9-7-2012 --- According to the AS news update, both Randy (runner up) and I will be receiving $25k to help our music careers! Through social networking and real world promotion we managed to do something that three months ago I would have thought to be impossible when I finished the last voting round in 23rd place with a little over 20k votes. Thanks for all of your help everybody, winning this $25k is a huge break for me, I'm gonna do my best to make you the best music videos that I can!
7-21-2012 --- I should start out by saying happy birthday to the love of my life Rachel! With out you I would be lost in a world of chaos most of the time! Love you bunches! So, my Thursday performance at the 7th Street Entry went over so well that I was invited to open for Soul Asylum on the First Avenue main stage on Friday night, HOLY CRAP! A huge thanks to Kim King and Kevin Zinniel for making that possible! What an awesome experience! TPT was at the show to interview and record Soul Asylum's performance. The producer mentioned that Crankshaft had come up in the latest music meeting, they had already talked about having me on minnesota Original so when they saw that I was opening for them they were all like, wow this couldn't be more convenient! So we signed releases and they shot our stage show! To make this weekend even better, I got an email this morning from Adam Hildebrand of Faithful Bull Productions, Inc. with a link to their 2012 Juke Joint Festival documentary, check it out, they did a really awesome job capturing the atmosphere of Clarksdale, and they included me in the film! Thanks! http://vimeo.com/46122573
7-18-2012 --- So, I wrote a new Mojo Spleens song with my brother today, and did a rough recording of it, then I got to track vocals in the studio with one of my best friends Trent, then I got booked to open for SOUL ASYLUM tomorrow at the 7th street entry, then my awesome fans bumped me into first place on artist signal, what an amazing day! Holy toledo rocky!
6-9-2012 --- I don't think we could have had a better crowd of people for the music video filming party, thanks so much for coming out and for dressing up! A very special thanks to everyone that helped out with the event! Look forward to the new video coming out sometime in August!
6-7-2012 --- Keith Boyles, Pete Hennig, and I played on Kare 11 this morning and I have to say man the word works in mysterious ways, after months of looking for a ribbon microphone to barrow from someone, it turns out that there was a RCA D-77 ribbon microphone from the 60's in the their microphone collection just waiting to be discovered by me, and it just so happens that Keith is friends with the sound man, so there's a pretty good chance that Kare is going to lend it to me to record my vocal tracks for the barn release.. I'm buying a Powerball ticket! If you missed the broadcast here is a link to the on-line video: 8th annual Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Fest.
6-6-2012 --- All of the instrumentation is finished for the next release! We managed to record the drums, upright bass, and guitar live in 14 hours between Friday and Saturday in a turn of the century hayloft that didn't collapse! On Sunday we recorded Pat Nudd playing djembe, gourd shakers and added random percussion highlights to the mixes. Monday we recorded Bruce McCabe playing both organ and piano, my brother Clint and I playing drums and guitar together live, and later that night we tracked backup singer parts on two different songs featuring Kashimana Ahua, Andrea Bennett Xiong, and Rachel Holder Hennig. On Tuesday we recorded sax, trombone, euphonium, and trumpet featuring Zachary Lozier, Jason Fabus, and Matt Hanzelka, then we finished my lead guitar parts that night. We finished the entire scope of the instrument portion of the album in five days.
5-25-2012 --- Well thanks to the help of my Dad, Mom, Tom, Jeff, John, Tim, and Jason the barn is about 90% ready for the recording session! We now have a solid staircase going up to the loft, the rotten floor boards are fixed, all of the barn lumber is piled elsewhere, and all of the pigeon crap is gone! I need to go back to wire lights and then it will be ready to go! Thanks so much for your help everyone!
4-22-2012 --- What a day... Both Crankshaft (solo) and Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders took first place in different categorizes at the Road To Memphis Challenge! We will be representing Minnesota at the International Blues Competition in Memphis in February 2013! To top it off I got to see my hero, Johnny Winter play for the first time at Famous Dave's tonight! Like the Wolf would've said, "I'm sittin' on top of the world." A huge thanks to George M. and Keith B. for backing me up at the contest, you guys were awesome!
4-16-2012 --- My dad and I had a very crazy adventure down to Clarksdale, MS last weekend for the Juke Joint Festival, I'm surprised that we even made it back to Minnesota for Famous Dave's Battle of the Blues Bands on Sunday after the way the trip down there went! Thursday morning we woke up to a dead battery, got a jump and got two more miles down the road before she died again, we both new that the alternator was bad. I called my wife Rachel and got numbers for the closest auto parts stores. We got lucky when a manager of an O'reilly's store agreed to drive us one out from Kirksville, MO about 25 miles south of where we were. A super nice guy stopped to see if he could help, and had METRIC combination wrenches with him (luckily). He also charged our battery while we were taking out the power steering pump which was in the way of getting the alternator out. About an hour and a half later we were back on the road only to have the front calipers seize just north of St. Louis.
