This production has one extraordinary aspect, and that
is the original music written, arranged and performed by Lee
Heuermann and Craig Rafuse... the biting lyrics have been beautifully
set... and the songs meld gracefully into the show--in fact,
they give it virtually all of its strongest scenes.
...Craig Rafuse, a new initiate to the fretboard fraternity
of Andy Irwin and Ray Chesna... is smaller in physical stature
than his labelmates but packs as much musical muscle.
More about Craig
Craig Rafuse is a master carpenter, a musician, and an activist who has been involved in performing music and theater for 35 years. He's wandered through this country and through Europe and the Middle East. He's influenced by Chet Atkins, the Beatles, Phil Ochs, the Grateful Dead, Woody Guthrie, Thelonius Monk, and Pig Iron and the Back Bayou Band, not to mention Bertholt Brecht. He's sung for politicians in the statehouse (powered by hot air) and anti-nuke activists (powered by solar energy). He's especially proud of his involvement with community-oriented musicial efforts such as those of Joyce Brookshire, Amanda Perdrew and Brenda Boozer.
Craig's music is eclectic and incredibly beautiful. Harmonies and accompaniment are rich and varied, showing a jazz influence here, a folk/traditional influence there. Chord changes and rhythms are complex. Space is everywhere, providing delightful opportunities for the listener to catch up and sink in.
In addition to being a fine instrumentalist, Craig writes attention-holding lyrics. By turns, charming, witty, and satirical, his eclecticism takes him from the frustrations of the small businessman to political greed, to youthful waywardness, and to finding time for love and life in a world beset by hurry. The final song on Promise Land, written just after the death of Jerry Garcia, is a heartfelt tribute to one of Craig's favorite musicians.
Craig would be pleased if you would read his self-introduction.
Craig's long-time collaborator, Bill Fleming, has issued a CD of 14 songs - 2 each played by 7 different bands including: Redneck Greece DeLuxe, Hair of the Dog, Good Medicine, Gopher Broke, Delta Angels, and the Expand Band. Each band plays a tune of Bill's and one by somebody else in the band. Expand Band recorded Bill's Let It Rock and Craig's Fleas at Exocet Studios.
|Promise Land track list and media files.|
With appearances by: