Joe Croker 'Candy World' '....gifted folk-pop singer-songwriter who deserves wider exposure.' Croker has a 'naturally eclectic style and a catchy way with hooks and lyrics.'-Nashville Scene That's right, Joe Croker is naturally eclectic There are baskets and bushels of fine singer-songwriters falling from the tree every day, desperately trying to fit musical square pegs into round holes, but Croker is different. He is the rarest of the breed, a unique songsmith who knows how to mix it up while remaining 100% here, now and Croker Some call him gifted, some call him a renaissance man; but it's all ear candy on Candy World, Joe Croker's debut release on WingDing Records, a stellar five-song EP that presents all of his many moods in the best of all possible lights. Joe Croker was born in Kansas City and spent part of his childhood in Washington, D.C. He began his musical career in the late 1980s, playing gigs across the Midwest and on the West Coast. In 1997 Croker moved to Nashville and after receiving favorable responses on his first set of demos (including a CMJ Music Monthly A&R pick), he followed-up with a full-fledged debut CD titled All the Pretty Girls. The follow-up CD, Shame, Shame, Shame, came out in the summer of 2004. Hot on the heels of those fine full-length releases, comes the Candy World EP, five songs of melodic and rollicking tales of mercy and heartache. The lead-off track, Careful, is anything but, a fierce rocker propelled by the stellar rhythm section of Vinnie Santoro and George Marinelli (the man who also produced the Candy Sessions). The follow-up and title track, Candy World opens up the musical mood ever so slightly, adding female vocals, melodic piano, and tasty guitar lines to a folk-rock narrative. 'Broken hearts melt in their sleep / Through mercy grow sweet / Soon every angry piece is ... candy' sings the narrator. The mood swings low on the gritty and urbane Hungry, as Croker spits out lines like a long lost descendant of Charley Patton. What'd She Pay follows, all move, groove, heavy loops and freaky samples, this insistent neo-psychedelic tale of environmental Armageddon. Redemption is close at hand, however, in Croker's conclusion, the soulful Beasts Fall Away, a beautifully sung tale of optimism that is worthy of the best Motown-inspired Rolling Stones. If you're already familiar with Joe Croker, Candy World is a must-have, for it opens up the next chapter in an intense and unforgettable musical odyssey. On the other hand, if you've never been to Joe Croker's world, then this five-song masterwork is the perfect introduction to a magical place that is filled with the sounds of hard-edged...candy.
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