GRC alum has showcased musical talent with major names

Published 2:00 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

Last week, the Sun chronicled the rise of a former athlete as he’s made his way through the Louisville Metro Police Department.

As fortune would have it, he’s far from the only GRC alum to have shined in their field of interest.

Caleb Crosby, the son of George Rogers Clark High School journalism teacher Shanda Crosby, is used to the arts.

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Though his path might have taken him in a slightly different direction, it is nevertheless at growing heights.

As chronicled in an article written earlier this year by George Rogers Clark High School’s newspaper Smoke Signals, Crosby – a drummer for the band Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown – recently performed live with Dolly Parton at the Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony on May 11 at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas.

“It was really cool. We had a really good time [and] a full production,” Crosby said. “We’re all pros at the end of the day…you get that really exciting rush getting to do it on that level.”

Yet for Crosby, an influence on music came early on through his father – a former musician, band director and choir director.

Because his father was a member of a gospel band, Crosby had early exposure to the industry.

“I grew up going to shows. My dad’s one of those people that can play mostly everything,” he said. “I really gravitated toward the drums. I haven’t looked back.”

On the verge of turning thirty-four, Crosby’s time with the drums will soon reach nearly a quarter of a century after receiving his first drum kit at age ten.

As time has passed, it’s worth noting that Parton is not the only celebrity Crosby has garnered playing time with.

Along with his band, he’s played with the late Chris Cornell, former lead vocalist for Soundgarden and Audioslave.

He also has played with country singers Lennon Stella and Frankie Ballard.

As an opening act for classic rock bands such as AC/DC, Guns n’ Roses, Aerosmith, Def Leppard and REO Speedwagon, music has led Crosby worldwide to countries such as Singapore, Israel, Iceland and Argentina.

“When we were on tour with AC/DC, we always said that we would do our set, and then we would go to our dressing room, have about five minutes of relaxing, and then we’d hop right in front of the house so that we could watch AC/DC’s set”, he said. “It felt a little bit like you were going to rock and roll school.”

Currently living in Nashville, Crosby’s opportunity to play with Parton came at an opportune time.

An inductee into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the 11-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter ended the show with her newest single – called “World on Fire” – that will be a part of a new record titled “Rockstar.”

“I got called through some friends of mine, with her wanting to put together a rock and roll band,” Crosby said. “[There] was a lot of build-up for about four-and-a-half minutes, but it was well worth it.”

While the band will continue to play, including during numerous festivals, they’ve also branched out into other endeavors.

“Our band started our own record label,” he added. “We are really recruiting some artists to release some of their albums that we’re making together. It’s been a really cool flip of the switch to have that kind of mindset.”

Asked what he enjoyed the most about his music experience, Crosby was prompt with his response.

“I enjoy the people,” Crosby said. “The music is always great but you can’t beat a situation when you are surrounded by good people.”