The long-awaited and much anticipated new album “Dirt Road’s End” from Sugarcane Jane is scheduled to be officially released on April 28th. Those of us who follow Sugarcane Jane could not be happier for them and it’s exciting to see what is taking place.
Anthony and Savana Crawford, aka Sugarcane Jane, open up for their friend Steve Winwood’s Birmingham, AL show on May 2; a scheduled series of shows with Steve Forbert; and much more over the coming weeks and months are set to happen. Add that to touring with the band Willie Sugarcapps* (which also includes Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes & Will Kimbrough), they are going to be quite busy.
*At the end of 2014, The Southland Music Line named Willie Sugarcapps as “Artist of the Year” and we saw its members ‘individually or together’ more than we did anyone else over the course of those twelve months.
For the last few months, we’ve been wanting to feature Anthony and Savana in something special at The Southland Music Line. One of the things we decided was to ask friends and fans of Sugarcane Jane to say a few words about what they mean to them personally. Several expressed interest in wanting to be a part. (At the end of this article we are sharing what many were able to get to us prior to the completion of this article. We have received replies up until the time of this article being posted. It’s very likely more could be added, but the main reason for doing this is to show what others think about Anthony and Savana.) They are much more than musicians and entertainers; they are amazing examples of people that make everyone who attend their shows or meet them, feel special – not just fans, but friends. Their balance of homelife with family and chosen profession is one to admire. A mixture of extreme talent, humorous stories of their children and life at home has created a growing following throughout their home region along the Gulf Coast and expanding nationwide. One reason they appeal to others is ‘they are relatable’ and we all are made to feel a part of their lives.
My first experience with Sugarcane Jane came from Stephen Anderson and Robby Amonett’s encouragement to visit Jack’s by the Tracks in Pascagoula, MS. After several invitations to meet them there, I noticed that ‘the husband-wife duo called Sugarcane Jane’ would be performing. I noticed that Sugarcane Jane included Anthony Crawford that I knew had performed with Neil Young in at least one of his bands, The Shocking Pinks. I was a huge fan of that somewhat infamous 1983 album “Everybody’s Rockin” from Neil Young & the Shocking Pinks and had a good memory of the video from the song “Wonderin” which actually featured Anthony riding around in a convertible with fellow bandmates singing in Doo-wahs.
Surely, I had to see what Sugarcane Jane was all about. From the very first show at Jack’s to the substantial number since, I’ve come to appreciate them for all the reasons mentioned earlier and the talent goes without saying. More recently, I’ve learned I had seen Anthony perform long before I saw him and Savana perform that evening at Jack’s – while he was touring with both Steve Winwood and Neil Young & The International Harvesters. (he has also performed with Sonny James, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash and others; plus written songs for Kenny Rogers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lee Greenwood etc.)
It’s no wonder so many continue to express their appreciation for Sugarcane Jane. The shows at Jack’s by the Tracks, The Shed, Flora-Bama, Callaghan’s, Laps on the Causeway and so many other places are always a joy. The show at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm with Steve Forbert is one of my favorites in recent memory, but then again, so many are.
“Dirt Road’s End” is receiving positive reviews for a reason – it provides a window into a much larger picture of who Sugarcane Jane is and which longtime fans already know. For those who have never heard the music of Sugarcane Jane, this is the perfect introduction. “Dirt Road’s End” starts with the auto-biographical fan favorite, “The Ballad of Sugarcane Jane” and continues down a musical journey of songs: “The Game”, “San Andreas”, “Home Nights”, “Louisiana”, “Pedigree”, “Heartbreak Road”, “Not Another Truck Song”, “Sugar” and finally “Glory Bound”. It’s one musical journey worth repeating over and over.
The album c0-produced with legendary Buzz Cason, the famed Americana/Roots music singer-songwriter is being released on his ArenA Recordings / eOne Entertainment. Sugarcane Jane fans will be pleased to hear some familiar tunes, but sounding completely fresh and new. Anthony’s superior skills as a musician and songwriter are fully intact combining a perfect blending of voices with Savana.
Sugarcane Jane’s music is called Organic Music at its Finest – “Dirt Road’s End” lives up to that saying to the fullest!
“Personally, I want to thank Anthony and Savana for their kindness, warmth and friendship shown to me and The Southland Music Line. They have provided me with many evenings of great music and, above all, an admirable example of how to blend a marriage, family with children and a career. Thank you!”
Johnny Cole, Travelin Man | Writer
The Mississippi Gulf Coast
The following are more samples of the kind of things often said about Anthony and Savana, aka Sugarcane Jane:
“Anthony and Savana put the Sugar into Willie Sugarcapps with Savana’s sweet, pure vocals and Anthony’s ability to play most any stringed instrument. By themselves, Sugarcane Jane has the ability to entertain all audiences, from the youngest to the oldest member with each audience member finding something special and personal to take away from each performance.”
“Sugarcane Jane, Anthony and Savana, have been great mentors, great musical/business partners, and great friends. These two are so incredibly talented on their own, but when you see them perform together it is nothing short of magic. Their connection is one that doesn’t happen often, the kind that draws everyone in and people talk about for years to come. Anthony and Savana have inspired me musically and pushed me to not be afraid to try new things and take charge of my own destiny. I am forever grateful and they’ll always be some of the coolest people on the planet to me. I heart Sugarcane Jane!”
Cary Laine, Singer/Songwriter from Alabama
“We’re so lucky to live in their neck of the woods…we go see them every opportunity that we get. They never cease to amaze and no two shows are ever alike but, we love every show!”
Ron and Cindy Thamert
Mississippi Gulf Coast
“Love of music, love of family are equally celebrated through the music of Savana and Anthony. It’s a dynamic combination, especially when combined with such awesome talent!”
Simone Lipscomb, Photographer
Magnolia Springs, Alabama
“I may be a little biased because I’m playing in a band with these two, but I love Sugarcane Jane, because they blend together everything I love about country music; rock ‘n roll and deep southern music. They harmonize gorgeously together and they create a raw propulsive rhythm that reminds me of a church service from the 1940s, or an old Chicago blues record from the 1950s. It’s hot and Lonesome Appalachian and it’s also lowdown rock ‘n roll. To ask anymore out of two people would be just too much. Sugarcane Jane is amazing and beautiful.”
Will Kimbrough, musician, member of Willie Sugarcapps
“Anthony and Savana Lee are gypsies in the truest sense, old world magic, old world wisdoms, ancient musicality. I have nothing but love for them both.”
Scott Nolan, musician
“They are great musicians and great people. Anthony and Savana are the best singers I’ve ever worked with. When I was playing with them, people would ask, ‘Why aren’t you singing?’ I would say, ‘They’ve got it covered.’ I mean, you never heard anyone singing a third part with the Everly Brothers.”
Jimmy Lee Hannaford, singer-songwriter and former Sugarcane Jane bassist
“Sugarcane Jane (Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford) always leave me feeling pure joy! Their shows are always changing and evolving using their original, authentic music and amazing musicianship. Their harmonies are pure magic! Anthony and Savana are truly genuine! Always approachable, loving what they do and and showing their love for their fans!”
Glenda Stabler Campbell
“People have always believed in me, but Anthony and Savana Crawford were the two people who’ve spent their money, time, and effort helping me become an artist. They’ve encouraged me every step of the way, and I have not met greater combined talents nor a greater set of hearts than theirs in all of the music business.”
Lauren Kay, music artist from Pensacola, FL
“Pure, honest, truly engaging music exuding love and caring. Their music transforms you to another place, filled with all that is good in humankind, complete with a sense of humor.”
David Minkler “Minks”
“Anthony & Savana Crawford are two highly gifted artists and musicians who have captured the listening ear of audiences as the duet of “Sugarcane Jane”, along the Gulf Coast and throughout the United States. Possessing a loyal following of avid fans who admire the group and appreciate their collective efforts, they entertain with a diverse musical message of peace & love in true Americana style. Without question, this is one act you should hear when they make an appearance in your area.”
Glenn Lancaster, photographer from the Mississippi Gulf Coast
“Anthony and Savanna Crawford are hands down some of the Gulf Coast’s finest talent. There is no shortage of gifted musicians here in our little secret mecca and Sugarcane Jane are among the very best. Not only are they talented and hard working, they are truly kind and genuine people. They get two thumbs up and lots of love from this girl!”
Beth Childs, photographer, Perdido Key Fl
“With stellar harmonies, playing, and tunes, Savana & Anthony are simply good people making beautiful music together.”
Edward David Anderson – songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
“Sugarcane Jane, from the first time that we heard them we were hooked! We love their incredible harmonies, energy, and uplifting message. They are really nice folks and we catch as many shows as we can.”
Jeff and Suzanne Zimmer
“Anthony and Savana are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Their love for each other and their children, Loretta and Levon, are very special. I am very proud to call them our friends. Just to go to a show and hear them sing will make you feel good inside! I’ve had the pleasure of being a fan, friend, and babysitter. Loretta Raine is very well known for “The Look ” and I’ve had the pleasure of getting it many times! I remember many times when I took one for the team and babysat Loretta and she would cry so hard because her mom and dad were leaving. I recall one time especially, Loretta was screaming “No, no, no”! They felt so bad. I, of course, felt bad. A few shows later I was there. Anthony made me smile so big when he sang one of their songs! The lyrics go like this, “Oh no no no!” You know the song! Haha, these two people make me smile and I love them with all of my heart!!! Their friend and fan for life!”
Keitha aka Merch Girl
“Anthony and Savana Crawford not only produced and designed my self titled EP, but encouraged and guided the start of my musical career. There is not enough thanks in the world for these two incredibly talented, genuine, and kind people.“
Love, Emily Stuckey
“We so enjoy the whole Sugarcane Jane experience. Their dedication to what is important shines forth brilliantly whether it be to their family, friends or music in general. It is this deep sense of integrity that draws us to them like nothing else. May the music live on!”
Pat and Jeff Cheek
“A good night of music is always fun but once in a while you stumble onto something great that demands your undivided attention. Susan and I went to see Willie Sugarcapps at the Mary C and we knew right away that it would be that kind of night. What an amazingly gifted group of musicians! Each with their own unique contribution and talent. Anthony & Savana (before we knew they were Sugarcane Jane) as part of that group, you couldn’t help but appreciate what they were doing. Your eyes were just drawn to their part of the stage. The “Line” has since educated us on Anthony’s deep music roots and pedigree. Together, he and Savana are a real delight. Down to earth, likable souls who also happen to be truly gifted musicians.”
Doug and Susan Sholes
Mississippi Gulf Coast
“Jimmy Lee Hannaford called and said he was playing with a couple called Sugarcane Jane at The Shed. He said ‘be sure to come see them, they’re good.’ Good was an understatement. They weren’t just good, they were fabulous. Their sweet harmonies and Anthony’s guitar picking was over the top. I witnessed an act of kindness by Sugarcane Jane at the The Shed one night. A fan had traveled a distance to see them, but got there late thinking they played until 10:00 pm. She asked if they would serenade her before they left. Their car was packed and ready to go. It had been a long night and they were playing again the next day. Without hesitation they granted her wish. How wonderful it was to witness this firsthand. This is the kind of folks Sugarcane Jane (Anthony and Savana) are.”
Stephen Anderson, photographer, Pascagoula, MS
“I recall getting a call from Truitt right after Jack’s by the Tracks had just opened the doors. He said, I’m listening to Music .. you just have to come !!! He told me to get dressed.. You need to hear this !!! I met my husband and we sat and listened to Savana and Anthony for our first time and we were blown away. At that point and time it was the Music but then we had the pleasure to get to know “Sugarcane Jane” on a personal level. Savana was expecting Levon and we would talk about Loretta and the pending birth with them both. Prior to the birth of our children, Truitt and I never knew the sex of our children…and they didn’t either – cause what you gonna do, send them back? I loved that they did that also! The Music they make together is as beautiful and from the heart as their family unit. They strengthen our belief in family and all things good.”
Amy and Truitt Williams, retired and part-time musician, Moss Point, MS
“Sugarcane Jane is captivating, hypnotic and contagious as a live act with high energy talent. It is never stale, because it’s continually evolving – unbelievable with jam band precision.” A simple gaze around any venue has familiar faces of fans young and old captivated by the “infectious, hypnotic rhythms. It is always enthralling to watch the faces of first time listeners who express shock and awe with complete disbelief of what they are hearing and seeing strumming that is timed to harmonics, tonal precision, and feels like being ‘a passenger on a music race car road course!’ Anthony and Savana so beautifully share music with heartfelt emotion. We always feel we are ‘home’ – like a large family gathering. The familiar faces and pulsating sound make your soul dance and your heart smile. Their harmonic high energy calms and refreshes your soul and cleanses the mental palate; rejuvenates your mind; tidies all your woes and aches, you are ready to embrace the world another day with the therapeutic armor they provide. You sleep better and your smarter the next day!”
John and Michele
Proud to be Sugarcane Jane fans from the Coast
“I love Sugarcane Jane because they share their life experiences openly without pretense. Savana and Anthony’s music conveys their love of life, each other, and their children while also describing failures and heartache too. Listening to the music of Sugarcane Jane causes me to tap my foot, sing along, smile, laugh, and sometimes even cry.“
“Their music is raw and sweet. If you are from here, you take pride in their songs because it relates to almost all of us. Seeing them together, on and off of the stage, makes my heart smile – their is so much love between them.”
“I guess you could call me a “Cane Head” I like listening to Sugarcane tunes during sunrise a lot, before dawn through the sunrise at my spot on the banks of the Singing River. Or at my back yard bonfires on cool starry nights, ….while bank fishing too. Came across this band a few years back. They always make me move. I am always grateful when I get the chance to hear them live. I recommend that if you ever get a chance to hang with them and hear them perform, take it.”
Mississippi Gulf Coast
“Why I dig Sugarcane Jane – They are the type of musical act that captures a room with the stroke of a guitar; along the warmth of their intrinsic harmonies. They can quieten even the chattiest of rooms…. you can’t help but listen; also the positive message of the words written by the duo can only make us stop and believe that there is hope upon this often negative rock that we call home – not to mention that they are some the most genuine good natured people whom I am honored to call friends.”
Mississippi Gulf Coast
The Southland Music Line wants to thank all those who responded with their comments, but above all we want to thank Anthony and Savana (Sugarcane Jane) for making it so easy to feel the way we all do about them. The above is just a sample of those who think so highly – if time
had allowed, the number would have been multiplied many times over.
Artist Robby Amonett has painted the live performances of Sugarcane Jane several times and he has often expressed ‘what a joy’ it is to do so. He considers Anthony and Savana good friends and looks forward to painting at many future shows. (see above for his personal comments.)
Please check out the following links:
The Best of Sugarcane Jane Photo Collection:
To Purchase the latest album “Dirt Road’s End”
Willie Sugarcapps: 2014’s Artist of the Year
From Muscle Shoals To Magnolia Springs, AL: Willie Sugarcapps Gives Us A Sample of What’s To Come
Wash Hole Jam : Brewton, AL Starring Willie Sugarcapps
Will Kimbrough: From “Sideshow Love” to Willie Sugarcapps – It’s Abundantly Clear, He Loves What He’s Doing
© The Southland Music Line. 2014. All rights reserved