Over the past 15 years, the career of Ryan Lee Crosby has explored a variety of sounds, from the raucous alt-rock of Cancer to the Stars to his quieter, reflective solo work. But it turns out that the Boston musician/producer unlocked a new road to both a global audience and personal awakening with inspiration in an unlikely place.
Crosby’s new record, Busker on the Broad Highway, released last fall with vinyl distribution in Europe by Jellyfant Records, has helped him reach European fans and his own sense of self through newfound health and awareness. Inspired by 1920s and 1930s blues, Crosby just returned from a third tour across the Atlantic, playing shows in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, and returns back to the area for a homecoming party Wednesday, April 8 at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge. The bill also features fellow Boston blues/roots act Sugar Blood Jinx, who Crosby says “coincidentally were touring Europe pretty much at the same time I was over the last couple of weeks.”
To celebrate the return, Crosby has released the video for raw, spiritual track “Winter Hill Blues,” which was recorded live at the Soul Shop by Elio DeLuca and shot and edited by Reuben Bettsak.
Crosby explains his attitude towards the blues in his bio. “Although the blues was originally known as ‘the devil’s music,’ it has offered me the means to a deeper, more meaningful life,” he says. “There is a popular misconception that in order to be a bluesman, one has to walk a hard road of late nights, tragic love affairs and poverty. Although I’ve certainly had my share of those experiences, I have found that getting closer to the heart of the blues has helped me to leave all that behind. Learning about this music which I love has been a transformational process that has helped me to let go of old, useless ways. The blues has soothed my soul and lifted my spirits, higher than any chemical ever has.”