Blues submissions requested! Guest writers always welcome!!

I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bman's Exclusive Interview: Alex "Crankshaft" Larson


Bman: Hi Crankshaft. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I stumbled on your music on Youtube a few months ago and I really dug your style. I have a particular love for guys who are willing put it all out there by themselves.

So when did you learn to play guitar?

Crankshaft: I learned how to play guitar in 1996 when I was 12. How I got my first guitar is a hilarious story. My uncle had a Squire Strat and Marshal amp that he didn't use. I wanted it really bad. He also was planning on building a shop to work on heavy equipment at on some property he purchased the year before. Right about the same time my step dad replaced the old combination wood/oil furnace (which you can burn used motor oil in from a shop) in our basement with a new natural gas one. He tried to sell it in the paper for a couple weeks and gave up. He told me if my dad or any of his friends would like to have it they were welcome to take it for free. So I jumped at the opportunity, I offered it to my uncle if he would give me his Squire! I think that pretty much sums it up. I was destined to become self employed!

Bman: I think you are on the right track. I really enjoy your deal. Your photos and videos that I have seen show you playing an old Silveretone. I love primitive gear as well. Is that what you have been recording with?


Crankshaft: Yep, I love the sound of that thing! I've recorded three CDs with that guitar now.

Bman: I have an old Bobcat with the gold foil pickups but want to get one with the Lipstick pickups. They have such a cool tone! What kind of amps are you using for gigs and recording?

Crankshaft: For both gigging and recording I use a Musicmaster Bass amp form the 70's, It has a 12" speaker and I think it's about 12 watts tube so it breaks up at a reasonable volume for gigging. Sound guys love it because it gives them all the control!

Bman: Johnny Winter is also a Musicmaster guy. Check my posting of his amp blowing up on stage.
Bman's Blues Report: Hideaway - Johnny Winter

Who are your primary musical influences? I can hear a lot of things going on but really cool as a solo player like Dr. Isaiah Ross. Gives you a lot of flexibility...but I'll bet taxing as well?

Crankshaft: Oddly enough I wasn't inspired by a one man band to start mine. I just thought it would be a cool thing to do street performing. After awhile of doing that it kinda snowballed on me, now I do music full time! Locally I do both the one man band and do shows with a backing band. Doing three one hour one man band sets I think is actually easier then leading a band! When I'm standing up leading a trio I get really active, I dance, stomp my foot, jump on top of stuff and wiggle the whole time. So when the night is through I'm wiped out. When I'm doing the one man band I get to sit the whole night so that is a bit easier! As far as my influences, for guitar I would say guys like Freddy King, Link Wray, Dale Hawkins, Hubert Sumlin, early Johnny Winter, Steve Cropper, and Elmore James. For song writing I would say hands down my biggest influence is Chuck Berry, a close second Robert Johnson, both of those guys write lyrics in a way that appeals to me.

Bman: Well, that's a great bunch of guys to start with!I also notice that a lot of the photos of you are strewn with debris and rotting "Man cave" metal. I really like that. I suits your sound. I particularly like the dichotomy of you in the brand new tight suit on the souped up bicycle.


Crankshaft: Ya, that's pretty much just my personality! I grew up around heavy equipment so I think it's cool to blend the sharped dressed blues front man look with the low brow junkyard aesthetic. It's ridiculous, but some how cool at the same time! I actually built that bike at my uncles shop when I was 18, it's got a 98cc masonry saw on the back above the rear wheel, and it's fast as hell! We clocked it at 35mph next to my buddy's Ford Ranger when I was in High School! I think people that meet me for the first time don't now what to think about my aesthetic, when I pull up to a gig in my '64 beater station wagon and get out wearing a tailored suit sometimes they laugh and sometimes they are confused! Really, in the end being a performer is just about entertaining people and.... I think I might be doing that?!

Bman: Well, it got my attention. I think it's greaT! So tell me about your new cd, "Lubricated, Loud and Live". I need to get a copy!


Crankshaft: I recorded it at my house gig at the River City Saloon in Anoka, MN. I love the crowd and the attitude of the place, it's a no nonsense biker bar on a busy bar strip in my home town. They have the "If you ain't here to have fun get the F*** out" approach to running a bar and I like that. Every Sunday in the month of June I recorded about an 1 1/2 of what I thought would be the most energetic part of the show onto four track tape. It turned out great, I'm really happy that it captured the energy of the place, the crowd noise is in there too, which I think is cool. On quieter songs you can even hear the bartenders chucking bottles into the trash!

