The Crocker Brothers - About the Band

The Crocker Brothers have been playing and singing bluegrass music for more than forty years. With Alex Somerville on bass guitar, John and David try to capture the authentic 'brother duet' sound and pathos of early country music. As well as writing and performing their own material, The Crocker Brothers love to play the music of their favourite artists, including The Delmore Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, Reno and Smiley, and Larry Sparks. Sadly, these breathtaking renditions are only ever heard by a handpicked entourage of supporters (Allan Nelson and Katherine Crocker) in a state-of-the-ark studio at a secret location in North Yorkshire.

John Crocker wrote all the songs on their last album, Originals Volume I. The material covers everything from traditional-sounding laments to highly original arrangements of heart-breaking love songs.

LATEST NEWS: The band is currently arranging new material for the intriguingly-titled Originals Volume II. The material covers everything from traditional-sounding laments to highly original arrangements of heart-breaking love songs. We think it will go down much better than the previous mix of traditional-sounding laments and highly original arrangements of heart-breaking love songs.

The Crocker Brothers - mugshot

Alex Somerville (bass/Gorilla Glue), John (vocals/guitar/capo/small red flannel) and David Crocker (vocals/guitar/banjo/mandolin/dobro/harmonica/easel)

Please note that the above photograph is not a serving suggestion and the individuals portrayed may appear in a different order and much smaller than in real life.

John started out on classical guitar but when he was about 12 years old, brother David bought his first banjo and John started playing backup guitar and singing. The boys quickly got hooked on the sounds of Flatt and Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers. Shortly after discovering some of dad's old Hank Williams records, John got himself a fiddle and quickly grasped the basic techniques; making loud and irritating scraping noises into the small hours. Although still too young to drink anything stronger than flat lemonade, John and David soon became regulars at folk clubs in and around East Yorkshire. In 1971 John went off to the Cambridge Folk Festival to seek fame and fortune. After a short spell with an English folk band, he and fellow band member Steve Harley formed Cockney Rebel. John underwent a painful operation to become Jean-Paul Crocker, playing electric violin and mandolin on the band's highly acclaimed albums: Human Menagerie and Psychomodo. In spite of his faithful fan, and the ever-increasing fame and glory, John finally came to his senses and swapped his electric fiddle for a D28. He now spends most of his time writing songs and trying to forget everything that happened before 1974.

David Crocker is dedicated to mastering several instruments and numerous styles: bluegrass banjo, classic banjo, classical guitar, bluegrass guitar, electric country guitar (B-Bender and 'hybrid' picking), mandolin, fiddle, lap steel, Dobro and harmonica. Lately he has taken on the role of chief recording engineer and the band have been known to record all the tracks for an entire album in one evening in David's own studio. David has also played with Chris Moreton, Spike Woods and Dick Embery in The Cat's Cradle String Band. As well as a short stint playing banjo with Peter Rowan, David toured with various country bands for many years. David is also a talented craftsman and violin maker as well as a serious painter who has exhibited at the Medici Gallery in London. Some of his paintings are featured on his personal website:

Nobody is very sure how Alex Somerville does what he does on the bass, but whatever he's doing, it works every time. Alex also plays jazz bass as well as guitar, fiddle and mandolin. Alex has a remarkable capacity for remembering the most obscure things about anything to do with music, apart from how to play the bass like everyone else. In his spare time he tests lightning conductors for a leading firm of military outfitters. This has also sparked an in-depth study of rare expletives and profanities typically found in the Derbyshire dialect. On a lighter note, Alex likes nothing better than to whisk his loved ones away in a vintage camper van. He generally leaves them in the middle of a damp Welsh forest and then jets off to his private Tuscan villa for some peace and quiet. Nice!

Copyright © 2015 J Crocker - All rights reserved.