Pragmatic Adam Duritz and Counting Crows bring 25th anniversary tour to Blossom

August 22, 2018

Pragmatic Adam Duritz and Counting Crows bring 25th anniversary tour to Blossom

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Adam Duritz is a pragmatist.

The Counting Crows, who will visit Blossom on Sunday, Aug. 26, as part of their 25th anniversary tour, are still a working band. With hits like “Mr. Jones” and a storied career, they don’t have to work anymore. But they do, and for a very good reason:

“Wine is more expensive,″ said Duritz, laughing in a call from his California home. Then he got serious.

“It’s my life, it’s what I do,″ he said. “I’m a musician and we play music. The people I have spent my life with are other musicians.

“I miss it when I’m not doing it,″ he said. “It’s good to have time at home, and I used to miss home when I was on tour. But after last time, it takes me time to adjust to being at home.″

Of course, when he is at home and it’s basketball season, he’s watching his beloved Golden State Warriors . . . and they’re usually beating the Cavs in the NBA Finals.

Not so surprisingly, he sees a few parallels in winning basketball and winning bands. No one can beat the Warriors if they play the way they’re capable of playing, he said, and that’s because “this is a team we grew.″

“They’ve all played together five, six, seven years,″ he said. Yeah, there are big-money free-agent signees like Kevin Durant, but the Warriors’ roster is largely full of players the team drafted.

“You can isolate Steph [Curry] all they want, but they play so well as a team,″ he said. “They really ARE a team.

“Playing together as a band is like that, too,″ Duritz said. “One reason I’ve never wanted to be a solo artist is, ‘What’s the benefit for me in being a solo artist?’ It’s hard enough as it is, in our band, and we’ve done it for years.″

Let’s reiterate that that is 25 years. Which, coincidentally enough, makes the band eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hmmm.

“No, I do not see it, because I don’t think we’ve been particularly popular,″ he said. “We were highly regarded at the beginning, then there was a huge backlash that lasted 15 years after that.″

The media was not kind to the band, to put it mildly, Duritz said.

“It was not puff pieces, it was poke pieces,″ he said. “I realized a lot of people were venting as much personal venom and bias as in other parts of life. A lot of music critics try to write clever – ‘I hate this’ and ‘I hate that.’ ″

The realization left him disillusioned on the one hand, but gave him a certain amount of clarity.

“I’ve never wanted to go to the Grammys, and I’ve never been,″ he said. “I went to the MTV [Video Music] Awards just because I wanted to see R.E.M.

“I like it when people understand our music, and I appreciate it when our friends and peers like our records, but I don’t know that I need organized affirmation,″ Duritz said.

Some might say that Duritz’s unique, staccato style of singing is the reality behind the Counting Crows’ songs. He’s not so sure he agrees. His voice is part of it, sure, but it’s just a part.

“A song is a skeleton,″ he said. “It’s in fetal form. It’s this very sparse thing.

“What makes a band is the ability to take those tunes and chords and spread that music out in different ways to make it exciting and thrilling,″ he said.

For his band, that skeletal beginning is crucial. A song is written, then it develops as it’s played live. That last is the key.

“That part is taking the skeleton and giving it a body that makes it a Counting Crows song,″ he said.

Pragmatically speaking, of course.


Counting Crows When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. Where: Blossom Music Center, 1145 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls. Opener: Live. Tickets: $29.50 to $99.50, plus fees, at the box office, ticketmaster.com and livenation.com, and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

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