Crosswind 30-Year Reunion
    Cincinnati's Legendary Jazz Group

w Live at Molly Malone's     w Join the Party     w Then & Now     w My Crosswind Story     w Recordings     w Home


My Crosswind Story

by Bill Radin, guitar

In early 1978, I got a tip from a musician friend that Bentley's, a downtown nightclub, was looking for a band.

This was good news, since I was looking for work. As it turns out, so were Ken, Don and Marc, with whom I joined forces.

We called our group "Crosswind" to describe the music we played, which came from lots of different directions: jazz, pop and fusion.

Crosswind was the perfect band for Bentley's, which attracted a diverse crowd of local music fans, bar hoppers, hotel guests and convention-goers. As time went by, we tightened up our act and developed a loyal following.

Ron Steps It Up
One of our biggest fans was singer Ron Boustead, who used to sit in with us from time to time and hired us as his backup band for a two-week stint at a resort in Michigan.

One Saturday night, Ron dropped by the club and sang with such force that he practically blew the roof off the joint. After that evening, Ron never sat in againhe was in the band to stay.

Ron gave Crosswind its unique identity and sense of purpose. As we grew more confident and daring musically, our popularity exploded. In short order, we morphed from an instrumental band-in-the-background to a center-stage headliner, with powerful vocal arrangements and original songs that connected with people in a very personal way.

If I could pick a word to describe our groove, it would be happy. That's what I felt when I came to work each night, took my spot on the stage and counted off the tunes. Happy was when the bandstand began to rumble beneath us and Ron's voice took flight. And happy was the anticipation from our fans as they walked into the club, sensing that something special was about to happen. What I loved most were the smiles when Ken cracked a joke or Ron sang with a warmth, virtuosity and artistic maturity well beyond his years. As each evening came to a close, I felt incredibly fulfilled, barely able to wait for the next night's downbeat, when our groove would ripple through the club again.

A Special Time for Music
Bentley's was our anchor, a five-night-a-week gig that lasted for the better part of four years. When we weren't playing at Bentley's, we worked at other night spots in town, such as Shipley's, the Gatehouse Tavern, Under Fifth, Coco's, Dollar Bill's Saloon, the Blue Wisp and countless others; and at clubs in Louisville, Columbus and Indianapolis. Along the way, we added concerts, radio and TV appearances and an album to our resume.

Crosswind was a product of its place and time, when five guys in a small big city could hang out as close friends, rehearse nearly every day, make great music and actually earn a living wage. None of us succumbed to the dreaded day job; we were all totally in the moment. Music was our life, twenty-four/seven.

Sadly, that era is gone, a victim to hollowed-out cities, shrunken entertainment budgets and the accessibility to cheap music downloads. For the most part, the terms "middle-class" and "jazz musician" have become mutually exclusive.

But our friendship and our music remain alive, not only in our heartsand in the hearts of our many fansbut in the knowledge that if you're lucky, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. As a musician, I'm more skilled in my craft than I was 30 years ago. But I'll never play more passionately than I did in those funky but friendly jazz clubs filled with laughter, applause and deep appreciation. And it's doubtful I'll ever find a more selfless or honorable group of musical pals to share in the fun.

If only everyone could feel for just one minute what I felt those four joyful years.




People said I looked serious on stage. They didn't know I was having some serious fun.



Ron brought something special to the
band. On some weekends, crowds lined up
around the block to hear us play.



Wild and crazy guys! With Ron,
Ken and Don on a photo shoot in 1982.



We got some nice press in 1979 when Liza Minnelli came to hear us play and sat in with us until 4:30 AM. We left the suits at home.



Best friends forever and happy at Bentley's. That's me in the middle with Jim Seward,
Ron, Ken and Don.

 

 

 Information: Call (513) 624-7501  w  2008 Crosswind, Inc.  w  All rights reserved.