R. Crumb and the East River String Band

The Wall Street Journal has an article up discussing R. Crumb’s musical interests and, indeed, prowess.  Written by Will Friedwald it includes a report on his recent set with The East River String Band (who consist of Ex-Forbidden Planet NYC manager and my first boss at the store John Heneghan and ex-staffer Eden Brower) while on his recent US trip to promote The Book of Genesis.

erstbMr. Crumb is a fluid and competent instrumentalist, and could have probably been a successful professional if he had applied himself with the same dedication that he brought to his art.

Since it was Mr. Heneghan’s show, he did most of the talking; the only time Mr. Crumb spoke was to explain the nickname of a very obscure ’20s blues singer, Little Hat Jones. (Apparently, it refers to the condition of the brim, not the size of the hat itself.) Unlike much else in the Crumb oeuvre, it was not a sexual reference.

At 66, Mr. Crumb remains a man of many contrasts—not least in that he rarely grants interviews, but, at the same time, he puts his darkest and most intimate thoughts on display for all to see in his work.

Of course, there are no more gigs with Crumb in the immediate future, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeking out and experiencing some of the most wonderful music of the last 100+ years as discussed in the piece.  Also, follow the musical exploits of the East River String Band here, where you can sample some of their sounds for free, and get updates on gigs.

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