The Great Crusades

Four Thirty

Release Date: 01/09/2006 · Format: CD · Catalog-No: GR 642

Many bands try to capture in a recording the energy and magic felt onstage, in the practice studio or at the kitchen table late at night when all that is present is a notebook with inconsistent markings, an acoustic guitar and empty bottles of beer. Many fail. The Great Crusades newest album, Four Thirty, does all of this and much more. Four Thirty is The Great Crusades.

The album represents the band at their collaborative best, giving their live shows greater justice by infusing that same gritty, raw energy into a collection of tracks that winds listeners through the depths of Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis and the stories they’ve created and remembered along the way.

Recorded at Rax Trax Studios in Chicago in September 2005, The Great Crusades – singer, songwriter and guitarist Brian Krumm, bassist Brian Hunt, drummer Christian Moder and multi-instrumentalist Brian Leach – and longtime friend and producer/engineer Blaise Barton (Bob Dylan, Liz Phair) spent three 12-hour days putting their music to analog tape.

The band’s goal for the session was to create the warmest reflection of their abilities while harnessing their raucous energy. The outcome reveals boisterous, yet well-balanced vocals and colorful harmonies coupled with guitar playing reminiscent of rock and roll’s storied past. And while all of this is happening, the driving drums and bass hold the band on a course somewhere between the shoulder of the road and its median, but by no means strictly along the dotted line.

On Four Thirty, the band admits to using a writing process unique to their previous recordings. All of the lyrics were written after the music was already completed, allowing for a greater level of collaboration. “Usually, I would bring near-complete songs to the group so that we could then finish at the practice loft,” said Krumm. “This time, I wrote all the lyrics after the music. I hope the result is an album that is less forced and more collaborative. I consider the music on Four Thirty as a natural progression for us as a band.”

Added Hunt, “The idea on Four Thirty was to keep everything moving and to avoid the habits we’ve picked up throughout our years together that would have ultimately slowed down the creative process. Our writing sessions were about picking a beat and a key and just playing on that for as long as it felt good. On this album, we never got hung up on one aspect of a song. We would simply play through it, and sometimes, make it right on the fly in the studio. All of us ended up in new places because the songs were driving the process and we had to keep up.”

Ultimately, Four Thirty is an album that melds unique experiences, special friendships and a collective passion for music into an extraordinary effort greater than any one moment. It is quality storytelling meets rock and roll meets classic Americana that then chooses to hang out for a bit with the blues.

Four Thirty is the band’s fifth album since their 1998 inception. Previous releases include: Welcome to the Hiawatha Inn (2004); Never Go Home (2002); Damaged Goods (2000); and The First Drink Spilled of the Evening (1998). Having toured Europe six times and the United States in support of their previous releases, The Great Crusades will showcase Four Thirty and other originals when they take to parts of Europe for a series of live shows in February, ’06. Please visit for up-to-the-minute news and tour dates. (Matt Tiefenbrun)

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1. Are We Having Fun Anymore?
2. Porch Song
3. Hollywood Bungalow
4. I Got Away
5. She Walked Alone
6. Heathers Will Haunt You
7. Billy Smashes It Up
8. Downtown
9. Rawl
10. Boom Boom
11. Where Are You Now?

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