2014 KBA for Education
2015 Autographed Guitar
Now Hangs Above The Stage At
The Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis, TN
Raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru's songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today.
It’s not for nothing that Cru has received wide praise for his songwriting.
Downbeat magazine notes, "His songs are blues poetry - crafted with rare verbal flair and his ability to cast a memorable hook is magical!"
Bruce Iglauer, founder and president of Alligator Records calls Cru “a rare, real writer.”
Live, these songs are performed with power and passion as observed by Living Blues magazine; "The vivacity and sheer joy with which Cru plays is intoxicating!"
His latest album, Simmered and Stewed, released November 11, 2016 on VizzTone Label Group has received wide acclaim and extensive worldwide airplay.
It was featured as a BB King's Bluesville "Pick to Click" on Sirius/XM Radio for 10 weeks.
It appeared on the Living Blues Chart and spent 33 weeks in the Top 50 on the Roots Music Report Blues Album Chart.
Simmered & Stewed contains eleven songs flavored, in most part, by resonator, cigar box and acoustic guitar. The album features harmonica, honky-tonk piano, Hammond B3 organ and rich, backing vocals.
It is a worthy follow-up to Cru's 2015 album, You Keep the Money - the hottest debuting blues album of that year, which spent all year long residing at or near the very top of every major blues chart. It ended up the #3 blues album of 2015 right behind Buddy Guy at #2 with Shemekia Copeland at #4.
Based out of upstate New York. Cru performs in a variety of formats ranging from solo acoustic to a 7-piece backing band. Tas Cru appears at a number of festivals and major blues venues throughout the US and Canada. His music is heard regularly on blues radio worldwide, including Sirius/XM's BB King's Bluesville, where he was recently featured as one of four artists selected for its Fall 2016 Concert Series.
Cru also brings his award-winning Blues Education programs and workshops to numerous schools, hospitals and community centers.
In early bands, Tas was introduced to the great Sun Records sound and the country blues that later served as a counterpoint to the rock-blues he idolized, as did so many young guitar players of his time. These combined influences are heard in his music - Six albums of which 62 of the 63 songs are original.
(The one remake is his total reworking of "Higher & Higher")
Grizzle n' Bone (2009)
Jus' Desserts (2010)
Tired of Bluesmen Cryin' (2012), and the aforementioned,
You Keep the Money (2015)
Cru grew up in a very musical and generally unquirky family (except for him). Unlike his talented brother and sisters, he did not pursue music in school. A brief attempt to play the trombone abruptly ended after being kicked out by his 7th grade music teacher. Cru says he deserved it.
Cru instead explored and developed his talent by taking up with a rougher crowd of older, self-taught musicians where he was introduced to the songs of the Sun Records legends. Cru's first foray into the blues came after leaving the US Navy when he was asked to join a band formed by a former shipmate named Delray Streeter, a bluesman of unlimited bravado and attitude but limited singing and harmonica skills. Streeter was raised in El Dorado, Arkansas and claimed a rich blues heritage from his upbringing. This partnership, though short-lived, proved to be very influential as Streeter's repertoire tended toward the older and much rawer country blues.
Cru's schooling in country blues later served him well and is infused into his original songs along with his Sun Records and rock-blues influences.
As noted above, Tas Cru's discography includes seven albums of original songs, plus Simmered & Stewed. In addition to these recordings are Cru's 2009 release, Even Bugs Sing the Blues, an album of original blues music for kids and 2016’s blues album for dog lovers called Doggone Blues.