Catch­ing up with Dean Craw­ford

Dunn’s River Band one of 11 acts at Sun­set in the Coun­try

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: LISA HAR­LOW

The award-win­ning Dean Craw­ford and the Dunn’s River Band first started out more than 20 years ago in the east side of the county, so it’s ap­pro­pri­ate they are head­ing back here this week­end to per­form in Sun­set in the Coun­try, a two-day coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val at Sun­set Cove in Bow­leys Quar­ters.

Hosted by Kory Gar­ri­son of Marshall Law, Sun­set in the Coun­try, now in its third year, will be held on Satur­day and Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 14 and 15 and fea­ture 11 live bands, me­chan­i­cal bull rides, dis­counted drink spe­cials, give­aways and more. Tick­ets may be pur­chased in ad­vance for $25, which in­cludes ad­mis- sion for both days.

“We are re­ally ex­cited. This is the big­gest Sun­set in the Coun­try yet the first time it has been a two-day event,” said Craw­ford. “Ev­ery coun­try band in town is go­ing to be there. We have a re­ally strong fan base in this part of the county and we are re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.”

A Ja­maican-born singer/song­writer, Craw­ford moved to Bal­ti­more in 1990 and quickly be­came a part of the mu­sic scene. Af­ter meet­ing band mate Kenny Wise at a karaoke bar, they of­fi­cially

formed Dean Craw­ford and the Dunn’s River Band in 1996 and started play­ing gigs in the Es­sex and Dun­dalk ar­eas.

To­day, Craw­ford, who won the Song­writer of the Year in 2015 and Coun­try En­ter­tainer of the Year in 2016 at the Mary­land Mu­sic Awards, has writ­ten more than 500 songs. He is cur­rently work­ing on his fifth al­bum.

“My new al­bum has been a la­bor of love. It’s go­ing a lit­tle slow, but I have sev­eral dif­fer­ent pro­duc­ers I’m work­ing with. I’m try­ing to ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent tech­niques and styles that I’ve not pre­vi­ously done be­fore, but I’m still keep­ing it coun­try,” he said. “I’m try­ing to keep my­self fresh in all re­spects.”

Craw­ford says he has 10-11 songs recorded and would like to have 15-16 com­pleted be­fore he chooses the best 13 for his al­bum, which is sched­uled to be re­leased on­line by the holidays and on CD early next year.

He just re­leased the lead­off sin­gle “Wrap Me Around in … Red, White and Blue” on iTunes, which was in­spired by cur­rent events.

“With ev­ery­thing go­ing on in the world and the ten­sion in pol­i­tics, ev­ery­thing is just toxic. At the end of the day, we are all still Amer­i­cans. We need to get over it and just come to­gether for the good of the coun­try. This might fall on deaf ears, but it’s im­por­tant to me,” he said. “I just want to do mu­sic for peo­ple who love me and love coun­try mu­sic.”

At Sun­set in the Coun­try, Dean Craw­ford and the Dunn’s River Band will be play­ing songs from past al­bums along with pop­u­lar cov­ers. Sun­set in the Coun­try will also fea­ture lo­cal fa­vorites Marshall Law, Rob Byer Band and Mark Bray. A com­plete sched­ule is be­low.

“I want to thank Kory for or­ga­niz­ing this fes­ti­val and hav­ing us be a part of it,” said Craw­ford. “We are go­ing to play for our peo­ple the real coun­try fans. They’re go­ing to bring it, so we’re go­ing to bring it.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about Dean Craw­ford and the Dunn’s River Band’s up­com­ing con­certs, in­clud­ing Can­cun Cantina in Hanover, Md. for New Year’s Eve, you can go to www.sim­ply­dean.com.

Sun­set in the Coun­try 2017

Satur­day & Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 14 & 15

Sun­set Cove, 3408 Red Rose Farm Road, Bal­ti­more, MD 21220

Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 14

Jon Boeche DJ’s at 1:00 Boot N Rally 2:30-4:00 Ron­nie Wayne 4:15-5:45 Old Line Vinyl 6:00-7:30 Mark Bray 7:45-9:15 Walk Ins Wel­come 9:3011:00

Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 15

Red Dirt Rev­o­lu­tion 12:302:00 Case & Bar­ley 2:15-3:45 Dean Craw­ford and the Dunn’s River Band 4:00-5:30 Rob Byer Band 5:45-7:15 Marshall Law 7:30-9:00

Tick­ets:

Week­end pass tick­ets will be $25 in ad­vance, $30 at the door. Ev­ery pa­tron will re­ceive a com­mem­o­ra­tive wrist­band that will be good for en­try all week­end long. There will be no in­di­vid­ual day ticket sales, only passes that are good for all week­end. For tick­ets and more in­for­ma­tion, go to http://sun­setinthe­coun­try.myevent.com/.

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