Announcing The Bards and Updates regarding The Midnight Crusade + Other Projects
Updated: Aug 25
Hello everybody! Been a while, huh? Well, lest you think I was slacking during the last year… you’d be right. But I still managed to get quite a bit done. Mostly music-related, but some other writing endeavors too. Those’ll be at the bottom of the article, if you can be bothered to make it that far.
Let’s get going.
The first project I’m thrilled to announce today is The Bards. Featuring myself, John Bachkosky, and Greg Mazur, The Bards is a rock band with folk, orchestral, and progressive elements. Oh, and live trumpet (courtesy of Mr. Mazur) and violin (courtesy of Mr. Bachkosky)! Lyrically – well, let’s just put it this way. If you’re a fan of George R.R. Martin, or Arthurian legend, or Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll love what we’ve put together. If not, I’ll permit you one hearty laugh at our expense for writing such nerdy lyrics, after which you can move on to other things.
If you haven’t seen the announcement video, and you enjoy laughing at others’ misery, you’ll find it a real treat. You get a bonus bottle of Mega Death sauce in the mail if you make it to the end of the video (and if it’s not declared a travel hazard by the government since the writing of this update). Actually, now that I think of it, that’s a great way to ruin someone’s day. Never mind.
We have some awesome music and artwork to share with you soon, as well as videos and… dare I say… tour dates? Stay tuned.
Now, the part all… three of you have been waiting for, if you made it this far.
The Midnight Crusade
Forced retirement from live music has not suited me well. So, starting in November, The Midnight Crusade is coming back with a vengeance. We never got a chance to tour Summer’s End for the Runaways, which released in May 2020 in the worst throes of the pandemic. So, starting in September, that’s what we’re embarking upon: The Summer’s End tour, featuring tons of new music from Summer’s End, as well as some old favorites. As an added note of poetry, the tour is due to start at the very same venue we played our last show to date: the Fish Head Cantina in Halethorpe, MD.
Here are our dates for 2021 so far. Hopefully many, many more to come.
9/18 Fish Head Cantina (beginning of Summer’s End Tour)
10/30 Shamrock Inn (Halloween show – special setlist)
11/5 Fish Head Cantina
Other dates to be announced on The Midnight Crusade’s Facebook page as well as Instagram (@themidnightcrusade), so follow us there to be up to date on all the latest shows!
Oh, by the way – the Kevin Strasser Spotify and YouTube (and, indeed, whichever streaming service you find me on) has had its name changed to The Midnight Crusade. We’re going all in. The Bards will have a different artist page and social media accounts, which you’d better hope aren’t run by me. Because I can barely do one.
Thank you all for following me on streaming (The Runaways is now up to 30K streams on Spotify!) and on the road – believe me, these’ll be some good shows when we come back.
The Bringer of… Jazz?
Early last year, my old friend Michael DeMaio asked if I wanted to be involved in a jazz fusion project. Specifically, a jazz-classical combination in which we take a big band and adapt Gustav Holst’s Mars (The Bringer of War) and Jupiter (The Bringer of Jollity). Rehearsals have been a great laugh so far, and we’re looking to get into the studio around November or December to record the pieces. As far as live playing goes… well, I’ve never played in a venue big enough to fit our whole band on stage. We’ll see what happens.
A Novel Idea
Some of you may know that Summer’s End for the Runaways is a concept album – a set of songs with a singular story and, in my case, characters (Gem, Ari, and Lyra, among others). I’m very pleased with how the album turned out, and I loved the world so much that I decided to greatly expand the story and write a novel. As of this update, it’s currently in the beta reader phase (if you want to join that group, let me know!). After beta readers have given me their feedback, I’ll do another editing pass, and try to get myself an agent. I’ll let you all know what happens with that – hey, maybe you’ll even see a few copies at a Midnight Crusade show sometime.
A Priddy Great Time
My first show back after this loooooong year wasn’t with Midnight Crusade. Wasn’t with The Bards. It was where it all started for me – at the Priddy Music Academy. They were scheduled to do a benefit show for Burgers & Bands for Suicide Prevention (a great foundation – check them out), and Lee Priddy asked some of us alumni to return to the stage for a set filled with songs we used to play in our days at the academy. 50 minutes, two weeks to rehearse. No biggie. The show went great though, and quite a bit of money was raised for the foundation. Here are some pictures from the day of. You can’t see that it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day, but believe me, it was.
Anyway, that's all I got for now. I'll try to discipline myself to doing monthly (or bi-monthly, based on how busy my life gets) updates for all you wonderful readers - in fact, I should start on the next one today in case procrastination should rear its ugly head come update time next month. Well... maybe not today.
Rock on, Crusaders.