like we’ve been rehearsing for weeks.  Crankshaft’s guitar feels a little flimsy to me so I’m trying to be careful.  His strings are smaller than I generally use.  His amp is pretty cool though.  It’s a vintage Fender Musicmaster bass amp.  The Silvertone run through it gives a cool, vibey tone.  So on my next song I turn it up a little bit.  I’m playing Key To The Highway and it has a guitar solo in it that I want to show off.  The amp roars and I laid into the solo.  It felt great but upon finishing the song, I broke a string and had to cut my little opportunity short.

After it was all said and done,  I basically got to drink cheap PBR’s, and see and share the stage with Crankshaft and his Gear Grindin band.  Good times my friends, good times.

Peace always.  Check him out!