John Craigie | A Picnic on the 405

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Folk: Modern Folk Rock: Acoustic Moods: Solo Male Artist
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A Picnic on the 405

by John Craigie

Craigie's most innovative and daring album of his career.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Ice Plant Amphitheater
6:01 album only
2. Canyon Walls
3:48 album only
3. The Ballad of John and Jill
4:10 album only
4. The Grass on Concrete Blues
5:46 album only
5. Talkin' Orange Alert Blues
5:08 album only
6. My Own Religion
4:20 album only
7. The Male Version of You
6:09 album only
8. Closer to the Sky
3:11 album only
9. Westchester Moon
5:01 album only
10. One Sweet Duet
6:45 album only
11. Weakness
4:55 album only
12. Purple Lightning
5:39 album only


Album Notes
A year and a half in the making, “A Picnic on the 405,” is Craigie's most ambitious and exciting album to date. With Craigie and the Accidental Poets now comfortable at Bocean studios, John decided to put more attention to the detail and production of the songs he had chosen for his next album. With the success of “Daddy Longlegs,” and its unique approach to folk music, John decided to push the genre even farther with his fourth album. The result is a culmination of John’s diverse, adventurous sound. The album rides a wave from pumped up bluegrass, to mellow grooves; from traditional folk, to all out rock and roll, all against the backdrop of some of John’s best songwriting yet. His first true “concept album” as he claims, “A Picnic on the 405” centers on the theme of growing up in Los Angeles, and how that experience shaped Craigie’s growth. The cast of players is again an all-star list featuring Leland Jackness on electric and acoustic guitar, Cody Walz on tenor and alto saxophone, Ajaia Suri on backing vocals, and many more. Although the question of when John is going to return to the simple style of his first album still exists, it’s clear that “A Picnic on the 405” is a reminder to listeners that Craigie has much more to offer.



to write a review

Jack Craigie

Views of a biased old guy.
Since I am John's dad, you might think I would give it 5 stars; but I like the folk music he does in shows much more than the bluesy stuff. I know that his Rachmanninoff-loving dad is not a typical listener, though, so I told John he was right in branching out and experimenting. I loved Leland on the guitar, O'Dell on the ivories, and what the Rev. Franklin had to say. Go, John!


Smart Move for John
OK guys, I know some people "are waiting for when John will return to his original folk style" but I think this CD is an excellent expansion of his previously limited (but oh so wonderful) repertoire. The sound is both professional and original. I am impressed with John's demonstrated ability to skillfully branch out his musical style. The bluegrassey style of some songs on this album is both well done and wonderful to listen to. Plus, his lyrics are fantastic, as usual. This album is a smart move on John's part and will appeal to a larger audience. A picnic on the 405 is sure to be a favorite for old and new Craigie fans.


I love it!
I have been waiting for this album to come out ever since I saw John play in Portland about 4 months ago. The songwriting is fantastic, witty, thoughtful,and timely. John has moved beyond his original lo-fi folk roots and has expanded to integrate elements of different styles from bluegrass to rock. I particularly adore "Talkin' Orange Alert Blues".

Bill Marak

Orange Alert Blues
I liked the whole album but especially Talking Orange
Alert Blues. John played in Shreveport, LA recently
and was warmly received.


John moves onwards, and upwards...
The new album shows some great development in JC's work. I like it a lot: the songwriting and lyrical content remain top notch, but the instrumentation has moved on from the strictly folk roots. For me, a good thing!