Modern Elegance With A Touch of Nostalgia.
I haven’t heard a duet that gives listeners the feeling of true elegance, and raw emotional power in decades. However, the Fox Valley’s very own Erin Krebs and Jeff Johnston Duo is a duet of musicians that can’t be overlooked. Together they made it possible, once again, to experience a Jazz and Blues duet with breathtaking beauty. Erin Krebs and Jeff Johnston teamed up musically a few years ago. Writing and playing music together has led to live performances that create beautiful arrangements of colorful Jazz that floats through the air riddled with sparks of intense primal blues undertones.
When I heard Erin sing for the first time, it was live. I had just moved to town and didn’t really know anyone at all. As a musician myself, I was looking for where the music was playing in my new home. I had been wanting to catch Jeff live since I had heard some really great things about his skill as a guitar player. So when I heard he was going to be at a wine bar I liked, I jumped at the opportunity. The night started out fairly ordinary. I was just sitting at my table having a drink, and then, there was jazz. Sweet, soft guitar that sung with such conviction I had no choice but to spin around in my chair, and provide my undivided attention. From underneath this beautiful arrangement, arose a tremendous voice that reminded me of Aretha Franklin. I decided right there and then, this is where the music is.
I remember Erin talking with me, at one of their many nights at Uncorked in Neenah WI. She told me that the first time she heard Jeff play his guitar, she “needed to get to know this guy”. Jeff had been well known in the Fox Valley music scene as a guitar player that can really jam. It turned out that, not only were they a duo on stage, but a duo in life. These two have really found a way to share everything they love about music, and it shows. When they play together it’s like magic. Music and emotion lose their borders as you slide seamlessly into the groove. It’s always a pleasure to hear Erin and Jeff live in any setting. And it’s no coincidence they put on a beautiful show. Jeff has played in the past as both a professional musician for hire, as well as with dedicated projects over the years. He is truly no stranger to the stage, even siting in from time-to-time with outfits like the Jazz Orgy. Erin isn’t new to performing either. She has been a jazz vocalist for many years, and even plays the flute quite well. With all of their vast experiences in music combined, Jeff Johnston and Erin Krebs have definitely found an impressive niche together.
Erin has also been working on a solo album. Although “Love Always Wins” features Jeff on only a few of the tracks, Erin is joined by many other great musicians from the Fox Valley area. Stephen Cooper on the Sax, Mark Martin on Piano, and Brian Gruselle plays the Hammond Organ. Drew Hicks, Justin Zopel, and Andrew Mertens on Bass share duties filling in the rythm section. James LeFevre, Mike Malone, and Mike Underwood on Drums give it all a smooth backline. Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered right here in Appleton by Tony Anders at Studio H. The album contains many original Jazz, Blues, and R&B tunes that I’m sure will not leave you wanting. You can find out Erin’s complete live schedule at www.erinkrebs.com, or www.facebook.com/erinkrebsmusic.
I can say with a great deal of certainty that you will not be disappointed when you make a point to catch Erin Krebs and Jeff Johnston live. Whether it be together, or at a solo gig, they will make your night out worth it.