Sugarcane Jane’s New LP ‘Southern State Of Mind’ Plays On Life’s Harmony

Songwriting Duo On Tour in Deep South

By AARON GAGERS

Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford are musicians who have made the music their lives’ work.  They’re on the verge of releasing a beautiful and succinct collection of songs, called Southern State of Mind, that gets the listener thinking about good times.

It’s a great thing with these times of division and strife, to have a record that doesn’t have a political agenda and that is simply about good music. Southern State of Mind is about taking your time in life, enjoying all the simple things, and reflection.  If they could capture and give out the good feelings you get from this album, the world would be a much better place.

Sugarcane Jane Has Wide Music Appeal

Southern State of Mind will be released on Oct. 19 on ArenA Recordings, the label owned by Nashville’s legendary Buzz Cason.  The Crawfords are fortunate to find that collaboration — Cason is known for writing the hit “Everlasting Love.” Cason produced their album, Dirt Road’s End, also on ArenA Recordings (2015).  So it’s no surprise Southern State of Mind plays up the harmony — in the music and in life.

Anthony and Savana Lee’s latest has a wide appeal. Songs that have a toe-tappin beat and beautiful lyrics include “Campfire,” “Southern State Of Mind,” and “Destiny.” “Red Flag Warning” and “Rainbow” are two heart-rending pieces for different reasons. “Red Flag Warning” plays up the couple’s talents with harmony and “Rainbow” boils it all down to simplicity. It could be a popular cover song on the radio. It’s easy to envision a modern alternative rocker performing this one.

Sugarcane Jane is on tour across the South – Courtesy photo

‘Southern State Of Mind’ an Americana Guide

Southern State of Mind is a mix of retro sounds but at the same time maps out a guide for modern Americana music. The sound Sugarcane Jane achieves on the album is remarkable. “How Do You Know,” for instance brings back the sound of Seals and Croft but gives it a modern and simple adjustment.  “Man Of Fewest Words” is true to the heart of the band. The duo conducts a fun back and forth that has a lot to say about communication today – it’s obvious they believe that sometimes the less said, the better.

The album is produced by Buzz Cason (songwriter of “Everlasting Love” and “Soldier Of Love”) with Crawford.  Cason produced Sugarcane Jane’s gem, Dirt Road’s End (ArenA Recordings, 2015). 

The Alabama Gulf Coast duo will play their new album Southern State of Mind at Dyson House Listening Room Thursday night, Sept. 20, they hit Houston at Mucky Duck on Friday, Sept. 21 and their tour continues through Mississippi, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Ala., and Florida.

Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford of Sugarcane Jane - Courtesy photo
Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford of Sugarcane Jane – Courtesy photo

Southern State Of Mind Credits

All vocals by Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee, additional vocals on “Destiny,” “Rainbow,” “How Do You Know,” and “We Can Dream” by Buzz Cason.

All instruments played by Anthony Crawford except banjo on “Cabin On The Hill” and “Campfire” and banjo and fiddle on “Southern State of Mind” by Wanda Vick.

Vibes on “Rainbow” by Parker Cason and additional percussion by Jon Radford, Recorded by Anthony Crawford at Admiral Bean Studio in Loxley, Ala., with overdubs recorded by Joe Funderburk at Creative Workshop in Berry Hill, Tenn. Produced by Anthony Crawford and Buzz Cason, mixed by Joe Funderburk, mastered by Benny Quinn, photos by Neil Ladner and artwork by Keith Brogdon.

Tracklist:

Cabin On The Hill
Campfire
Man Of Fewest Words
Southern State Of Mind
Destiny
Rainbow
Red Flags Warning
The One Before Me
How Do You Know
We Can Dream

 

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