The Band: The great thing about local coffee houses is that it brings together musicians in different configurations for one up situations that often leads onto more permanent arrangements. Case in point, when Beth Crawley (vocals and guitar) and Rod Wilson (mandolin) rehearsed a couple of songs for a LOCALS COFFEE HOUSE it turned out to be a good mix. Every band needs a name and, given that the coffee house was held at the Studio/Stage Door that just happens to be on 11th Avenue in Cranbrook, and given that we didn’t think the musical configuration was going to be permanent, a stopover so to speak, the 11th Avenue Stopover seemed to be a natural moniker for the duo.
Beth Crawley grew up in Ontario listening to classical and big band music as a child and took three years of conservatory piano lessons. She always enjoyed singing in those early and teen years; singing casually with her sisters though none played a musical instrument. Beth picked up the guitar as an adult to fulfill a dream of accompanying herself on an instrument while singing. She enjoys playing mostly traditional and contemporary folk tunes. Notable influences on her choices of music and style of playing include Bob Dylan, Eric Bogle, Gordon Lightfoot, David Francey and Peter, Paul and Mary.
Rod Wilson has been singing and playing guitar for many years and in more recent times has ventured into the exploration of other stringed instruments such as Irish Bouzouki and Cittern. The mandolin has never really grabbed his imagination. In fact he thought mandolin players and their fanatical attachment to such a small insignificant instrument was a sure sign of lunacy. More ever, in the hands of bluegrass players the music just seemed to be both too frantic and predictable. However, the similarities in tuning to the Irish Bouzouki made the idea of a transition to Mandolin an interesting possibility. He acquired an English made Fylde round hole Celtic Mandolin and in a very short time the melodic possibilities of the instrument had him hooked. The attraction for him is the opportunity for melodic exploration when used as an accompanying instrument and the bell like chiming of the notes that perhaps only the performer can really hear to advantage.
The Music: Both performers have a great love of traditional music. Although Rod tends to gravitate towards instrumental music both he and Beth love a good story and songs that tell a good story. If the story isn’t in the song then a good narrative in the background serves the same purpose. That is the strength of traditional songs that have been around for many, many years. It does not seem to matter how the song may have been altered over the years its inherent strength still tends to shine through. It is this inherent strength that a number of modern song writers have tapped into. They may not be traditional but sure sound it.
11th Avenue Stopover is available to perform at social functions, restaurants, Coffee Houses and private functions and they can be contacted by phoning Beth Crawley at 250-489-0856 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org