Art Crawford begins with how fate put them together:
“It was a Sunday afternoon… downstairs in the coolness of Arkey Blues Silver Dollar in Bandera, Texas.
I was not really playing much music at the time, but had decided to join in the weekly jam session and relax a bit. Then it happened. This girl, this beautiful lady (Lisa) walked up and said “Hey, do you know ‘You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,’ and would you sing it with me?”
Well, that was the beginning of Art and Lisa – the perfect Texas duo.
Art Crawford was born in Texas, but raised in Oklahoma to the sounds of red dirt music before we even knew there was such a thing. Although deeply rooted in gospel, when he went to college he was introduced to the sounds of Woody Guthrie, Bob Childers, Jimmy Lafave and so many others who have influenced the direction of his music.
When Art moved to Bandera in 1994, he did not know there was a music scene there. But, one day while doing laundry he wandered across highway 16 onto the front porch of a place called “The Forge”, an actual blacksmith forge (now torn down and rebuilt for sale) that just happened to sell beer and was the gathering place for local and out of town musicians to gather. So the next trip he made to Oklahoma to visit his family he brought his guitar back with him. While he wasn’t a “regular,” he did start showing up from time to time and the passion of the songs forgotten began to resurface.
Art explains,“It was a Sunday afternoon… downstairs in the coolness of Arkey Blues Silver Dollar in Bandera, Texas. I was not really playing much music at the time, but had decided to join in the weekly jam session and relax a bit. Then it happened. This girl, this beautiful lady (Lisa) walked up and said “Hey, do you know ‘You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,’ and would you sing it with me?”
Lisa Beck (maiden name Alexander) was born in Lubbock, Texas and mostly raised in the San Antonio area. She had a passion for music early on as she grew up listening to the sweet harmonies of her mom and aunt, who in their early teen years had performed in an all girls quartet in Lubbock,Texas. Her uncle played guitar and mom played a little piano.
When she turned fifteen her uncle gave her a classical guitar, showed her three chords and told her that was all she needed to play any country song. While she loved the country music of George Jones, Emmy Lou Harris, Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson, she also was taken with the harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel. She spent lots of her spare time following her mom around the house and singing three part harmony with mom and younger sister, Carol.
She married and moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she played for twelve years in a little country gospel band, all the while longing to go back home to Texas where her family and heart was. When she divorced after 18 years of marriage she did just that. She had visited Bandera, Texas only once before a few years earlier and knew it was the perfect place for a homegrown Texas girl to make a new start of her life.
Art and Lisa have played all over Texas at venues such as Poor David’s Pub in Dallas, The Weisman Center in Marshall, the Bandera Saloon in Bandera and Billy’s Ice House in New Braunfels and are in increasing demand now from many other venues throughout Texas and worldwide.
Lisa say, “In 2009, we started a Songwriters Showcase at the Bandera Saloon and had Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, Mary Cutrufello, Ted Russell Kamp, Walt Wilkins, Bill Small, John Greenburg, and many more fabulous artists as guests.
Most Sundays, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., we host the Songwriters’ Showcase at Floores Country Store in Helotes, Texas, just west of San Antonio.” Floores is the historic cafe that some consider being the musical birthplace of Willie Nelson. “Some of our past guests include Walt Wilkins, Kevin Higgins and Barbara Malteze, Michael O’Connor , Adam Carroll and Hollin McKay. “continues Lisa.
To describe their music would fill a book; it’s just so full and complete in every aspect or genre. Giving it a try to define Art and Lisa’s music – it is Americana, Texas Country, Folk and beautifully delivered Red Dirt traditional ballads. My review of Art and Lisa seems barely enough to cover all that this amazing duo brings to audiences.
Art and Lisa’s lyrics in each song show the infinite creativity and genius of masters. Out of this treasure chest of shining musical gems “Different Shade of Blue,” from Art and Lisa’s “Learning to Breathe Again,” come the words “…his big heart is breaking damn near into … he’s tasting the colors of a different shade of blue …” And the new album “Healing Time” holds more song treasures and is even stronger proof of Art and Lisa’s timeless songs – incredible lyrics, inimitable vocals, supported with a background of soulful and warm musical talent. Overall, Art and Lisa are the most polished and sparkling diamonds in Texas Music today.
Amidst their many radio visits and performances on radio stations throughout Texas, they can be seen live at many Texas Music premier venues. Here’s a look at their busy schedule for January. Catch them if you can! (The quotes are from Art and Lisa.)
Friday, January 21, 2011 Cotton Club & Steakhouse Dance – 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. $10.00 cover charge
212 East Davilla Street, Granger Texas 76530 (512) 859-0700
“This will be a full on country dance, with John Inmon on lead guitar, John Demaini on drums, Tooter Ripps on bass and a surprise fiddle or steel player.”
Sunday, January 23, 2011 Floores Country Store Acoustic song swap with Kevin Higgins and Barbara Maltese – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. No cover charge
14492 Old Bandera Road, Helotes Texas 78023 (210) 695-8827
Friday, January 28, 2011 Arkey Blues Silver Dollar in Bandera, Texas Country Dance – 8:00 p.m. – midnight
308 Main Street, Bandera Texas 78003 (830)796-8826
“You can’t visit Texas without making a trip out to the historic Arkey Blues Silver Dollar in Bandera, Texas. This is a serious Texas saloon/dancehall. Full band 16 South.”
Saturday, January 29, 2011 Billy’s Ice House Acoustic Show – 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. No cover charge
1193 Loop 337, New Braunfels Texas 78130 (830) 629-8169
Art and Lisa
Lisa Beck – Art and Lisa
P O Box 2281, Bandera, TX 78003
Art Crawford – Art and Lisa
P O Box 2281, Bandera, TX 78003
Next – An in-depth look at the new masters of duos, Art and Lisa – don’t think it’s not being noticed!