4-27-2012 --- The Star Tribune published a photo of me in the paper today! The shot is of me playing a solo show at Harriot Brewing's Sol Block Revival last Saturday! Thanks a billion to the folks at the Trib!
4-6-2012 --- The Crankshaft site has over 9,600 unique hits, I'm going to give away $100 worth of Crankshaft merchandise to the first person to email or tag me in a photo of the hit counter when it rolls over 10k!
3-27-2012 --- "327" was featured as a bumper track on NPR's Car Talk this weekend! This is the SECOND track that they've played from the album Junkyard Rhythm, thanks Click and Clack! Also, Ol' Skool Rodz did a feature story on The 2011 Minneapolis Messaround car show and they included a photo of me playing in front of my '59 in the photo collage! What an awesome weekend! (I just noticed that the date is 3/27, how weird!)
3-22-2012 --- Dave Harris just released his new book of one man bands, it took him four years to collect all of the information and photos! Over 100 one man bands from the past and the present are featured, including a small piece on Crankshaft! I'm flattered to be a part of it, thanks Dave! If you're interested you can purchase a copy here: www.onemanbandbook.blogspot.ca
3-12-2012 --- We're trying to win $25,000 through Artist Signal, if we succeed we're going to blow it on three new Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders music videos! You're allowed to vote for us once per hour, so please vote as often as you can! Thanks! http://artistsignal.com/crankshaftmusic
2-4-2012 --- Crankshaft is featured in this month's Artist Spotlight in Dig in Magazine out of San Franciso, CA! A big thanks to Richard Morales for putting the artical together!
1-6-2012 --- I got my first ever mention in the Star Tribune today! "One-man band Crankshaft (aka Alex Larson) offers "high-energy, low-brow, Upper Mississippi blues." That's his own description, and it's an accurate one, though on his terrific 2011 Christmas single "Louisiana Bayou Santa," the vibe was definitely more Lower Mississippi. If you like pizza with your blues, he has a new home every Thursday night in Robbinsdale. And if you like boogie with your pizza, Crankshaft will deliver. (8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Eagles Nest Lounge, 4106 Lakeland Av. N., Robbinsdale, 763-533-0800. No cover.) by Tom Surowicz
12-19-2011 --- Thanks for coming out to my last Sunday show at the River City Saloon, we raised $222 for the Anoka Food Shelf, and we took in what felt like about 150lbs of canned food and non perishables! The River City will still have live music on Sundays, please support my friends Kevin 'Kp' James, Sam Kuusisto, and Big Al & Carmen Mevissen, it sounds like they will be in rotation there on Sunday nights. Thanks for all the great times we had together there!
12-13-2011 --- I don't know if there's something in the water today or what! I talked to the local music director at 89.3 The Current and it sounds like there's a pretty good chance that "Louisiana Bayou Santa" will get a little rotation on the air next week! Tonight a writer for a local publication contacted ME and asked if he and his photographer could come report an event that I planned and am playing at, I guess there are first times for everything but ....DAMN!
12-4-2011 --- "Motorcycle Woman" from the album Junkyard Rhythm was featured as a bumper track on NPR's Car Talk yesterday! This is Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders first nationally syndicated play! Thanks so much Click & Clack!
11-20-2011 --- I finished writing a song ten days ago. Since then the music has been learned by the band, recorded in the studio, the vocals are finished, it's been mixed, and it was sent out to be mastered this morning. Stay tuned, it will be released and FREE to download on Friday!
11-14-2011 --- Thanks so much for coming out to the River City last night, the release party was such a good time! We have sold a bunch of copies already so if you want to get a copy of the Live At The River City Saloon CD you better come out to a show or swing by Mr. Marks Music in Anoka before they are all gone! I only pressed 500 and this release WILL NOT BE REPRESSED! Thanks to every one that purchaced a copy, I only have to sell a few more to break even on the project!
10-30-2011 --- Rachel, Trixie and I have made it home safe! We managed to stay in one piece after playing 26 shows and driving 4,635 miles in 30 days. The kindness we encountered on the road was unbelivable, thanks so much to everyone who helped us out along the way! I'm sure you will also be glad to hear that the fan owned, crankshaft operated tour bus is still in one piece too! Rachel should have the Tour Blog finnished by tomorrow, check it out if you get a chance, there's a link below! I'll see you at the home coming show at the River City Saloon on November 6th! Come out and BOOGIE! http://leavinthistown.blogspot.com
9-27-2011 --- We are almost ready to hit the road! Thanks for all the good luck wishes, the Crankstead has seen many friends and family stopping buy with care packages, anything from salsa to champagne to bring with us on tour! We are so lucky to have such awesome people around us. A bunch of people have asked us to keep them in the loop about our trip so Rachel made a new blog titled "Leavin' This Town." Fitting right?! If you get a chance, bookmark that sucker, the address is: http://leavinthistown.blogspot.com. Thanks again for all the support you guys, It's super bad ass that we will be traveling in a "Fan Owned" RV! We'll see you the beginning of November! In the meantime, keep the shinny side up!
