It's Just Craig

Sun King Brewery & MOKB Present

It's Just Craig

Von Strantz, J Kelly, The McDonalds

Fri, June 30, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

It's Just Craig
It's Just Craig
It’s Just Craig started as a planned mid-life crisis just before Craig’s 40th Birthday. Craig ran off to San Francisco with ten songs and six friends, Elijah Ford, John Vanderslice, Marc Ford, Kirsten Ford, Jason Slota and Rob Shelton. They put those ten songs on two inch tape at Tiny Telephone and convinced Bernie Grundman to master the record and cut the lacquers. And, with that, Blood On The Table was born.

In today’s world, when making an album you can fix everything – pitch shifting vocals, playing parts to death until they are “perfect” manipulating everything until you’ve completely removed the soul from the original song. We intentionally didn’t do that. All the songs on Blood On The Table were done with the drums, initial guitar, keys and vocals together and usually in one or two takes. Sure, there are mistakes, but they translate as cool moments, they communicate the essence of the songs they are in. They give the record life. As J.V. is fond of saying, “You have to be willing to leave a little blood on the table.”

Craig didn’t know what to expect when putting out the record. He didn’t expect to be asked to play at his favorite Indianapolis venue (the HiFi), guest on The DoitIndy Radio Hour, be featured on amazing music blogs like the Revue, to have his album featured at Record Store Day at Luna Music, to have his story written up in the Indiana Lawyer, to play seven shows – including opening for Jenny O.and Robert Ellis (two of Craig’s personal favorites), to have more than 1,000 copies in circulation (digital, CD, & Vinyl), to have people streaming it every single day, to licence a song for commercial use … and who would have expected significant radio airplay in Europe? Certainly not Craig.

When M.P. Cavalier interviewed Craig for the DoitIndy Radio Hour, he asked what was next for It’s Just Craig. Going into the interview, Craig had expected the radio show to be the bookend on the project. Write ten songs, record them with amazing friends and musicians, have them mastered by an icon, release them on all formats, sell out the HiFi, and do a radio performance and interview seemed like all one could ask for. However, over that twenty minutes, Craig realized how important creating had become for him. He realized he didn’t know how to, or want to stop. He realized, inevitably, there would be more.

Now, Craig has written eight more songs, and with the same core group of friends, and with Jess and Kelsey from Von Strantz, they are recording album #2, tentatively titled Dark Corners, starting March 31, 2017, in Oakland, CA at Tiny Telephone Oakland.

This album is a concept album that follows the journey of a cargo boat captain from the moment he leaves home, on his sometimes lonely journey, getting stranded within view of his destination port, fighting (or not fighting) temptations of the sea, struggling with being out of sync with his partner on land, and ultimately deciding whatever it was he was deciding, of course he’s too late, and whichever direction is no longer open to him, so he sails off alone, still thinking of what he missed.
Von Strantz
Von Strantz
"If you don't have a soul child, you're gonna have one by the time we're done." Jess Strantz, the founder and main vocalist of Von Strantz, declares between songs to the audience and band surrounding her. She exchanges glances with Kelsey Horton, violinist and multi-instrumentalist and then winks at the crowd. Von Strantz writes music, as Jess will say, "created for real depth and real community . . . what's important is that we be humans and love each other."

The sound of Von Strantz is described simply as folk n' roll, akin to the tradition of Over the Rhine and the sacredness of The Vespers; the instrumentals stir the soul much like Mumford and Sons.

Utilizing a variety of instruments such as the mandolin, violin, bass, and cello, Von Strantz unites harmonies strung together by commanding and soulful lyrics. With story-sharing as their passion, Von Strantz invites their audience into the emotion of each piece. Von Strantz is storytellers, an ebb and flow of two different musicians, exploring the dark and emerging with hope.

Von Strantz released their first self-titled EP in early 2013, and has also released "Narratives Chapter I: Troubled Souls" March of 2014 & "Narratives Chapter II: The Line" August of 2014. The band has traveled extensively, booking more than 400 shows since January 2014, including Electric Forest, Hard Rock Cafe, Schuba's, Paper City Music Fest, Audiofeed, Starry Night 2013 & 2014 ,Steel Bridge Music Fest 2013 & 2014, and has shared the stage with some of their favorite artists, My Brightest Diamond, Over The Rhine, Howie Day & A Silent Film. Von Strantz's new EP "Narratives Chapter III: Eighteen Eighteen" is out now!
Venue Information:
1043 Virginia Ave #4
Indianapolis, IN, 46203