Genre blending. Ragtime. Dixieland jazz. Rock. Swing. 1920s blues. Hot jazz. Preservationist. Time traveler. Vaudevillian glamor. Theatrical. Intoxicating.
Whatever you want to label it as, Blair Crimmins and The Hookers are just plain fun. It’s the kind of music that instantly puts a smile on your face. It’s the kind of music that makes your foot start to tap. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to get out of your seat, take your partner’s hand, and lead that person to the dance floor.
On Friday, Aug. 10, Webb’s Captain’s Table Restaurant will host Blair Crimmins and The Hookers, a national touring act featuring a modern twist on ragtime and 1920s Dixieland jazz. The band has toured the eastern United States, and has opened for Mumford & Sons and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Their current tour has taken The Hookers through Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York states.
“Jazz creates a musical challenge. In this genre, you also have the songwriting where I can write lyrics that have meaning and tell a story," Blair Crimmins stated over the phone before heading out on tour the other day. “The style of songwriting from that era I really connect with and I feel like I’m able to do this sincerely and authentically.”
As a multi-instrumentalist and Berklee College of Music graduate, Crimmins makes sure that every move and piece of this sound and image is intentional. He writes each song with a classic New Orleans horn section of trumpet, clarinet and trombone. Citing American greats such as Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Mercer and Cole Porter as inspirations, Blair Crimmins and The Hookers are a unique blend of that classic American jazz sound with a 1970s Harry Nilsson-like twist, rounded out with the newer, edgier songwriting of Tom Waits.
Based out of Atlanta, Blair Crimmins has been hookin’ since 2009. In 2010, The Hookers were the most requested band on the air for WRAS Atlanta. Crimmins was Creative Loafing’s critics pick for Best Songwriter of 2013, and the “Sing-a-longs!” album went to #21 on the EuroAmerican radio chart and earned him a nomination at The Georgia Music Awards for Best Jazz Artist.