Foreword by Mike Van Houten
Early last week I reached out to Crowfield’s manager, Dave Regan, with the idea that I wanted to feature the band as a spotlight article. My goal was to supply Dave with some questions about the band and include the answers, along with supporting facts. However, the more I began to think about it, the more I began to realize that it should actually be Dave, or someone else more closely intimate with the band that deserved to tell the story. So, that’s what I did. As their current manager and fan, I asked Dave to write a story about his involvement with the band. Dave, in return, was gracious enough to provide us with his take and personal experience with Crowfield. It is an insightful and wonderful piece that I know you all will enjoy as the band Crowfield prepares to take their final bow this upcoming Friday evening on March 15th at the Charleston Music Hall.
Mike Van Houten
Story by Dave Regan
By the time we found out about Crowfield, we were a little late to the game. The band had already been touring for 5 years and was in the process of preparing to head into the studio to record their third album. I was working at Blue Mountain Artists in Charlotte, NC at the time and we had just lost a major client in our management division. The band’s long time manager, Jonny Diamond, had recently passed away. The band had long since lost their big record deal and Crowfield was at a crossroads. I too was at a crossroads and it seems we found each other at just the right time. I needed a band to believe in again and Crowfield more than filled the void.
Shortly after a few phone calls and emails, I drove down to Greenville, SC to see the band live as they opened for The Blue Dogs at The Handlebar. Not only did they steal the show but they turned out to be very humble and kind off the stage. Just to be sure that they really were as good as I thought I drove to Chapel Hill to see them open for The Dirty Guv’nahs at Local 506. That’s when I fell in love with the band and knew I had to work with them. I found myself riding my bike to work listening to Goodbye, Goodnight, So Long Midwestern (their debut album) over and over. I listened to “Cardinal Motion” on repeat as I mowed the grass and found myself wondering how someone could write such great songs and the band not be nationally known. It remains my favorite song from any band to this day. I listened to “Jesus In My Pocket” over and over without finishing it because I wanted to go back and hear the intro again to that brilliant song. In my mind, I pictured thousands of people singing along to the songs because I knew the band had the potential to be huge.
Prior to officially signing the band to management, I had the opportunity to hear some very raw recordings of what would become their final album, The Diamond Sessions (named after their late manager). The recordings and songs were very emotional, especially the album-closing “Black Hills.” My wife and I listened to that one together for the first time late at night on our front porch and neither of us will deny that it moved us both to tears.
When the band plays its final show this Friday at The Charleston Music Hall, many of us will be moved to tears again the same way I was when, shortly after announcing their breakup, the band performed one of their final three shows to a packed Visulite Theater in Charlotte, NC. It was a venue the band had dreamed of headlining and the dream was only now finally coming true. I mingled through the crowd watching the faces of the fans, seeing that I was far from the only one who was so emotionally connected to the music. Lots of hugs, tissues, sing alongs and tears down front. But more than anything, lots of smiles. The highlight of the night was the silly stringing of Tyler Mechem during the encore, a moment that will be frozen forever in my mind when I hear their music again long after their final note has been played.
Crowfield has no regrets and that’s a hell of a way to go out. Their music has impacted so many people and at the same time their experiences on the road playing in front of thousands of faces has changed them too. It has helped shape them into the wonderful people they are away from the music and I’m a better person today having known them.
When the final show comes, it will in a way be a realization and celebration of their dreams of sharing their music as they play before a thousand people, all of whom have felt a strong connection to the honesty of their music.
I just want to say how proud I am to have had the privilege of representing a band like Crowfield. First of all, they were the first to take a chance on Regan Management Group after I left Blue Mountain, and for that I am eternally grateful for their faith in my work. Second, I made a conscious decision when RMG was founded to only work with music that I am passionate about. I do the job not for personal accolades but to have that chance to help deliver great music to more ears, brains, and hearts. Crowfield does just that. They are one of those rare bands that you find opening for a ‘big’ act somewhere or headlining a 100 seat packed room and they steal the show and somehow become a part of the soundtrack of your life.
Tyler Mechem writes great songs. He once told me ‘it’s the melody that makes you listen to a song once but the lyrics that make you come back a hundred times to the same song, finding something different each time‘. Tyler Mechem and Crowfield, I’ve come back to your music a thousand times since finding you and am honored to have played a role in helping to find even one new fan. Your music has become a soundtrack in the office, at home in private moments dancing with my daughter Emmerson, and in public moments as I watch people sing your songs while feeling that there is something special going on. Because there is. Music has an innate quality that allows it to change your mood, change your day, and open your heart.
Thank you Crowfield for all you’ve shared. You held back nothing. For those of us that seek that honest quality in music that is so hard to define, you delivered. Every. Single. Time.
Dave Regan owns Regan Management Group LLC – http://www.reganmanagement.vpweb.com
Crowfield plays their last show in their hometown of Charleston, this Friday night on March 15th at the Charleston Music Hall.