Tas Cru and The Tortured Souls, Shawn Pittman

Six Springs Presents

Tas Cru and The Tortured Souls

Shawn Pittman

Fri Feb 1

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 10:59 pm)

$9.00 - $15.00

Tas Cru and The Tortured Souls - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Tas Cru and The Tortured Souls
Raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru's songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today. It’s not for nothing that Cru has received wide praise for his songwriting. As Downbeat magazine noted, "His songs are blues poetry - crafted with rare verbal flair and his ability to cast a memorable hook is magical!" Live, these songs are performed with power and passion as observed by Living Blues magazine, "The vivacity and sheer joy with which Cru plays is intoxicating!"

Tas Cru is based out of upstate New York and performs in multiple formats ranging from solo acoustic to a 7 piece-backing band. He sings and plays a wide variety of guitars - at home on either electric, acoustic, resonator or cigar box. Tas is a Delaney Guitars (Austin TX) endorsed artist.

In his early bands, Tas was introduced to the great Sun Records sound and the country blues that later served as a counterpoint to the rock-blues he idolized as did so many young aspiring guitar players of his time. Cru grew up in a very musical and generally unquirky family (except for him). Unlike his talented brother and sisters, he did not pursue music in school. A brief attempt to play the trombone abruptly ended after being kicked by his 7th grade music teacher who’s name actually was A (alden) Sharpe! Tas says he deserved it. Instead Cru explored and developed his talent by taking up with a rougher crowd of older, self-taught musicians where he was introduced to the songs of the Sun Records legends. His first foray into the blues came after leaving the US Navy when he was asked to join a band formed by a former shipmate named Delray Streeter, an Arkansas-raised bluesman with boundless bravado and attitude but rather limited singing and even lesser harmonica skills. This partnership, though short-lived, proved to be very influential as Streeter's repertoire tended toward the older, rough-hewn country blues. Cru's schooling in country blues later served him well and is heard in his original songs along with the Sun Records and, of course his rock-blues influences.

His latest album, Memphis Song completes a trifecta of Tas Cru’s creativity that began with his breakthrough effort, You Keep the Money (2014) and followed by the award-winning Simmered and Stewed. Released this June,Memphis Song showcases Cru’s talents as an acclaimed songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. This album’s title track features long time friend Victor Wainwright on piano along with Victor’s guitar player, Pat Harrington putting down some soulful slide work.

You Keep the Money grabbed the attention of blues radio worldwide, debuting on the prestigious Living Blues Radio Chart at #2 and, quite noteworthy, debuting #1 on the Roots Music Report Blues Radio Chart. Simmered & Stewed alsoenjoyed wide airplay including being featured as a BB King's Bluesville "Pick to Click" on SiriusXM radio. Likewise it made its way on to the highly regarded Living Blues Chart and resided at or near the top of the Roots Music Report’s Blues Chart for most of 2017. Simmered and Stewed earned Cru consideration for several prestigious awards (Syracuse Area Music Awards - best blues album / Independent Blues Awards - best contemporary artist, best song Grizzle n’ Bone, best band /International Blues Foundation Blues Music Awards – best emerging artist). On the strength of these two albums Tas has since performed at several major blues festivals and notable venues and now is bringing Memphis Song to these stages in 2018.

In addition to his best-known albums is Tas' 2009 release, Even Bugs Sing the Blues, an album of original blues music for kids based on book characters from the works of acclaimed author-illustrator, Eric Carle. In 2016 he recorded a blues album for dog lovers called Doggone Blues. As a Blues Foundation, Keeping the Blues Alive award recipient, besides performing, Cru brings his award-winning Blues Education programs and workshops to festivals, schools, and hospitals everywhere he travels.
Shawn Pittman - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Shawn Pittman
Although he’s often closely associated with the Lone Star State since originally taking up residence in Dallas, Texas in the early ‘90s, vocalist/guitarist Shawn Pittman is actually an Oklahoma native. Pittman was born in the small town of Talihina and raised in Norman, a city located in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. At eight years old he began taking piano lessons under the encouragement of his mother, but later began sneaking into his older brother’s room to play on his drum kit. By the age of fourteen he had switched to guitar and was soon introduced to the mysterious sounds of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Muddy Waters by Bracken Hale, a good friend and member of his seventh grade football team. Their friendship would prove significant as Hale would later collaborate with Shawn on writing material for many of his albums.

Pittman moved to Dallas, Texas when he was seventeen years old where he attended the Booker T Washington High School of the Performing Arts. He later dropped out, but picked up his music education courtesy of his uncle who would take him over to the Schooner’s jam in Dallas where he first met Sam Myers. According to Pittman, “Sam Myers was one of the best musicians I’ve ever played with!” Additional guidance and inspiration came by way of local area musicians Mike Morgan and Hash Brown. His first album, “Blues From Dallas,” was recorded in 1996 and later picked up and retooled for his national debut in ’97 as “Burnin’ Up” on the short-lived Cannonball Records label. His second album, “Something’s Gotta Give,” was produced by Jim Gaines and followed in ’98. Pittman toured as rhythm guitarist for Susan Tedeschi briefly in ’99, just long enough to make a television appearance with her on the Conan O’Brian Show. The following year he relocated to Austin and recorded his third album “Full Circle,” backed by Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section Double Trouble. In 2004, a more experimental and adventurous album titled “Stay” was released. After a much needed break from the music business, as well as some serious soul-searching from 2005-2008, Pittman returned to performing and made a plan to record one album per year. By mid-2010 he already had five independently released recordings under his belt! This flurry of activity eventually led to a new record contract with Delta Groove and plans were immediately set in motion to record yet another album.

“Edge Of The World” marks Shawn Pittman’s tenth release and contains an inspired program of original material by an accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist, recalling all the vintage tones and ambiance of the great blues recordings of the 1950’s and ’60’s. Even more astonishing is the fact that Shawn plays virtually every instrument on the CD, handling everything from vocals and guitar, to bass, drums and piano, on top of doubling as the album’s producer and engineer! Special guest Jonathan Doyle (Mighty Blue Kings, Jimmy Sutton’s Four Charms, White Ghost Shivers) represents the album’s only other personnel by contributing tenor & baritone saxophone on four songs. When asked to comment about the inspiration behind his latest and most ambitious project Pittman simply states “I’m just playing the music I want to hear!”
Venue Information:
Six Springs Tavern
147 N Plano Rd
Richardson, TX, 75081