Cracked Ice is a band that covers a lot of ground. Crispin started the group as a showcase for his own deep-dish retro-soul songs and “dusty groove” r&b covers, playing at clubs and opening concerts in NYC and the Northeast; but over the past decade, Crispin and Cracked Ice have also branched out to perform as the onstage band for nationally prominent TV shows (PBS’ “The Mark Twain Prize for Humor”, most recently honoring Jay Leno at The Kennedy Center), backing world-class stars in live performance (Al Kooper/Sam Moore), and even playing a few memorable parties and weddings (e.g., Marc Cohn & Elizabeth Vargas/Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal).
The initial Cracked Ice lineup included Charlie Giordano and Soozie Tyrell (who both went on to join Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band), and a bevy of greats have hopped on (and off) the “Ice Wagon” over the past decade, including Brent Carter (ex-Tower of Power/currently lead vocalist with Average White Band), guitar-meisters Ira Siegel, John Putnam and Jon Herington (of Steely Dan renown), Bobby Harden (currently co-lead vocals in the original Blues Brothers), trumpeter Larry Etkin (Billy Joel Band/Uptown Horns), bassist Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley (Sam Moore, “Rock of Ages” on Broadway), and drummers Steve Holley (Wings/Ian Hunter) and Denny McDermott (Rosanne Cash/Marc Cohn/Steely Dan).
Along with the band’s funk and soul underpinnings, Crispin’s songwriting for Cracked Ice has focused on the primal male/female duet in rock/r&b (think Marvin & Tammi, Bonnie & Delaney, Otis Redding & Carla Thomas . . . ), and the band’s current lineup features the sizzling vocal duo of Susan Didrichsen (Wilson Pickett Band/David Byrne) and Angel Rissoff (The Rascals, Little Isadore). On the band’s 2009 debut album “Soul Noir”, Cracked Ice revels in the original soul duets “Start It Up”, “Let’s Talk It Over”, and “That’s My Story”, and two of these songs became bona fide hits on the local-but-mighty Carolina “beach music” scene centered in Myrtle Beach/Charleston/Wilmington: “That’s My Story” and “Sweet Feeling” (with Susan singing lead), as well as in England’s Northern Soul scene, and with “shag dancing” fans world-wide. As a result, “Sweet Feeling” was included on Putumayo Records’ “Rhythm & Blues” compilation album, and several other cuts have been licensed for television and film scores.
And Cracked Ice always delivers the rockin’ soul . . . live!