Dean Craw­ford’s coun­try tunes to head­line Es­sex Day

The Avenue News - - ESSEX DAY -

It’s not Es­sex Day without mu­sic! Thanks to the part­ner­ship with Star­leigh En­ter­tain­ment, the main stage will be rocked by the coun­try mu­si­cal stylings of Dean Craw­ford and the Dunn’s River Band start­ing at 5 p.m.

“We are re­ally ex­cited to spon­sor the Es­sex Day Fes­ti­val this year,” said Rob Baier, pres­i­dent of Star­leigh En­ter­tain­ment. “This is a great op­por­tu­nity to get in­volved with this long-stand­ing com­mu­nity event and show­case our lo­cal bands who have many fans through­out East­ern Bal­ti­more County. We are look­ing for­ward to pro­vid­ing an al­ls­tar lineup for this year’s Es­sex Day!”

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.

Craw­ford made a name for him­self af­ter win­ning the Song­writer of the Year in 2015 and Coun­try En­ter­tainer of the Year in 2016 at the Mary­land Mu­sic Awards. He is most known for per­form­ing high-en­ergy con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional coun­try mu­sic hits with back-up from his six-piece band.

With over 500 songs and 5 al­bums to his name, Craw­ford said his song­writ­ing is most in­flu­enced by the work of Dolly

Par­ton, Garth Brooks and Con­way Twitty.

“In a time when many coun­try artists seem to blend in with a sim­i­lar look and sound, Dean Craw­ford and the Dunn’s River Band stand out as dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent in these two most im­por­tant

and defin­ing cat­e­gories,” states the band’s web­site.

Craw­ford re­leased his fifth al­bum ear­lier this year, which he called a “la­bor of love”. The lead sin­gle “Wrap Me Around in … Red, White and Blue” was in­spired by cur­rent events and the divi­sion he saw among the com­mu­nity,

“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 told the Av­enue News last year. “I just want to do mu­sic for peo­ple who love me and love coun­try mu­sic.”

Craw­ford and Dunn’s have opened up for no­table Nashville greats such as Neal McCoy, Buddy Jewel, Mont­gomery Gentry,

Jamie O’Neil, Bucky Cov­ing­ton. How­ever, they are most known for their per­for­mances across the tri-state area, at fes­ti­vals, spe­cial events, and clubs, play­ing over a dozen venues ev­ery month.

“A faith­ful and grow­ing fan base is what keeps this group on the rise with sold out ap­pear­ances and sou­venir sales that eclipse any other group in the re­gion,” states the band’s web­site.

The Dunn’s River Band is made up of Kenny Wise on fid­dle, man­dolin, acous­tic gui­tar and vo­cals, Bobby Lawrence on drums, Billy Co­ley on the steel gui­tar, Bobby Mur­phy on lead gui­tar and vo­cals, Mike Clark on bass gui­tar, and Randy Den­myer and Brooke Lawrence on sound and op­er­a­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Dean Craw­ford, visit www.sim­ply­dean. com.

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