There is no label to accurately describe the music of Joe Craven and the Sometimers. Acid-Rockgrass? Jazz Fusion Americana? To try to box it in would be to crush the exuberant creative spirit that happens when Craven, Jonathan Stoyanoff, Bruce MacMillan, Barry Eldridge and Hattie Craven play together. “No genre left behind” is their musical motto, and they accomplish the task with joyful abandon, playing paradigm-shattering free range music that entices and excites. Joe Craven is a creativity educator and prankster savant and, while a multi-instrumentalist proficient with strings and percussion from mando to canjoe to bongo, he is also a eulogist, wordsmith and fashion insultant.
“Everything Joe touches turns into music” says mandolinist David Grisman, with whom Craven played for almost 17 years. Craven has rubbed creative elbows with Jerry Garcia, David Lindley, Alison Brown, Jason Marsalis, Inga Swearengen, Roy Rogers, Howard Levy and many others. Joe also sings the praises of incredible, inspiring souls he has collaborated with that many folks may never know of. His creative genius sparks and ignites his fellow musicians, who travel to other worldly musical destinations not explored by many others.
Fittingly, Joe & The Sometimers’ new album Garcia Songbook pays homage to, while re-imagining, the music of one of the better known pioneers of Experiential Jam Music. Joe recorded and performed with Jerry in the acoustic quartet Garcia Grisman.