Josie Kreuzer biography
Josie Kreuzer's music is full of ardent candor, with razor-sharp lyrics and a driving switchblade beat. If you were to take a pint of Johnny Horton, a shot of Hank Williams and Gene Vincent, a dash of Patsy Cline, mix them with a twist of Faron Young and top it off with Wanda Jackson & The Blasters, Josie Kreuzer would be the result. Her sultry, growling vocals and "good ole' girl" style of songwriting lasso's your heart and soul, pumping you up like a double espresso, pulling you into her rockabilly world like a magnet to a Fridgidaire® (or more appropriately, a red hot stove). There hasn't been a female artist in a very long time that can write or sing a song with the raw power that was so prevalent with that of the honky tonk / rockabilly artists of the 1950's and 60's, and Josie Kreuzer does just that--but with her own twist.
"The turning point musically in my life was when my mother and I packed up and moved to New Orleans. I was 16 years old--one of the most mischievous ages to be, and here I was moving to this lusty sinful city that never sleeps. They call it 'the city that care forgot' and there's definitely a reason for that. My "single" mother was so preoccupied with working all the time that I was left to my own devices. Can you imagine that freedom given to a 16-year-old in a place where they let kids into bars? " Josie asks with disbelief. Luckily Josie was a responsible teen and used it to her advantage. She lived in the French Quarter and would spend a lot of time just hanging out listening to the R&B, Blues, Cajun, Jazz and Dixieland watching the street musicians and writing songs. Her love for music drove her to the newly opened Tower Records in search of a job. She soon became the "Oldies" record buyer. "When I became a buyer at Tower as a teen, a whole new world opened up to me. I had always loved Elvis, Gene Vincent and Bill Haley but I discovered so much more amazing music. I just grabbed the Rounder, Caroline and City Hall Catalogues and ordered all of these cool looking records --practically everything on Bear Family, discovering stuff like The Collins Kids, Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin and Charline Arthur. But also around the same time I went to the magazine section of the store and discovered a rock n roll fanzine called Kicks, which also turned me on to a lot of obscure rockabilly artists. I ended up spending entire paychecks on records. I got a bit obsessive about it." She admits.
At the age of 17, Josie was given an old, Spanish guitar. She started learning basic chords from a Hank Williams's songbook and progressed from there. Josie soon realized that she had to leave New Orleans. "I wanted to form a band and I just couldn't find any musicians that were into rockabilly. I was really into the 1950's lifestyle as far as the music and the clothes were concerned. I left New Orleans in search of a place where I thought I would belong. I felt very alone not being able to have a conversation with anyone about my largest passion---rockabilly and honky tonk music." Her travels soon took her to San Francisco, Austin, and then finally to Los Angeles in 1992 where she was successful in forming an all-girl rockabilly band called Whistle Bait. Whistle Bait played around Southern California for three years and did a few recording sessions, which were never officially released. Josie laughs, "When I'm on tour in the middle of the country, I'm always amazed at how many people come up to me remembering the band Whistle Bait. We never left California or had any record releases but people all over the place still remember that band. I guess we must've made quite an impression." Rumor has it that there is even a Whistle Bait poster up in The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Whistle Bait broke up in early 1996 and Josie has since taken on a solo career.
With 2 ever-popular selling CDs under her belt (Hot Rod Girl & As Is), Josie Kreuzer continues her rockabilly dominion with Beggin' Me Back, a tidal wave of 12 original songs of genuine & fierce rockabilly honky tonk. Beggin' Me Back cuts to the chase and straight to one's heart with machete-edged lyrics and an electromagnetic pulse. Josie engages in the perfect marriage of rockabilly and country with golden tongued wit, growling vocals, and the round up of a rockin' band consisting of Mark Neill (lead guitar), Jeff Graves (upright bass) and Craig Packham on drums. The CD was Produced by well-known vintage recording expert & Georgia native Mark Neill (Soil of the South), whose credits include On The Go by Big Sandy & the Fly-right Boys, and Slippin' In, by The Paladins. His vintage analog & tube equipment, as well as his expertise on vintage sound production, helps to make Beggin' Me Back a one-of-a-kind recording.
Josie Kreuzer has played many exciting venues from coast to coast as well as the Hemsby Music Festival in England, The Rockabilly Rebel Weekend in Indianapolis, The Greazefest in Australia, The Rockin' 50's Fest in Greenbay, and most recently the High Rockabilly Festival in Spain. Josie was chosen to play at the RockRGrl Music Conference at the notorious Experience Music Project in Seattle, and the CMJ conference the same year. She was also one of 5 finalists of the National Jim Beam Country Music Contest.