John Craigie, “I Am California”

Virginia Croft

Currently based in Portland, Oregon, John Craigie finds his niche in delicate storytelling, via his voice and guitar. His upcoming release, No Rain, No Rose, is a beautiful collection of carefully selected stories, featuring many collaborations with close friends, including The Shook Twins and Gregory Alan Isakov. Regarding the title of the album, Craigie explained, “I took it from an old Buddhist saying ‘No Mud, No Lotus’, which basically means, you need the bad things to make the good things.  I changed it to reflect my rainy city of roses,” clearly paying respects to his current abidings in Portland.

Craigie’s latest, “I Am California,” is haunting, poetic, and just how a longing for California should sound. Draped in nostalgia and covered in memories, Craigie paints a beautiful homage to the Golden State, with the assistance of singer Gregory Alan Isakov. Heart-wrenching violins slide through the bridge, and a harmonica makes us yearn for the scenery that Craigie eloquently describes. Regarding the track, Craigie stated, “I was born and raised in California. I’ve lived all over and love so much about that state. It really has everything. But I notice that people will leave, talk shit about it, then drink it’s wine, smoke it’s weed, and vacation there.” In his expressive vocals, we hear the desire Craigie feels for his homestate.

John Craigie is currently on tour, and his next album, No Rain, No Rose is available on iTunes on January 27th. Keep up with him here.

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