By Kelly Baughman
Two voices that melt together into one that will transport you to a simpler place and time. A place where cool breezes blow under Spanish moss draped oak trees. And lyrics that paint a picture of the emotions that run deep in your soul. The kind that actually mean something. That is what Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee, otherwise known as Sugarcane Jane, are all about.
This husband and wife duo, who originally met in a Nashville studio, have been classified as ‘Modern Americana’, and while Lee said she considers that a good label, she said she also sees their sound as high energy folk rock that is “organic music at its finest”.
While Crawford hails from Birmingham, he spent many years on the Gulf Coast on Dauphin Island and in Daphne, while Lee is a homegrown Loxley girl. “A lot of people ask which one of us is the “Jane” of Sugarcane Jane,” Crawford jokes, “but the story of how our name came about is close to our hearts.”
When meeting Lee’s family for the first time on their property in Loxley, Crawford said Lee shared a memory of her grandfather cutting sugarcane for all the area kids around Halloween. “She said they’d come from all over just to sit and eat the sweet sugarcane he would cut for them,” Crawford recalled. As the two sat there eating sugarcane, reminiscing about her early days, Crawford and Lee decided the name Sugarcane Jane rolled off the tongue, and the rest for this duo was history.
While both are talented musicians and songwriters, Crawford has been called a musical prodigy and can play nearly any instrument. Known in many music circles as the “sideman to the stars” having accompanied acts like Neil Young, Steve Winwood, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, and Roseann Cash, Crawford has written and co-written over 400 songs performed by legends like Kenny Rogers, Lee Greenwood, Dwight Yoakam, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, just to name a few.
But despite Crawford’s impressive celebrity resume, he said his calling is the music he and Lee make together. And don’t be fooled….Sugarcane Jane is no small town band. Their latest studio album, ‘Southern State of Mind’ has been called, “an album that deserves to be at the top of the critic’s list” by The Washington Times. The Times went on to call the two, “one of the best Nashville Duos since Johnny and June.”
Vintage Guitar Magazine said of the group’s ‘Southern State of Mind’ album, “This is one of the liveliest, most engaging Americana CDs you’re likely to hear this or any year.”
And while they have a fantastic new album full of songs that feel like home for the duo having been written just steps from the oak tree mentioned on the tracks, Sugarcane Jane believes in promoting the very root of music, the songwriter.
Their recording studio, Admiral Bean Studio, located on their 2,400 acre land in Loxley, specializes in artist development, recording, and promotion. Lee said that while the two are well versed in Nashville studios (Lee having previously co-owned one herself), their Admiral Bean Studio allows artists to relax and dive in without the pressure that Nashville can bring.
“It’s a less sterile environment. It’s very laid back and allows them to focus on the music rather than what’s going on around them. We want them to dig deep and find that performance of a lifetime,” Lee said.
With Crawford’s years of experience with the industry’s top engineers, masterers, and producers, he has created a sound all his own that Admiral Bean Studio has become known for. And if a client needs an additional musician, he’s got them covered there too.
Once production on an album wraps at Admiral Bean Studio, Lee steps in with her graphic, website design, and promotion expertise to push the artist and their album to the next level. Throw in a professionally directed, filmed, and edited music video, and Admiral Bean Studio is a one stop shop for songwriters all over the country.
Sugarcane Jane pours their heart and soul into their music, and is one of those rare bands that still loves to make the rubber hit the road, travelling to put on shows all over the country more often than not. And while they have formed a sort of cult following far and wide, they still find time to play for their fans here on the Gulf Coast.
You can catch Sugarcane Jane once a month at the Flora-Bama Lounge (check for upcoming schedules), or you can catch them at one of the coolest music venues on the coast, The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm, located in Silverhill, on Sunday, November 4th along with Grayson Capps, and Blue Mother Tupelo. A seat donation of $35 will be collected and the show starts at 3 pm. It’s one you won’t want to miss.
Can’t make the Frog Pond show? Sugarcane Jane will be a featured artist during the Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival November 8th through the 18th. Check www.fbisf.com for a full list of schedules.
For more information on Sugarcane Jane or Admiral Bean Studio, visit www.sugarcanejane.com or www.admiralbeanstudio.com.