Dan Crispell came from a small farm in Walkill, New York; John Kalinowksy from Wappingers Falls, NY, better known as “down by the river” to the Walkites. The two were brought together, as if by fate, when they both attended Northeastern University in the Fall of 1998. That began the college years. It was obvious that they would immediately become friends.
“I thought he was ok, but we weren’t really friends,” recalls Dan. “He just lived near me.”
John thought otherwise: “Yeah, I guess you could say we were pretty tight. We hung out most of our free time.”
Things progressed, and the friendship grew. The duo spent the next year writing music in their Peterborough St. studio, drawing on the college atmosphere and the drunks wandering over from Fenway for inspiration. Clearly this band was going somewhere.
John: “I think we just clicked. We could really play off of each others talents…I think that’s what made our music so pure and dynamic.”
Dan: “Yeah, we lived in Peterborough together. He slept below me…..no wait. That was Jay Brown. Which one was John again?”
The studio grew small for their increasing talents, prompting the move to 616 Columbus. Struggling to make ends meet, playing smokey bars, frat houses, and local “Battle of the Bands,” their unique blend of pop, country, techno, bluegrass, hardcore rap, and folk, would soon be recognized by a local talent scout.
“John Kalinowksy? I could hear his freaking computer from the other end of the apartment. Boop Boop! Boop Boop! This kid was a instant message fanatic! He didn’t have any friends, so I don’t know who he was talking to, but the messages kept coming. Music? uh…I’m not really sure that’s considered music. Yeah, Dan played some music…mostly drinking songs from random country singers. They got old pretty quick.”
They began to hit it big, playing the main room of Andy Boyd’s apartment the same day of NU College Fest. John recalls that’s when the things took a turn for the worst. Dan’s drinking hit an all time high. “I remember his attitude changed. It wasn’t about the music anymore. Dan was too wrapped up in the success – the money, the girls, the Busch light. He didn’t show up for practice. He forgot all about the band.”
Dan: “Band? What the hell are you talking about? I can’t even play an instrument. I was never in a band.”
That was 2003. Not a single appearance of the duet in nearly 4 years, leaving diehard fans longing for more. Recent rumors began to fly when a video appeared on the internet, suggesting the two may have re-unitied. Is there a chance that the band that once swept through Boston bars and into your living rooms will get back together for another tour? Have the two set aside their disagreements about the Busch, the music, and if there is even a band? Only time will tell. Until then, we’ll have to hold on to what we have of this duet. Two words: Luckenback and Texas.