Crosscut Delux was born from the current blues scene in Orange County, CA. The band members are long time friends who met each other at blues jams organized and hosted by the Orange County Blues Players meetup group (meetup.com/ocbluesplayers) and the Orange County Blues Society. Headed up by Richard Hassebrock (guitar & vocals) and Paul Crews (drums), the band recruited John "Landslide" Arnaldo (bass) as the core of the band. Looking to add some star power to the lineup, the band expanded its membership to include the incredible Jeff "Papa J" Hudson, who fronts the band on vocals while adding some depth on the blues harp. While the band has had some "revolving" members who would join the band from time to time, it was decided that keyboards were needed to add a missing component to the sound, and the very talented Steve Hendren was inducted into the band. This is the 5 man lineup that makes up Crosscut Delux. All combined the band has over a century of experience playing music all over the southland. They've earned their chops the hard way, from the bar room corner stage to the concert halls, and everything in between.
Much of the blues scene around all of southern California, and pretty much everywhere else as well, is dominated by a "blues-rock" fusion, that often trends far more into the "RocK" category than "Blues". Not so with Crosscut Delux. This band reaches back to the roots of traditional blues and standards, this is the real deal.
Richard Hassebrock - guitar & vocals
Born in Illinois, Richard moved with his folks to California in 1960 where they settled in Orange County. He experienced first hand the excitement of southern California through the 60’s and 70’s. The beach scene, Hula Hoops, skateboards, motocross, hot rods and muscle cars, and most of all, Rock and Roll. Influenced by the “guitar gods” of the American music scene and the British Invasion, he picked up the guitar as a young teenager. Playing first with friends, he then joined a succession of bands based in Fullerton during the late 70’s and early 80’s playing at a variety of venues that are mostly closed today. Richard stop playing out for a couple of decades to raise a family, but re-entered the music scene with a new found love for the music that was the basis for the classic rock that he loved so much, the Blues. Joining, then eventually taking over the helm of a group of musicians known as the Orange County Blues Players, Richard has been hosting blues jams in Orange County for over a decade, and has been playing with various blues musicians in venues all over the southland. Richard plays guitar, rhythm, lead and slide; electric, acoustic and dobro. Richard has an affinity for vintage gear and also is an accomplished amplifier technician who services, repairs, and modifies guitar amps (see hasserl.com) and builds custom designed guitar amplifiers.
Paul Crews - drums
A veteran who got his start in the Summer of Love (that would be 1967, for you youngsters), Paul’s earliest gigs paved the way financially for a college degree. He originally hails from Birmingham, Alabama and landed in Orange County back in the days when Elvis was the king and Rock and Roll was proclaiming its immortality, and intention of staying put on the American pop music scene. As the muscle and brains behind such Orange County staple acts as Cadillac Hubie and a seasoned veteran of the recording studio, Paul brings a steady hand and a taste for fine haberdashery to the band. Paul currently lives in Costa Mesa.
John Arnaldo - bass & vocals
John Arnaldo bass & vocals, originally a brass player (trumpet, bugle, French Horn) He took off time to play football in High School and got back into music after that. John got into stringed instruments late around age 20. His brother played guitar so John tried the bass (cause I didnt have to play chords!). Through out the 80s & 90s John played in rock bands, oldies/latin bands and blues bands. He took some time off for school and work and got back into music in 2008 when he joined the Orange County Blues Players Meetup Group.
John Plays Fender Jazz and P bass Guitars and Upright bass.
Jeff "Papa J" Hudson - vocals & blues harp
When it comes to the Blues in Orange County, California, there is perhaps no bigger or more passionate proponent than Papa J (Jeffrey Hudson). For the better part of two decades, the affable harmonica player/vocalist has entertained countless numbers of fans in venues ranging from the House of Blues (both the Anaheim and L.A. locations) to the Doheny Blues Festival and more with a spirited brand of Chicago-style Jump/Blues that once earned him “Entertainer of the Year” from the prestigious 2010 Los Angeles Music Awards and nominated for Blues Artist of the Year at the 2012 Los Angeles Music Awards. A true bluesman!!
"I have been playing music for a very long time, and the blues has been a very good friend during many years of that time. I want to share my love of the blues with people, and it has been an ever growing love affair. We are part of the same family. If you have had a flat tire at 2 in the morning, you have had the blues. If you have lost a sweetheart you have had the blues.
It’s a human condition. What is cool is sharing those feelings with others. When you get to stand on stage and give your interpretation of a great classic or play one of you own tunes you get to express that “at the moment feeling” to the crowd and if you can do it right you know that they understand. God Bless the Blues!!"
Steve Hendren - Keys
As a 12 year old, Steve started studying how to play the drums. At 15, he started teaching himself how to play the keyboards, with the help of his younger sister Sue, who had been studying formal piano for about three years at that time. Since Steve was born and raised in Burbank, he spent his formative teenage years playing clubs in Hollywood, like the Troubadour and Gazzarri’s while he was still in high school. His band at that time, Foxfire, also opened for Geronimo Black twice at a theater in Monrovia.
He attended LA Valley College as a music major. He sang in the choir, and he played in both the jazz band and the marching band. (Yes, he played keyboard in the marching band! Ask him about it sometime and he can explain it to you!!)
After college Steve joined the LA based Mammoth rock band. They played locally in LA with Van Halen at various clubs in the San Fernando Valley. While touring in the Northwest, they shared the bill with Heart at a very large venue in Vancouver, Canada.
After the tour, they returned to L.A. and played often at larger clubs such as the Roxy and the Whiskey. They were offered a record deal on Quiet Riot’s label, but there were some bad business things going on behind the scenes that broke up the recording deal. Also about that time, the bass player, Steph Ellis, left to join Survivor, and the Mammoth band basically broke up. For the next few years Steve did a little session work in Hollywood, and also played with a Hollywood punk band called Frankenster. He then played piano and toured for two years with an Elvis Impersonator by the name of Michael Kidd.
His last musical experience before getting married and eventually raising three sons, was playing with a hard rock band called Sorcery. The Sorcery band was known for doing magic tricks and special effects during their live performances. In 1981, they were the only unsigned act to perform on the very first Dick Clark Halloween TV Special. The other acts on the show were Jermaine Jackson, Tony Basil, and Devo. Sorcery contributed two songs to the show, and also supplied the theme music and the cut to break music as well.
Now living in OC, in 2011 Steve finally broke out his keyboards and started practicing again. He has played with a few local OC bands over the past few years, he loves the OC Blues Player jams, and is now really very happy and excited to now be part of Crosscut Deluxe, an awesome blues swing band!