# NEWS #
New review from Divide & Conquer: 4,3 out of 5!!
"The internet is a luxurious tool for many reasons. But at its center its use as a device of connecting people and ideas to one another is perhaps its greatest resource. This happens to be the case for the transatlantic folk recording artists Crookhaven. The pair consist of American singer/songwriter Scott Dangerfield and French multi-instrumentalist and composer Bertrand Legrand. Over the course of two years the pair worked on tracks via email. The result of this long process has finally born fruit in the way of their self-titled debut Crookhaven.
The record opens with “Dear God” a melodious fun and free-wheeling folk tune that at the same time stirs the soul. It recalls the sounds of Andrew Bird, as the powerful vocals resonate against the perfectly plucked acoustic melodies and down-home and subtle rhythms. This bleeds wonderfully into the melodic lullaby of “A Million Miles or More” with its spritely acoustic finger picked guitar and honeyed vocals.
The pair pick up the pace a little on the hand clapping harmonies of “Moonshine Taker” and later show off their chops with the heart-wrenching romanticism of and Spanish style acoustic balladry on “Picture this Summer Day,” and then move into a poppier and more radio friendly offering like “Together Anyway.” The exquisite crowning jewel of the record is “Though I’m Scared of Needing You” which runs neck and neck with the brilliant and haunting final track “Creature” a song that makes you feel it beneath your skin it’s so powerful.
Hearing a record like Crookhaven reminds me that there are still musicians out there who are making music from the soul and for the soul. The fact that this duo lives oceans apart makes no difference in their abilities to sync their talents together over the Internet. The record sounds more alive than anything in the folk genre that I have heard for some time."
Best album of 2017 on Forces Parallèles!
"This young duo is the living proof that not everything has been done or said, that a good dose of talent and self-confidence can mark the beginning of a promising career."
The album's reaching #1 in the four Must-hear Milwaukee music for January
"There's such an incredible intimacy to the folk duo's debut — you feel as if you're eavesdropping on soul-searching conversations for "Dear God" and "Little Dove" — while "For Cate" and "Picture This Summer Day" marry the warm elasticity of Scott Dangerfield's croon with Bertrand Legrand's lush arrangements. So it's shocking to discover that the work on the album was done literally an ocean apart, with the Milwaukee-based Dangerfield and French composer Legrand emailing each other recordings across two years to come up with the final product."
New critic from Music In Belgium: 4 stars!!
"A musical group made up of American singer/songwriter Scott Dangerfield and French composer/multi-instrumentalist Bertrand Legrand, called Crookhaven, has somehow returned to the foundations of American music and folk-rock. The delicate singing, acoustic guitar, banjo, and harmonica make us travel through the American spaces, offering a bluesy folk-rock that inevitably reminds me of the Beat Farmers or even the great Dave Alvin (The Blasters)! Both faithful to the American western and its traditional music, but also close to the new American rock'n'roll scene from the 80s/90s, Crookhaven's music plays on the string of melody and delicacy, without forgetting the tempos of folk and country. Dancing at times and relaxing at others, the music evolves from a committed folk-rock to a beautiful folk ballad where singing and instruments are delicate, and sometimes contain passages closer to the music of movies or even a more modern rock. Moreover, if the acoustic guitar and the banjo remain major elements, they are subtly supported by various percussions (ukulele, djembe, spoons, triangle) or other stringed instruments such as violin, viola or cello. But it would also be necessary to speak of the backing vocals, the accordion, the slide-guitar, or the harmonica, which complete the important team of about 15 protagonists. It’s a group strongly motivated to build and develop a pure, authentic album that honors America and folk-rock. A true album, delicate and respectful of traditions!"
New review from Sheila Smith!
"Crookhaven's evocative debut work is not simply a collection of songs but instead flows beautifully from track to track with the feel of a concept album that savored whole will leave you breathless. The fine arrangements and thoughtful lyrics couple with brilliant instrumentation to deliver surprisingly hard edges tempered with acoustic genius and somehow manages to flawlessly straddle a myriad of genres. The songs warm you and linger like a fine mulled wine and a cozy fire. You'll find yourself coming back to listen again and again."
