Roots Rock with Louisville Accents

Five is Red (Independent)
Anthony Crawford

By Hunter Embry

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Anthony Crawford and his latest release Five is Red is roots-filled rock with local ties. Crawford has written hundreds of songs that have been recorded by many of the industries greats and is currently on tour, performing with Neil Young, but he enlisted the help of the band Everest and Bo Koster (keyboardist of My Morning Jacket) to back him on Five is Red.

While the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Young's influences are apparent across the album, Crawford attacks this brand of classic rock with an obvious knack and experience. The album opener "Self to the Dark" combines deadened drums, a thin, but extremely gritty guitar pacing through tremoloed chords and a pulsating bass line. Each part fits like an easy jigsaw puzzle underneath Crawford's tender vocals in a breezy Beatles/Dr. Dog fashion.

"Window Down" hints at dirtiness of classic Neil Young while pushing a vibe of modern Oasis. While the band beats and rattles in head-bobbing tempo, Crawford alternates back n' forth between intense vocal attacks and comforting harmonies.

While the first two tracks are unmistakably rock, the album proceeds to swerve through the folk ("Noise"), country ("Turning Corners") and blues ("Blue Ribbon Shine") roots from which the genre was found. The tones are consistently rich and provocative while Crawford lets his voice and seep through the sounds in a seemingly effortless fashion. Five is Red is a music lover's gem.

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