9-25-2011 --- I added a new Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders video to the site this morning! The video was recorded at Lee's Liquor Lounge the night of the Junkyard Rhythm CD release party, check it out in the Video section!
9-21-2011 --- The last run of T-shirts is nearly sold out, I guess people like wearing my screaming face! Anyway, I printed a new run this week. Inspired by the request bomb The Current flyer I made back in July they are by far the coolest design yet! Check it out in the Merch section of the site!
9-19-2011 --- What an amazing tour send off show last night, holy crap what a blast! The River City was hoppin'! A huge thanks to everyone who came out, a special thanks to Fenchy, Keith and Pat for playing as the Gear Grinders and a very special thanks to Ronnie and Dave, Anita K. , and Courtney and Sarah.... you know why! I'll see you all back at the River City Saloon November 6th!
8-18-2011 --- Neighbor Boys is going to be played on The Current's Local Show which airs this Sunday between 6-8pm! The request bombing campaign was a success! Just do me a favor and continue to send them requests when you're tuned in and wishing they were playing Crankshaft! The only way my tunes will ever get into their rotation is if there are semi-frequent requests. So log on to www.thecurrent.org or dial 651-989-4893 and when they answer tell 'em, "Play some Crankshaft, because I need to BOOGIE!" Thanks again everyone!
8-16-2011 --- Thanks for request bombing The Current yesterday! I got an encouraging email from Mary Lucia and a nasty one from Mark Wheat, so I guess that's something! I'm still waiting to hear back from the local music director to see what he says about the whole deal. Thanks everyone!
8-9-2011 --- Thanks to all my fans, I have a Tourmobile! It's a 1987 Toyota Dolphin and tomorrow it will be going on a diet to become a lean, mean, tourmachine!
7-31-2011 --- The support yesterday at CRANKFEST was almost overwhelming! It's both humbling and flattering to me at the same time, from all the people that worked the event to the people that donated items for the bake sale and the silent auction, and the musicians that came and played, THANK YOU A BILLION! The benefit raised nearly $4,000! I owe you all big time!
7-15-2011 --- I printed 1000 request-bomb The Current leaflets, please come out to any show to grab a couple to hand out to your friends! The current has had my new album since April 1st and they still haven't played a single track... NO HOLD BACK... ALL ATTACK, AUGUST 15th!
7-7-2011 --- I've got five shows set in stone for the National tour! It's going to be awesome!
6-22-2011 --- Minneapolis TV featured the Neighbor Boys music video on their spring roundup! Check it out: www.mpls.tv
5-18-2011 --- HOLY CRAP! Junkyard Rhythm is #18 on KVSC's top 30 albums this week! This is the best news I've heard all year! Please call in and request Crankshaft and The Gear Grinders! (320) 308-5872. Let's try get to #1 next week! This is too cool. BOOGIE!
5-9-2011 --- The music video for Neighbor Boys is nearly done! Should be uploaded to YouTube within the next week!
4-28-2011 --- I have new hoodies, tanks, and T-shirts!
4-20-2011 --- I started doing radio station callbacks today and so far five stations have added Junkyard Rhythm to their rotation! WSSB 90.3 - Orangeburg, SC. WRLR 98.3 - Chicago, IL. KCSS 91.9 - Turlock, CA. WKDU 91.7 - Philadelphia, PA. WTJU 91.1 - Charlottesville, VA! If you live around the area of any of these stations please call in and request Crankshaft and The Gear Grinders!
4-12-2011 --- I sent out four rolls of super 8 film to get developed and scaned to high-def digital for the Neighbor Boys music video today and added some of the photos Trixie Longstocking took during the video shoot to the Photos section!
4-2-2011 --- I mailed out 117 envelopes stuffed with cds to 102 college and independent radio stations and 15 different review publication sources today. Holy crap, I'm so excited! Look out world, here I come!
3-19-2011 --- The votes from the CD listening party are in! Here's how you voted: 16 THE CURSE, 15 SOLID GONE (BIG SUNGLASSES), 12 NEIGHBOR BOYS, 11 LEAVIN' THIS TOWN, 9 SCRAP COLLECTIN' MAN, 8 327, 4 I'M A CHAINSAW, 4 MOTORCYCLE WOMAN, 3 PHANTOM RING, 1 I'M OVERHEATIN'. Thanks for coming to Avant Garden and voting! Looks like the radio singles will be The Curse, Solid Gone and Neighbor boys! Rachel and I will be sending the CDs out to over 100 indie/college radio stations by April 1st!
