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Artist of the Month - August 2016

Arts Council Menifee

The Crazy Creek Band was formed in 1975 but Chris Norrid, lead singer and keyboardist, is the only founding member still in the band that continues to entertain audiences. He is joined on stage by lead guitarist Rick Hildabrandt, drummer Dean Gallucci and bassist Stephen “Steve” Morin.

The group is being recognized as Artists of the Month for August by Menifee’s local art organization.

“We are so pleased that the Crazy Creek band has performed each year at our annual Arts Showcase event at the Countryside Marketplace,” said Bill Zimmerman, board trustee with Arts Council Menifee. “They really draw a crowd and are the highlight of the event for sure. These musicians deserve the recognition and we want to thank them for helping make our event a success”.

“We were pretty excited about being honored,” Norrid said. “It always feels good to be recognized for your hard work.”

Crazy Creek is a “country band with some rock flavor” that has also been known to do a little swing and blues.

“On the day of the Arts Showcase event, our friend John Elliot sat in with us on the steel guitar,” Norrid said. “The Perris Horns (Rick and Andrea Amato) also lend their saxophone sound to us from time to time.”

Norrid was born in San Diego and began singing with his family at age four. When he was seven he appeared on stage at local barn dances in Del Mar.

“Singing was just a natural thing to do,” said Norrid, who has lived in Nuevo since 2008. “Singing Hank Williams’ songs at the barn dances every month was just second nature to me. I never had stage fright so I guess it was just in my DNA.”

After his move to Nuevo, Norrid began to meet local musicians such as Morin who worked with him to rebuild the Crazy Creek Band. He said mutual respect and liking each other is important to have a successful band.

“Talent plays a big part, so does willingness to work on our own time and on our individual parts. It’s called woodshedding for you to just lock yourself up, get your instrument out and do your best. We all do it and we get together to practice but, oftentimes the song just shows up on stage that we haven't rehearsed and we do it,” he said.

Norrid said it’s not difficult to keep everybody on the same page.

“The most important thing is to have an open mind and be willing to give and take constructive criticism,” he said.

Born in North Carolina, bassist Morin was always involved with music, including playing drums and clarinet in elementary school bands. He served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and enjoyed “many hours of barracks jamming.”

He has been the bass guitar in Crazy Creek Band since ...

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