Bman: Actually that's the kind of bars that I prefer. I see that it''s a limited pressing of 500! Are you kidding me? Those will be gone in 3 weeks! Are you going to have a second pressing?

Crankshaft: I don't think so, I like the idea of treating the fans of mine that support me on a regular basis to something that is special, I know that in June someone will ask me if I have anymore copies and they'll be bummed when I tell them they are all gone. I think that my more dedicated fans deserve something unique, because they've earned it. If it wasn't for them I would be out of a job that I love to have!

Bman: I have a copy of your current tour schedule. I'll post that. What else do you have cooking?


Tuesday, November 8th - 6pm - No Cover!
Hell's Kitchen
80 9th St S
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 332-4700
Crankshaft w/Keith
Friday, November 11th - 8pm - No Cover!
River City Saloon
201 Jackson St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 432-0840
Crankshaft w/Elmer
Saturday, November 12th - 3pm
Scott ONeil Benefit
The Friendly Buffalo Bar and Grill
16722 198th Ave NW
Big Lake, MN 55309
(763) 263-7766
Crankshaft (solo)
Saturday, November 12th - 9pm - No Cover!
Pub Monique
112 Main St N
Stillwater, MN 55082
(651) 342-1551
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders
Sunday, November 13th - 6pm - No Cover!
River City Saloon
201 Jackson St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 432-0840
Crankshaft Sundays 1 Year Anniversery!
Plus Live at the R.C.S. CD Release Party!
Thursday, November 17th - 8pm - No Cover!
Tanner's
13655 Martin Street NW
Andover, MN 55304-4654
(763) 767-1500
Crankshaft w/Keith
Friday, November 18th - 8pm - No Cover!
Route 65
18407 Highway 65 NE
Cedar, MN 55011-9558
(763) 413-3550
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders
Sunday, November 20th - 6pm - No Cover!
River City Saloon
201 Jackson St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 432-0840
Crankshaft and friends
Friday, November 25th - 8pm - No Cover!
River City Saloon
201 Jackson St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 432-0840
Crankshaft w/Keith
Sunday, November 27th - 6pm - No Cover!
River City Saloon
201 Jackson St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 432-0840
Crankshaft and friends
Saturday, December 3rd - 9pm - No Cover!
Tanner's
13655 Martin Street NW
Andover, MN 55304-4654
(763) 767-1500
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders
Friday, December 9th - 8pm - No Cover!
River City Saloon
201 Jackson St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 432-0840
Crankshaft w/Elmer
Saturday, December 10th - 8pm - No Cover!
Route 65
18407 Highway 65 NE
Cedar, MN 55011-9558
(763) 413-3550
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders
Thursday, December 15th
Private Party
Crankshaft (solo)
Friday, December 16th - 8pm
Patricks Caberet
3010 Minnehaha Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 724-6273
Crankshaft (solo)
Saturday, December 17th - 9pm - No Cover!
Pub Monique
112 Main St N
Stillwater, MN 55082
(651) 342-1551
Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders
Friday, December 23rd - 8pm - No Cover!
River City Saloon
201 Jackson St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 432-0840
Crankshaft w/TBA


Crankshaft: I'm planning on going out to the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, MS to do some busking and make some connections in April. I'm really looking forward to that! I was able to stop there on my way from NOLA to St. Louis and I loved it there.

Bman:
Is there anything else that you'd like to share with your fans?

Crankshaft: I'm working on recording a song called "Louisiana Bayou Santa" that I wrote on my way back home from New Orleans. The song should be finished for release on Black Friday, and will be FREE to download! To off set cost of recording and paying the rhythm section that will be featured in the recording I'm releasing a short run 12.5x19 screen printed poster inspired by the lyrics of the song, drawn by Minneapolis illustrator DWITT - www.dwitt.com. The posters will be $25 after shipping, or available at any of my shows. There will only be 25 released. This is a break even project for me, I decided to release it for free as a thanks to my fans for their support!

Bman: Thanks a lot for your time. Where can one get a copy of "Lubricated, Loud and Live"?


Crankshaft: It will only be available in physical format, you can buy it via PayPal at my website or I will have them at all of my shows until they are gone! Thanks for the interview! Alex.
“Like” Bman’s Facebook page. We use Facebook to spread the word about our blog. We will not hit you with 50 posts a day. We will not relay senseless nonsense. We use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on our blog each day. In this way we can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here

1 comment: