Bay Area songwriter Deborah Crooks has released three CD's of critically noted original music drawing on folk, rock, Americana and the Blues. Her diverse, ever-evolving artistic career has included studying writing and poetics at The Naropa Institute, voice with Faith Winthrop, Chloe Goodchild and Aambaprasad V Mysore (India), cowriting and collaborating with her Bay Area peers and regularly gigging throughout the Western Unites States.
Crooks’ 2013 release, the dynamic full-length Little Bird is very much a product of the unique Bay Area independent music community that she has been part of since releasing her debut EP 5 Acres in 2003. The eclectic, 11-track set — which ventures into everything from funk and reggae to rock and blues — reflect her expansive and eclectic tastes, and features musicians the singer has performed or recorded with over the past five years.
A follow-up to her 2010 EPs It’s All Up To You and Other Halves (which Crooks later packaged together and released as the full length 2010), Little Bird was produced Art Khu, a well-known composer/producer in San Francisco jazz circles who has played on several of Crooks’ past recordings. The two recorded the basics of the project with drummer Mike Stevens at his Lost Monkey Studio, and Ben Bernstein (who produced her first two albums) on bass.
Lyrically, the overriding themes on Little Bird (faith and spirituality, liberating the self from societal and personal limitations, going for love) reflect a perspective that has been shaped extensively by Crooks’ studies of creative writing and yoga, which she has practiced regularly for 15 years, including taking four extended trips to India deepen her studies.