Every August, the town of Challis, Idaho plays host to thousands of visitors for the annual Braun Brothers Reunion Festival. A family-friendly event for the music enthusiast, the BBR brings both well-loved and up and coming artists together with their fans in a picturesque setting for three unforgettable days. This year, the BBR will be held from August 10th-12th and will feature fourteen plus artists, including Jeff Crosby who returns to the BBR for his fourth year. As part of our continuing series showcasing the artists performing at this year's Reunion, Crosby very kindly took the time to talk about playing the festival, what's ahead, and more.
When we last spoke, you were thinking of relocating to Nashville. Did you eventually make the move from L.A.?
I've been in Nashville for about six months, and although it's quite an adjustment from Southern California, I am loving it. It has much more of a small-town mentality and a communal vibe where instead of someone handing me a business card and asking me to check out their band after every gig I play, people tend to be more interested in exchanging numbers to write together. It’s really refreshing.
Sounds like a welcome artistic environment. Your most recent full-length, Waking Days, was released in 2015. Can we expect new music in the near future?
I’ve got another record ready to go. At the beginning of this year, I went to Portland and worked with Greg Williams [Blitzen Trapper, Dandy Warhols, Jesse Malin] who I met when I was playing with Jerry Joseph. Greg was really into my music and suggested we do a record together, so we got it done, and now I'm just working out all the details to get it released.
Waking Days was very atmospheric Folk-Rock. Does the new album stay along those lines or will we hear something different?
It’s a lot different. Between almost dying [Crosby suffered a medical scare in early 2016] and coming out of a seven-year relationship, it was just prime time to, well, either become a complete alcoholic or write a really good record -- and I'm hoping I got the latter. After both of those experiences, I got reclusive and wrote a bunch of songs in different places like Alaska, Mexico, Nashville, and Idaho and when I put the songs together, it was like a journal of the last two years of my life. I'm really happy with it.
I'll look forward to hearing it! You're on the road quite a bit, recently coming off of a tour with
Micky and the Motorcars.
We had such a great time on that tour. It was cool to get to know those guys more than just saying a quick hello backstage at a show. Those Brauns are a special group who are just so insanely talented. To watch them play every night and see the bond between Micky, Gary, and the whole band was something else. I just love them.
And you'll be spending some more time with them when you return to the Braun Brothers Reunion, where you've become a semi-regular, in August.
Being from Idaho, I think I look forward to the BBR more than Christmas! This will be our fourth year at the Reunion and my brother [Andy, who plays bass] and I decided we were going to go whether we were invited to play or not. We made a pact to stay the whole weekend, and we're really looking forward to it, especially seeing Reckless who we missed out on last year because we had to leave to play another show.
The Reunion is so much fun, but it's also inspiring because so many of the songwriters that come out are heroes of mine. This year we're playing right before Jack Ingram, who I am a huge fan of, and Jamie Lin Wilson, who is just amazing. It's a place too, where you can really get to know someone and become friends with them, like Jonathan Tyler, who I got to know last year and now hang out with in Nashville. I don’t feel like that would happen anywhere but the Reunion because it's such a unique place; when you’re backstage it's not like you’re in Nashville or L.A., you're among friends and family.
The whole Reunion has that feel, which is really part of what makes it special. You mentioned you're looking forward to seeing Reckless - since you're staying the entire time, is there anyone else you're excited for as well?
I haven’t seen Jack Ingram, whose Midnight Motel is one of my favorite albums from last year. It's so good and raw; I listened non-stop. I've also been listening a lot more to Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers. Their music's just great, so I'm looking forward to seeing them as well. It's going to be a good time.
For all of the information on the BBR from lodging to the full lineup, please visit the official website HERE
Tickets: BBR 3-Day Pass for ages 13 and up $124.30
BBR 2-Day Pass for ages 13 and up $86.30
Tickets purchased online will be picked up at will call at the venue and are non-refundable. One day passes will be sold at the front gate while supplies last. The BBR is held rain or shine.
Kids age 5 and under are free. Kids age 6-12 are $15 a day and can only be purchased at the front gate. Kids age 13 and up pay full adult price.
To stay up to date with Jeff Crosby and the Refugees visit the official website
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Purchase their music HERE