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John Craigie, ‘Westbound Bart (Live)’ [Exclusive Premiere]

John Craigie live album 2018
Photo by Keith Berson, courtesy of Missing Piece Group

Singer-songwriter John Craigie has a new live album coming in mid-March, and he’s giving The Boot’s readers a sneak peek at one of its tracks. Press play below to hear his in-concert version of “Westbound Bart” — and an amusing anecdote about his time in California during college.

“Westbound Bart” originally appears on Craigie’s 2011 album Make Your Own Legend. The artist tells The Boot that he’d been experiencing a long bout of writer’s block prior to writing the song; while crashing with a friend in Berkeley, Calif., Craigie complained about his troubles, and the friend suggested that Craigie go across the bay to San Francisco for karaoke night at Amnesia Bar.

“He knew that I liked to write about real-life incidents and human nature … He told me about all the interesting characters that haunt that place and how I was sure to find a song there,” Craigie recalls. “I headed out solo, hopped on the BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit transportation system], and the song picks up from there. I got the song, and the writer’s block was gone.”

Although he’s now based in Portland, Ore., Craigie attended college at University of California, Santa Cruz — not for music, but for math. Prior to Craigie’s performance of “Westbound Bart,” listeners will hear the singer hilariously recount his time at UCSC, which was “going through its own little hippie phase,” he says. It’s a prime example of how Craigie mixes comedic tales and his musical storytelling in his live shows.

Opening for Steinbeck, Craigie’s new live album (his second overall), is due out on March 16. Almost all of its songs are preceded by an anecdote like the one he tells prior to “Westbound Bart.”

For more information on his music, and to keep up with Craigie’s tour schedule, visit his official website.

Listen to John Craigie, “Westbound Bart (Live)”:

NEXT: Who Is John Craigie? 5 Things You Need to Know

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