3-13-2011 --- This is really nerdy but I gotta say, last night I got to play a Johnny Winter signed guitar at the Bayport BBQ show I played and it was awesome! I have been a fan of his first two albums since I was 15. I had no idea how bad ass my amp can sound when the guitar I'm playing has a hot pickup in it.
3-5-2011 --- I ordered four rolls of Super 8 film yesterday to shoot another music video, THIS TIME ON REAL FILM! Trixie Longstocking and I will be shooting it together and Henry Reich (the director of Pine Box Rottin') will be doing the editing from Los Angeles where he is going to film school at USC School of Cinematic arts!
2-15-2011 --- Crankshaft is the featured artist for this months HERO Magazine! Thanks you guys!
2-5-2011 --- Trixie Longstocking and I went out to Blumer's Auto Wrecking in Isanti today to do the Junkyard Rhythm album cover photo shoot! The photos turned out awesome! I added some of the shots to the site, check them out in the Photos section.
1-27-2011 --- After four months in the studio Trent and I finished mixing the new album today! The next step is the artwork, and man do I got a cool idea for the album cover! Thank you so much Page Burkum, Pat Nudd, Clint Larson, Johann Swenson, Jeremy Krueth, Kashimana Ahua, Javier Matos, Mr. Mark Vetch, Elmer "Danger" Johnston, Johnathan Kennedy, James Jimmyapolis Wallis, Keven James, Keith Boyles and Bruce McCabe for recording on it!
1-21-2011 --- Yesterday I went down to Trents To start mixing the Junkyard Rhythm album, should be finnished next thursday if every thing goes smooth.
1-6-2011 --- The last studio session for the new CD is TODAY! Bruce McCabe is going to be recorded playing piano on "Neighbor Boys" and Keith Boyles is going to play upright bass on two tracks. I still have to record vocals on "Praying For Snow" and "I'm a Chainsaw." It's going to be an action packed day.
12-29-2010 --- The Pine Box Rottin' music video was uploaded to YouTube today! ~ Enjoy!
12-18-2010 --- I got an updated mix of the whole album from Trent today and man, I gotta say... I'm supper excited to get it finished now that I've heard it in it's entirety. There are some kinks to work out still but it's refreshing to hear that when I'm in the studio I'm way harder on my self then I should be. Recording is an emotional roller coaster and right now I'm riding high!
12-8-2010 --- Jimmyapolis sounded so good in the studio I decided to have him back to record on one more song called "I'm Overheatin'." We also finished up a song called "Give Me All Your Money" by adding slide guitar, hand claps and a tambourine.
12-2-2010 --- Productive day recording electric bass and random rhythms for the song "Junkyard Rhythm" percussion items include a tin watering can filled with broken glass, a drum stick hitting the "Suckin' Gas & Haulin' Ass" gas can, 3/8 steel chain dropping on 18g steel, a hammer smashing the 18g steel with 3/8 chain on top of the steel sheet and a drum stick hitting a empty High Life bottle. Oh, and hand claps of course.
11-27-2010 --- Today Trent and I are going to be recording Jimmyapolis (James Wallace) and Jonathan Kennedy. Jimmy will be playing two sax parts thanks to The Schwalbes lending me an alto sax and Jonathan will be recording trumpet.
11-18-2010 --- Started the day recording guitar and drums with Jeremy Crete at 11 a.m. for the tune 327 followed by a seven hour upright bass session with Mr. Mark Vetch! 11 hours in the studio! Eating BBQ beef take out in styrofoam box for dinner is where it's at!
11-15-2010 --- Javier Matos recorded harmonica on four tracks today. Solid Gone is one of the tracks his playing will be the most highlighted, I didn't know harmonicas could even make those notes! He also recorded vocal accompaniment parts for a tune I wrote called "I'm a Chainsaw."
11-9-2010 --- Last night Kashimana Ahua recorded some female vocal parts for the new album and pretty much blew both Trent and I away! If you're ever in need of a good female vocalist look her up!
10-12-2010 --- So, I got a rejection letter in the mail today from the Anoka Halloween Parade Committee. I'm kinda bummed, if you are too let them know! email@example.com
9-29-2010 --- Three days and over 230 takes later all 14 of the drum and guitar tracks are done for the new album "Junkyard Rhythm". Thank you Trent, Clint, Page, Johann and Pat for your help!
9-10-2010 --- Suckin' Gas & Haulin' Ass is being repressed for the second time! I just ordered another 1000 CDs from CopyCats!
9-6-2010 --- Thanks to the help of Grant Wibben the '59 has a trailer hitch receiver! I'm almost ready to pull a float for the Anoka Halloween parade!
8-17-2010 --- Crankshaft is the featured artist for the sound track of Field and Streams Hookshots episode 3, Season 2: Louisiana Bull Redfish