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 (Alan Nelson and Katherine Crocker) in a state-of-the-arc 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.

At the next live gig (The Volunteer Arms, 4 June) David will be premiering his exciting new mandolin instrumental 'Dawn On The Mountain'. Please arrive early and bring appropriate footwear. John will be performing 'standing in the crossfire' for the first time. This half-baked stunt is being conducted as part of Alex's latest series of experiments into the reliability of body armour made from upcycled banana skins and Gorilla glue. Please arrive early and bring appropriate personal protective equipment. [Edit] Alex would like to point out that the glue is not made from gorillas and his gorillas will not be roaming freely in the pub. However, they do have a tendency to break out of their cage when they get a sniff of part-worn banana skins or when they hear the sound of small arms fire or any type of what-they-call Bluegrass music. On a rather sad note, it has come to light that a considerable quantity of perfectly healthy bananas were subjected to extremes of temperature and pressure during the convoluted manufacturing process. While this is regrettable, Alex has yet to issue a formal apology and remains convinced that his breakthrough represents an inventive step which is sure to bare [sic] fruit.

The Crocker Brothers - mugshot

Alex Somerville (bass/Gorilla Glue), John (vocals/guitar/banana-based body armour) and David Crocker (vocals/guitar/banjo/mandolin/harmonica/acrylics)

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, classical banjo, classical guitar, bluegrass guitar, electric country guitar, 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 recently took delivery of a pair of high-powered binoculars and was subsequently forced to undergo a sudden change of postcode. The exact details of the case and the treatment regime are unclear but his solicitor has assured us that nobody will notice the change in his performance, as long as he doesn't play the bass.

Copyright © 2015 J Crocker - All rights reserved.