By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With his ear lent to the sounds of classic rock, folk revival and alternative radio while he grew up in the 90’s and 2000’s, Jesse Stone Creachman knew he’d one day have his way with instruments.
Since then, the Montreal-based singer has hundreds of written songs and shows played under this belt, as he has gotten to perform with Jim Zeller, Slim Williams and Justin Saladino, as well as having opened for international acclaimed United Kingdom slide guitarist Jack Broadbent.
With the arrival of Fall, he’s set to soon drop a new autobiographical album ‘Radio’s Dead’ in November, with the namesake single already out, which features Acadian fiddle Steeve Poirer and bassist Morgan Moore (The Barr Brothers).
The full-length will cover a variety of personal topics in Creatchman’s life – life in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a wild-turn affair in Pennsylvania, nightmarish road experiences, divorce, drug abuse, death of a friend and the importance of his roots, family and music in general.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Creatchman about ‘Radio’s Dead’ and more.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – I don’t know that I ever had a choice. I picked up a guitar when I was a kid. I stuck with it long enough to wind up in a band with my peers. When the songs started coming, they wouldn’t stop. Songwriting became my refuge, a sanctuary of thought where I could reflect, meditate and occasionally, catch a sliver of a vision of the future. Songwriting has given me a mode of expression for which, in my life, there is no substitute. It’s also provided me with experiences that I otherwise never would’ve had. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I saw Bob Dylan in concert when I was 13. Maybe that was the moment.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for “Radio’s Dead”?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – Well, I wanted to make a great record and I wanted to share my story. My experiences leading up to and including the recording process. I’ve experienced much since my last album – moving to NYC, separating from my wife, seeking refuge in Brooklyn and then coming back to Canada and touring. I recorded in a rough studio that tested me both as an artist and as a human. My values were put on the line. I wrote about the studio. I wrote about getting sober. It’s all there on the record. Also, I wanted a record that was all killer, no filler. Not every song on the album ‘Radio’s Dead’ is for everyone, but I think there is a song for everyone. No biggie, I’m just striving for greatness.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – I spent most of the pandemic helping my girlfriend with her kids and mixing my record. Lately, I’ve just been trying to stay active, continue writing, producing and keeping my head above the waves. Fortunately, for me, I built a private green screen studio just before lockdown, so it came in handy during the first couple “covid-vacation.” We shot a music video for my pals in the band Vinyl Hero, as well as a couple for myself that will be coming out later this year. The “Pennsylvania” music video actually mixes some live footage from my last show before lockdown with footage we shot of the talented Montreal burlesque dancer Lavender May.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – Up north to the country. The Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. It’s a great place to get away from the city. Sitting on the dock, staring at the lake and the cedars, with my guitar in hand. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s a great place to let your thoughts run wild.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – “Sitting In Limbo” by Jimmy Cliff. I’ve also been listening to Peter Paul and Mary with my girlfriend’s toddler. She likes Puff The Magic Dragon and their rendition of “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore.” She likes my song “The Shore” better, though. I take it as a point of pride. I also like Van Morrison’s new album, “Latest Record Project Volume 1.” It’s nice to hear his classic style singing over current topics.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for by the end of 2021?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – I have three music videos ready to go that I’m planning to release by the end of the year. In this climate, video really comes in handy. My current goal is to have at least two more shot by New Year’s and released in the early Spring.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – “The fool who persists in his folly will soon become wise,” from William Blake in “Proverbs Of Hell.”
Music Bugle – What do you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – I don’t have any big opinions on the music industry. I don’t really care. There are tons of opportunities for young artists to build a fanbase via new technologies that are constantly being developed. You don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to make a record anymore. You can produce a great song independently from the comfort of your own home and you can promote it yourself. That being said, however, I value mentors. Lots of people have put their name on the line for me, for which I am eternally grateful. I wouldn’t be where I am today, I wouldn’t have had the experiences, the performances, the studio recordings, the artists I’ve had the privilege of working with and befriending, the highs the lows, the substance of my life, were it not for the support and motivation I received along the way. I guess that’s what I hope for most. That more people take the time to assist and develop promising talent.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – Music, singing and songwriting took centerfold in my upbringing. It was always around. It kept my family tight. My brother Zach is a natural born singer. He had a powerful and tender voice voice from a young age and he was always singing. My sister Jenny sings like an angel and is a songwriter. They’re both featured on my album and their voices together create a textural throughout that i one of the glues holding the album together. After I started writing, my father Jeff was inspired to write songs and he even learned guitar in his 40s. “Promises,” a song off my first album, was actually written and composed by my dad. I probably wouldn’t have even picked up guitar in the first place if it hadn’t been for my mother, who kicked me in the ass to learn something and stick with it.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about you?
Jesse Stone Creatchman – My dad’s uncle, Eddie “The Brains” Creatchman was a villainous Canadian wrestling manager, well-known on the independent Quebec circuit for starting riots in the Montreal forum back in the 50s. Boy, did he have a mouth on him. A cigar-smoking, Star of David wearing brute and born showman. He was a reviled and celebrated figure in the wrestling Industry spanning decades.
*Photo Credit – Peter Morneau*