The Crossing have been performing a mix of traditional Irish and Scottish, as well as original songs and tunes, since 1984. Though all members but one are natives of the U.S. (Hilde the cellist is from Norway), their roots are in the celtic lands and their original songs fit with the old and living tradition. The themes in their music vary from pure story-telling ("Endurance," about Sir Ernest Shackleton who set sail for Antarctica in 1914), accounts of hardship and victory ("Niki," about a friend who was an immigrant after World War II; "I'll Take Your Promises With Me," about immigrants from Sudan) to setting celtic prayers and psalms to music ("Mourning Into Dancing," "Psalm 136), along with ever-present, danceable jigs and reels.
The band's members reside in inner-city Chicago, in the highly diverse Uptown neighborhood. Part of a group that works closely with the region's poor and homeless gives unique perspective on both the joys and struggles of daily life. Spiritual themes are woven throughout their sets and the overall mood is one of hope, joy and celebration that appeals to people of all convictions.
The instrumentation at a Crossing show keeps both the musicians and the audience engaged. Most members are accomplished at not only one, but several instruments. Tony, the group's front man, is at home with guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, bagpipes and whistles, in addition to his comforting and seasoned voice. Mark, the band's "fluter," also beautifully plucks the harp. Hilde's main calling is cello, which provides a great low-end to rhythms and melodies, but she also fills out the sound with piano and contributes lead vocals. Jennifer focuses all her energies on being the fiddler extraordinaire, and Eric is another jack-of-all-trades with melody guitar, bouzouki, bodhran (played with a hairbrush even!), and djembe. All members sing harmonies, which makes for a transcendent experience when all combined.
The Crossing have been influenced in their sound by The Tannahil Weavers, Altan, The Chieftains, and other great groups in the same vein. Whether playing at festivals, college campuses, pubs, churches, etc. they've been extremely well received and look forward to the opportunity of doing it more! Their latest full-length album, titled Baile (Home), was released in September 2010 and is available at GrrrRecords.com and iTunes, and the band has also released new singles at GrrrRecords.com
Foundry Hall (View)
422 Eagle St.
South Haven, MI 49090