Another review on http://fp.nightfall.fr/: 5 stars!!
Forces Parallèles (Bertrand's favorite site to read while eating his cereals in the morning) has written some great stuff about us:
"At the root of all music, there's always an encounter. Either between an artist and a universe, a musician and an instrument, a showman and an audience, or just two dreamers, head in the stars, who link their destinies to the green Irish land. CROOKHAVEN is above all a rather banal encounter between Bertrand, the Frenchman and Scott, the American, who met during a trip in Ireland... and got to jam together. Time goes by, and the desire to make something more of that ephemeral shared moment grows in the minds of the two young artists. With the help of the Internet, ideas (and files) are exchanged, and the four hands end up giving birth to this first baby. Sublime, by the way.
CROOKHAVEN is folk in its purest form. One guitar and one voice are enough to demonstrate its beauty, the rest is just embellishment. The album starts off on a fragile and deeply moving singing line, the one from "Dear God". With just a few notes, Scott Dangerfield imposes himself as a singer of high class, whose voice ventures into intonations and convolutions that mix power and restraint, all infused with an obvious sincerity and a bluffing melodic richness. This guy masters his voice like few others do.
On top of that, there's a whole palette of varied folk atmospheres that carry all the songs, traditional in form but unique in interpretation. On the country-influenced "A Million Miles or More", CROOKHAVEN mixes bottleneck and acoustic guitar, and adds a hopping harmonica. The result is of great beauty and is influenced as much by the folk of the 70s (there's a bit of Cat Stevens on the first part of the song) as it is by the more contemporary folk, the one that doesn't hesitate to incorporate some pop elements in its music (listen to the keyboards and british-romantic-comedy ambiances in "Together Anyway").
The duo has that little extra something: their folk is not trivial. Let's say that where some others are satisfied with "small" authentic songs that lack ambition, CROOKHAVEN can be epic, and doesn't hesitate to vary the structures within a piece, to give it a deeper meaning. "Among the Overgrown" is one of those ambitious songs that can be found on the album. The folk, light at first, takes darker and solemn intonations as the piece progresses and gains in intensity. At the end, an accordion and discreet orchestrations bring colorful tones to an already vibrant piece, and remind us of The Stanfields ("For King and Country" era).
To go into further detail and dissect this record would not do it justice, because it's up to everyone to appropriate and remove the substance from it. Just know that on this opus the guitar in all its variations is queen and weaves melodies that, far from getting stale, grow over you and never cease to dazzle. "For Cate", which begins as a classic guitar/voice ballad (before violin, banjo and rhythm section get involved), is undoubtedly one of the best moments of the album. The song shows an incredible level of mastery and maturity from these two young artists that know how to tame their passion to be more powerful, from start to finish. So mature that Scott can afford to show the bluesy side of his voice on "Creature", the haunting rock piece (and only song that has electric guitar in it) that closes the album. These guys already got everything there is to get about folk music, they know how to play it and know how to give substance and originality to it.
Thanks to its two combined and limitless talents, CROOKHAVEN has just made a "world album". An opus generating images and atmospheres that are born and die a thousand times during its listening. A captivating record, virtuosic and simple at the same time, the result of a lucky and happy encounter, and the beginning of a great musical adventure that hopefully (because it must!) will know a sequel."
First Album Review: 9/10!!
"Crookhaven was born from a meeting between the french musician Bertrand Legrand and the american singer Scott Dangerfield during a trip to Ireland. This meeting between two music enthusiasts has paid off as the duo today released an amazing first album! Listening to the titles that make up the record, it seems that the two musicians know each other since the dawn of time. It must be said that they agree perfectly and sincerely, I totally fell under their spell, and this from the first piece! Scott's voice makes me shudder, just like the music of Bertrand, but the major asset of the duo is undoubtedly the quality of the compositions! Crookhaven has everything to succeed, and I sincerely hope that you will give them a little help by praising their qualities around you! Such talent deserves to be rewarded!
MA NOTE: 9/10"