Constantly surrounded by musical happenings in Potsdam, it's no surprise that some professors want to get in on the fun. Rick Bates, associate professor of Literacy, under the pseudonym Tas Cru (it means "raw potato" in Quebecois), plays blues guitar and sings, often with a backup band. Tas Cru and friends will celebrate the release of his latest album, Grizzle n' Bone at McDuff's on Saturday, April 11 at 9 p.m.
When Tas Cru plays slide guitar, harmonica and sings, there's absolutely no holding back. His emotional investment in the music is clear and certainly infectious. Cru takes the blues and makes it his own. His songs range from upbeat and catchy to slow and truly bluesy. The mix is sure to make for an entertaining night.
At the CD release party he will be joined by Chip Lamson on the piano, the Slow Happy Boys band and the Stacked Deck Singers, namely Jenny Macri, Meaghan Manor and Montana Rodriguez. Local band The Moistmakers, playing funk and jazz that gets audiences to their feet, will open the show.
The Blues Festival Guide recognized Tas Cru as this year's "Blues Artist on the Rise." He has appeared at clubs all over the country with some well-known artists. He also presents assemblies and workshops in elementary schools through his blues education program, Blues Alive! The program involves general music, literacy and social studies in conjunction with his unique style. Tas Cru keeps a busy touring schedule and will make appearances in the North Country, Vermont and Albany area throughout the spring and summer.
The Grizzle n' Bone release party will be held at McDuff's (59 Market St.) on April 11 at 9 p.m. The event is open to everyone 18 and older. Advance sale tickets are available at McDuff's and Northern Music & Video and cost $5. Entry will cost $8 the night of the show.