Craig Gerdes is a singer whose voice is steadied by the legion of angels he believes watch over him. He tells stories at a Southern pace, with a soft voice and slow drawl. His new album Smokin' Drinkin' and Gamblin' is full of outlaw-country rug cutters and ballads about strong heads and weak hearts. Fueled by nostalgia, his songwriting talent turns old habits into dependable crutches nursing the phantom pain of distant love.
Though he hails from rural Illinois, his sound is old-school, four-to-the-floor, Texas-style honky tonk, reminiscent of greats like Waylon Jennings, Leon Payne, George Strait, Jim Lauderdale and James McMurtry. As great songwriters often do, he spent time as a writer in Nashville, where he had some success, and learned that his songs were too country for the cosmopolitan elite.
Smokin' Drinkin' & Gamblin' is full of outlaw-country rug cutters and ballads about strong heads and weak hearts. Fueled by nostalgia, Gerdes' songwriting talent turns old habits into dependable crutches, nursing the phantom pain of distant love. The nine-track album is full old-school four-to-the-floor honky tonk that calls to mind country legends like George Strait, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson.
His new single is out just in time for the holidays. "Christmas Eve At Our House" is an upbeat, boot-tappin' country Christmas number in which Gerdes weaves all of country music's tropes (whiskey, cigarettes, fightin', Mama) into an autobiographical tale of a holiday family gathering. Led by blazing pedal, plenty of timeless country guitar licks and carried by bouncy two-beat bass, this song is a worthy entry in the canon of Christmas-themed country music.