Annie Crane calls to mind folk legends Joni Mitchell, Gillian Welch and Sandy Denny and is, according to Nashville documentarian and music writer Craig Havighurst, “refashioning folk music in a modernist and urbane guise.” She has toured the US, Canada and Europe and has shared the stage with folk icon Emmylou Harris. In addition to hearing her on the road, you can hear Annie at Starbucks locations worldwide and on top radio networks such as WXPN in Philadelphia and WFUV in NYC. In October 2011, Annie released her sophomore album, "Jump With a Child's Heart", the followup to her 2009 debut release, "Through the Farmlands and the Cities". "Jump With a Child’s Heart" placed multiple times in the top 50 on the Folk DJ charts at the end of 2011 and is described by Canada’s Exclaim! magazine as “...an album that will undoubtedly serve as a great beacon of her potential.”
“Annie Crane plays fabulous folk with enough thoughtful twang to transport you back in time...” – Time Out New York
Classically trained in her hometown of Rochester, New York at the Eastman School of Music, Annie Crane is now a New Yorker whose blend of folk, Americana and traditional Celtic sounds transport listeners to worldly locales while retaining an urban edge that is the unmistakable influence of her adopted city. The theme of Crane’s sophomore album Jump With A Child’s Heart, the follow-up to her 2009 debut Through The Farmlands & The Cities, explores what it means to come to the city with the dream and what it takes to make it come true.
The album’s title track speaks to those dreamers directly. “The song reminds them that without giving time effort, time will owe you nothing,” Crane explains. “It is me asking them to do it without complaint, to do it honestly and with the purity of a child’s heart. This sentiment is what this album is for me; committing to a goal and seeing it through in the face of self-doubt and practical thinking, knowing that time will one day tell me the outcome, but that I am the one who can define it.”
Crane’s own commitment to her goals has resulted in mythical songs that weave together classic 60’s folk, indie pop and rock, traditional Irish music and Americana influences arriving at a unique sound that is confident and all her own. Reminding of legends such as Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell and Gillian Welch, Crane has reached far and wide with her music with live performances logged from Copenhagen to Kentucky and from Berlin to Albany. In Paris, Crane was recognized as “one of the most pure talents from the real New York scene” and in Nashville she shared the stage with one of her icons, Emmylou Harris.
Crane has also played the essential NYC rooms that have launched so many beloved songwriters before her. Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End and The Living Room all saw Annie Crane performances soon after her move to New York in 2006. “It was really with my move that I began pursuing a music career,” Crane says. “I worked a 9AM to 7PM day job, came home and practiced guitar every night.” It was at the famed Sidewalk Cafe that Crane began to climb the ladder. “I started hitting open mics and by the end of the year I was attending the Sidewalk’s ‘Anti-Hoot’ every Monday night for about a year. It was there that I gained recognition and support.”
Two of the supporters Crane met during that period include fellow songwriters Frank Hoier and Eric Wolfson. Hoier went on to co-produce and perform on Jump With A Child’s Heart and Wolfson not only plays on the new record, but he is now Crane’s husband. Of the new album, recorded at Red Hook, Brooklyn’s Ohm Studios and due out on October 4th, 2011 via Constant Clip Records, Crane says, “I see this album as a step towards the kind of artist I aim to be. One that is true to what I have to offer. I feel more at home with this record than I do with anything I’ve done before.”
In addition to Hoier and Wolfson, guests on Jump With A Child’s Heart include trumpeter Jason Benjamin, founder of The Red Hook Ramblers, Sarah Bowman of internationally acclaimed Americana duo, The Bowmans, and banjo maven Alexa Woodward. Along with the title track, other songs on the record detail many of Crane’s New York City experiences including “Money Only Hates Me” about a period in 2008 when Crane lost her voice. “Instead of it coming back in a few weeks, it remained somewhere far away for nearly three months which caused me to lose my job as a tour guide,” Crane remembers. “I eventually started working at a chain restaurant where I did my best to keep talking to a minimum and creeped out many a customer by leaning in too close to speak. As my voice slowly came back, I wrote this song.”
“’Hells Gate’ was written for a benefit compilation after the BP oil spill In it, I compare the oil to the Biblical creature Leviathan, the monster that guards Hell’s gate and who, in old sailor myth, is the monster that attacks ships at sea.” Additional album highlights include “Ghost Body” which Crane describes as her “Flannery O’Connor-influenced literary piece; dark and painfully truthful. It’s the story of an old man’s ghost looking down on his dead body and hearing what his wife has to say about him when she thinks no one else is listening.”
“Copenhagen Heart” is a true story of Crane’s first European tour, a trip unexpectedly extended due to the volcanic ash from Iceland which closed down all air travel in Europe for nearly a week. “I was struck in Paris, which would normally be a dream, but it was a month or so before my wedding and I desperately wanted to be home.” The solo track “Salinger Said” takes the idea from J.D. Salinger’s “Franny & Zooey,” that it is harder to be an everyday, regular person than it is to be someone in the limelight.
“Am I good enough to pursue what I’m pursuing or should I take the harder road and just be ‘normal’ where I get no applause for, say, cooking?” It’s a reasonable question and one that is succinctly answered when spending time listening to Annie Crane’s Jump With A Child’s Heart. It is a record that shows off the talents of an accomplished singer and songwriter continuing to fulfill her potential. Chances are that she would probably earn plenty applause as a cook too.
“Annie Crane plays fabulous folk with enough thoughtful twang to transport you back in time…”. - Time Out NY
"It is refreshing to hear a musician as authentic as Annie Crane." - Columbus Wired
“...an album that will undoubtedly serve as a great beacon of her potential.” - Exclaim!
"Her lilting, Celtic-inspired voice is prone to soaring. It’s quite beautiful, and she knows it..." - Independent Clauses
"This album is, on a lyrical level alone, a true folk record..." - Old Fridge Can Kill (in reference to Jump with a Child's Heart)
“'Jump With a Child’s Heart' is carefully and lovingly crafted, and a perfect addition right next to records by Kathleen Edwards, Patty Griffin, and Lucinda Williams.” - Popmatters
"Between the sincerity of Crane's lyrical content and her ability to write the sort of tunes to back them, Annie Crane is an artist to follow". - SSG Music
"The highlight of the evening: Annie Crane [whose] voice was astounding..." - Richmond Playlist
"Annie is one of the most pure talents from the real New York scene... there is nothing to fault with one of the most engaging records of the moment”. - Xroads Magazine (in reference to Through the Farmlands & the Cities)
“Finally, here’s a girl-guitar combo that is unapologetic but never angsty”. - Urban Folk
“Crane’s proven that her gentle brand of country folk carries just as much weight as the ‘insurgent’ stuff I’m regularly drawn to… In a more just world, ‘I’ll Be Right Here’ would get as much airplay as ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’ (or some other dogshit young country track)”. - Jezebel Music
XRoads Magazine, France. Review by Sam Pierre:
Columbus Wired, Columbus OH. Review by Ashley Musgrave:
Exclaim!, Canada. Review by Randi Beers:
XRoads Magazine, France. Review by Sam Pierre:
The Collegiate Times, Blacksburg VA. Review by Mika Maloney:
The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester NY. Review by Jeff Spevak:
Knoxville Sentinel, Knoxville TN. Review by Wayne Bledsoe: