Wille Sugarcapps: 2014’s Artist of the Year

Willie Sugarcapps Artist of the Year 2014
W
hen choosing 2014’s Artist of the Year, several things were considered by those contributing to “The Line”. Since we see and hear a staggering number of bands/musicians, quite literally hundreds of shows, travel thousands of miles to see their performances various bands/musicians were considered and eventually narrowed down to a few that have had a huge impact on us and our readers over the last year.

What was “The Line” looking for?

The criteria was the following: Great music, unforgettable live shows, a connection to the audience, an appreciation for those they entertain, unforgettable stage moments and Southern roots, or a connection to The South.

Those many musicians considered are very important to us and appreciated for their continued accomplishments. But, 2014 was the year Willie Sugarcapps had an undeniable impact on the region and the number of devoted fans who have followed them for miles to attend their shows. The devotion of their fans is a large part of why it’s easy to consider them as 2014’s “Artist of the Year”.

Willie Sugarcapps has been discussed in great detail in 2014 by The Southland Music Line. The Line’s Photographer, Stephen “Andy” Anderson, has taken more photos of Willie Sugarcapps and their significant individual parts than anyone else he’s had the honor of photographing in 2014. During 2014 Artist and The Line Contributor, Robby Amonett, has painted the live performances of Willie Sugarcapps (and those within the band) more often than any other. Articles by “The Line” dedicated to Willie Sugarcapps (or its members) in 2014 have included:

  • 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

Article from the Spring 2014 by The Southland Music Line:

Willie Sugarcapps - Magnolia Springs EP
Article from the Autumn 2014 by The Southland Music Line:

Willie Sugarcapps - Wash Hole Jam
Who is Willie Sugarcapps?

Wille Sugarcapps is a group of musicians who came together at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm in Silverhill, AL. (This highly popular destination for enjoying some of the best music this country has to offer is a must-see experience.)

Willie Sugarcapps, or as often referred, Willie C. Sugarcapps, has brought much joy to their fans. While on stage, there is an obvious connection and admiration for one another as musicians and people. Their skills as musicians mixed with stories of the past, their families and an enjoyable sense of humor, make Willie Sugarcapps a very special blend of entertainment and worthy of its growing success. These musicians who make up Willie Sugarcapps have a long successful history with Gulf Coastal roots from New Orleans to L.A. ( aka “Lower Alabama”). Their music often tells the stories of people, places and things connected to where they call home.

Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes, Will Kimbrough, Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee Crawford have each had success on their own and still can be seen performing on a regular basis across the South, nationally and abroad. The joining of these musicians to form Willie Sugarcapps was one very smart idea.

Willie Sugarcapps - Wash Hole Jam in Brewton, AL From Left: Corky Hughes, Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough, Savana Lee Crawford and Anthony Crawford

Grayson Capps

While not performing with Willie Sugarcapps, Grayson Capps performs with his band, The Lost Cause Minstrels, and can often be seen teaming up with other musicians like the talented Cary Hudson. His songs and stage presence have created a strong following of devoted fans for him. His stories of life and the element of his songs drive a huge part of each and every Willie Sugarcapps show. A crowd favorite is when he leads the audience into a (sing-along) of his highly popular song “Poison”. So much more can be said about this incredible musician. He is one of those musicians you eventually run across and find yourself easily delving into everything he has ever recorded. To quote Stephen Anderson: Grayson Capps is the Real Deal.

Corky Hughes

Aside from Willie Sugarcapps, Corky Hughes can be seen performing with Grayson or reuniting with longtime friends that form The Corky Hughes Trio. He is one extremely gifted musician and appreciated for his amazing skills with lengthy music resume performing with artists such Black Oak Arkansas and touring throughout the U.S. While his fellow musicians joke and tell their entertaining stories of life and the road, Corky remains quiet, allowing his ability as a musician to do all his talking. Occasionally Corky will say or do something on stage which always causes some chuckles and big smiles. He is truly appreciated and admired by fans.

Will Kimbrough

Will Kimbrough has a treasured history of working and collaborating with a who’s-who of popular musicians like Jimmy Buffet, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash and so many more. When he plays an instrument, it leaves those in the audience in total awe. Will was voted American Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year in 2004. Songwriting?….. it’s easy to wonder just how many songs this guy has actually written. He seems to have a few new ones at each and every show. Also of note: His 2014 solo album “Sideshow Love” is making everyone at The Line’s list of top albums 2014.

Anthony Crawford

Willie Sugarcapps’ Anthony Crawford is one of those musicians that makes people wonder ‘where has this guy been hiding’, but the God’s honest truth is he is no stranger to the music scene. Anthony has performed with Neil Young, Steve Winwood, Dwight Yoakam, Sonny James and several others. He has written hundreds of songs recorded by the likes of Steve Winwood, Kenny Rogers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and more. As a solo artist or as part of the duo Sugarcane Jane (along with wife Savana), Anthony has recorded several albums. In 2010 he opened The Admiral Bean recording studio in southern Alabama (where musicians from all over the U.S. and Canada have come to record). His skills as a musician and songwriter are appreciated by anyone who loves music as we do. It’s been a privilege to see and hear what he’s capable of doing. Years after seeing him perform live with Neil Young or Steve Winwood and appear in one unforgettable Neil Young & The Shocking Pinks video, it’s nice to finally get to know this remarkable musician. Whether it is with Willie Sugarcapps or with Sugarcane Jane, it’s a pleasure to witness such a musician and songwriter of his caliber.

Savana Lee Crawford

Savana Crawford, along with her husband Anthony, as mentioned also make up the duo of Sugarcane Jane. One thing she proves as a member of Willie Sugarcapps – it’s not just a man’s world. Savana’s presence is very much a part and important to the Willie Sugarcapps sound. Savana’s voice and presence easily brings that right key ingredient to what makes Willie Sugarcapps reach its unbelievable heights. When her vocals chime into several of the more popular Willie Sugarcapps’ songs, you can’t help but smile and say to yourself “wow that sounds so good!” One of the highlights of the show is her performance of the Will Kimbrough/Sara Jean Kelley penned “Oh, Colorado”. The song is beautiful! Savana has an impressive music resume for herself even before meeting Anthony. When I speak of both Savana and Anthony, it must be added, their love for each other and their children bring something very special to what they’re doing as they perform for their ever-growing number of fans.

The Music

2013 saw Willie Sugarcapps self-titled debut album released with fans ready to get their copy. Released on The Royal Potato Family label, it has been praised by many around the country, including receiving the honor as 2014’s “Best Americana Album” by Independent Music Awards. This past March, Willie Sugarcapps released “Magnolia Springs”, a 4 song EP, recorded at the legendary FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL. A much awaited new album will be released in early 2015.

Willie Sugarcapps Album and EP Covers
The Shows

It’s hard to list which shows stood out the most for us in 2014; each had something special. The Magnolia Springs EP Release Show in Magnolia Springs, AL was one of the best; “The Wash Hole Jam” in Brewton, AL was another highlight and of course, several festival events saw Willie Sugarcapps at their best. For us, two standout shows most definitely worth mentioning were both held at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm – the season opener and the most recent November show which featured drummer John Milham. When Willie Sugarcapps performs at The Frog Pond, it really is coming home.

Willie Sugarcapps Art by Robby AmonettWillie Sugarcapps at The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm (By Robby Amonett)

The Fans

Every so often you run across a musician or band that has a growing base of fans where they can be seen at almost each and every show. We are talking about fans who are willing to pack their bags and travel a far distance to see someone they may have seen only a night or two before. A Willie Sugarcapps show is one of audience participation. These fans become a family of music lovers with countless stories of the many Willie Sugarcapps shows they have attended. They not only attend the entire band’s performances, but are at the individual shows of each member of Willie Sugarcapps.

It would be easy to name several of these fans, but that could be a story on its own. That being the case, we will name one who comes to mind first – Mrs. Glenda Stabler Campbell (The Southland Music Line’s “Music Fan of the Month” for December 2014)

She is not only Grayson Capps’ #1 fan, but can be seen at practically everyone of Willie Sugarcapps shows, as well. You can see her and friends watching a performance by Anthony and Savana at Callaghan’s in Mobile, AL, in Birmingham, AL or in Hattiesburg, MS seeing Grayson and Corky. It doesn’t matter where, she will be there enjoying another highly entertaining show.

We Appreciate Willie Sugarcapps

The Southland Music Line named Willie Sugarcapps (Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes, Will Kimbrough, Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee Crawford) as 2014’s Artist of the Year for multiple reasons. The Southland Music Line is about fans who follow and deeply love the music. Willie Sugarcapps is a band that allows their fans to be more than just those who come to their shows – they allow us to be friends. Because of Willie Sugarcapps and places like The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm, many friendships have been formed and that makes it all very special.

Thank you to Willie Sugarcapps!

 

Follow Willie Sugarcapps at:
Official Website
Facebook

Purchase Their Music at:
iTunes
Amazon

Related Articles:

 

© The Southland Music Line. 2014. All rights reserved

©The Southland Music Line

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