Willy Braun sats down with Idaho native Jeff Crosby back in 2018 for a little 1-on-1
Willy Braun: What was your first BBR experience?
Jeff Crosby: I think our first time playing the reunion was 2014? Has it been that long? The memory is foggy but I DO remember we played right before Chris Knight and I was nervous as hell as he stood right there side stage and watched most our set. He came up to me as I was bringing my amp offstage and tapped my on the shoulder. I turned around and he shook my hand and said “Well I really enjoyed that. Glad I caught you boys.” I played it cool and said thanks and then we all high five’d in the van and did a cheers in honor of Chris’s approval.
WB: What separates the BBR from other festival and what keeps you coming back?
JC: Well besides getting to play alongside a lot of our hero’s and favorite songwriters I’d have to say the audience and folks that come year after year are what make the festival so special. It’s not very often we get to play for an audience that will be that rowdy and fired up and then next song quiet to the point that you could hear a pin drop to hear a story or a slower song. It’s a ton of real music fans and every BBR we’ve played has been my favorite type of audience to perform for. Also most of us are from or still living in Idaho so honestly playing music outdoors in Idaho is probably the most comfortable setting for our band. All our family gets to come and folks that have been watching us for over 10 years now around Idaho. We look forward to BBR probably more than Christmas at this point…
WB: Who would you like to see on the BBR lineup in the future?
JC: Jeff’s BBR wishlist (Ill keep it short and to artists I think BBR folks maaaaayyyybe haven’t heard of already?) –
- Timmy the Teeth (put out an insanely good record last year and he’s just one of Utah’s finest)
- Jaime Wyatt (Old friend from L.A. that’s been out with the Old 97’s. She’s great.)
- Sam Morrow (Another So-Cal bud. His album “Concrete and Mud” may be one of the best albums out this year.)
- Nora Jane Struthers (Saw her here in Nashville and she just rocks. Hope she makes it out west more this year and BBR would love her and her band)
- Tyler Childers (This guy is just great. Look him up if ya haven’t…Kentucky guy)
- Tylor & The Train Robbers (I know a ton of BBR folks know these guys already but…they’re doin Idaho proud and a great band.)
WB: What’s the best show you’ve seen at the BBR over the years?
JC: The year Rodney Crowell nearly got rained out and the whole venue emptied (our first time playing in 2014 I think?) and then the rain stopped, everyone piled back in soaking wet, and he and his band put on one of the best shows I feel like I’ve ever seen. And not to sound like a kiss-ass but Reckless played a hell of a set last year…IMO…
WB: What’s the best moment on stage personally at the BBR?
JC: Dang. Tough one here but I’d probably have to say during our song “Canyons” from our set last year, looking over and seeing my folks both there and then so many friends that have supported us over the years in the crowd…we’d been out for a few weeks and were all pretty beat and I just had one of those blissful “thank god we made it” moments. Really enjoyed having Cody Braun up on our song “Idaho” also. The whole set had a lot of “best moments” honestly…
WB: What’s on the horizon? New projects?
JC: I’m always writing but just hunkering down and writing songs for my next album. Gonna be going out on a tour with my friend Walter Salas-Humara this fall on the west coast whose a songwriter I’ve admired for a long time so hopefully I’ll steal some tricks from him! Trying to collaborate with some other writers on this next album which is something I’ve never really done. Nashville is such a song-writers town so it’s been good for me being here on our time off and getting out of my “comfort zone” I suppose. There’s so many great artists here once you get past the “Painted on blue jeans/good stuff/dirt road girl in a truck” crap. It’s been inspiring and definitely has made me anxious to get back in the studio.
WB: Have you discovered any new music and or made new friends at the BBR?
JC: Yeah! Ned Ledoux and his band just blew me away last year and I’d honestly never listened to him. And I’ve become buds with Jonathan Tyler since meeting him at BBR and see him around Nashville and Austin all the time now. Mike and the Moonpies and Bruce Robison have been on in the van a bunch after seeing them on this years lineup and have become a big fan of their stuff. Lookin forward to seeing them. It’s cool for us being from Idaho and meeting all these great bands at BBR and then running into em out on the road. Wade Bowen came up to me and said hey at a bar in Nashville and goes “Jeff from Idaho right? Met ya at BBR!” We had a beer and I thought to myself “Dang. Small world.” We also meet folks at shows all over the country that discovered us at BBR so that’s always cool to hear.
WB: Why do you think fans and artist come from all over the country to a small town in Idaho once a year?
JC: What’s unique about this festival is that its almost like being part of a giant family and were all in on the big secret. Kinda like Idaho in general I guess. If you enjoy this type of music and the stories and love the outdoors there’s really not any other festivals quite like it. And I think that vibe just makes the artists more comfortable and willing to take risks and just have fun onstage. Your just not gonna see that in the city or at some of these bigger festivals. And then chances are ya get to have a Bloody Mary with your favorite band or songwriter at Bux’s the next morning!
Jeff Crosby plays Thursday, August 6th at the Braun Brothers Reunion.