How it all started….
Bonnie & Taylor: the Duo
Bonnie’s first year at South Plains College was Taylor’s last, and they were so grateful for that sweet overlap. They were both awarded Best Vocalist (Bluegrass: Male/Female) in the end of semester awards and the school assigned them a duet to perform — they have been making music together since that night. After finishing school and getting married, Bonnie joined Taylor in Colorado and they began building their reputation on the Front Range in Bonnie & the Clydes while Taylor also continued for many years in his original project, Spring Creek. Playing countless live shows and festivals around CO and the Western US; tours to Germany, Canada and Sweden; multiple studio albums; exciting collaborations with other area musicians and hundreds of students through summer camps and private lessons soon followed as Bonnie & Taylor established themselves as a potent creative force of the vibrant Colorado music scene.
I started singing as early as three years old, my father was a professional musician and played children’s music for a living. Growing up I played at theme parks and summer festivals with my dad in a traditional string band, singing and playing mandolin and acoustic guitar. I played at Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington) and Silver Dollar City (Branson) as well as public libraries all over TX in support of my father’s musical summer reading program. As a young child I sang on the theme song for the nationally syndicated children’s television program, Wishbone, as well as recorded two family band albums with my father, Mike Cruciger.
I went to South Plains College to pursue commercial music and songwriting, and ended up meeting my husband and future musical partner there as well. He was already playing in a bluegrass band based out of Lyons, CO, so after graduating I joined him in CO and started writing and playing live shows, forming my own band Bonnie & the Clydes and releasing four studio albums over the next ten years.
Over the next few years through mutual friends we met our current musical collaborator, Robbie Nevil. With Robbie we began experimenting with a way heavier produced sound and started cowriting, namely for sync licensing and dubbed our new project Everybody Loves An Outlaw. Sync music felt like a smart thing to invest in, as musicians who had primarily made our income from playing live shows and selling our merch at shows, having our foot in another camp felt like a wise move. When Covid shutdowns happened across our entire industry at the start of 2020 we started to realize how significant that move really was. We ended up having one of our songs with Everybody Loves An Outlaw, ‘I See Red’, get placed in a Netflix movie 365DNI/Days and subsequently “go viral”, changing the course of our career in seemingly an instant and giving us this incredible asset in the negotiations that followed. We went from being essentially invisible in the industry to taking meetings with VPs of A&R at Republic, Columbia, Arista and a handful of other labels, and ending up signing a singles deal with Columbia Records for ‘I See Red’ through the original music library that we had licensed our first batch of ELAO songs through, Extreme Music. We’re excited to see where our ELAO music leads while staying connected to our community and each other through our duo project.
I officially started my professional career in music in 2004 at the age of 19 but my path to that moment started a while before that. At the age of 16 I started playing guitar and gave up nearly all other pursuits. No more football, no more sports, no more clubs. All guitar. Fast-forward two years and I was off to college to study commercial music at South Plains College in Levelland, Tx. There it would become clear that a career as a professional musician and songwriter was the only path for me. My first band ‘Spring Creek’ was formed in my graduating year and we started playing gigs in and around the Texas Panhandle. We were a bluegrass band and Texas is not a bluegrass state and we needed a new scene. So the band packed up and headed for Boulder, Co.
We began touring in and around Colorado as well as the greater west, making a decent name for ourselves as we went. In 2007 we entered the Telluride Bluegrass festival band competition and won first place there and then two months later we entered the Rockygrass Festival band competition and won first there as well. We were the only band before or since to win both in the same year. That feat gave us a great deal of bluegrass industry clout and set us on a rocket trajectory for the national scene which of course led to much more touring and a rigorous schedule over the next five/six years. We played 150-200 dates a year in that time and like the tires and transmission on the church van, it wore us out. We made four full length albums with one of those being released on the historic label Rebel records and other awards and accolades to our credit. In 2011 I won ‘Americana Song of the Year’ for a song I penned on our fourth album. Near the end of 2012 we had all had about as much as we could take of life on the road and decided to call in quits and the band Spring Creek was no more.
I then joined my wife’s already successful band called Bonnie & the Clydes since our dream had always been to join forces and intertwine our musical careers. She is so fiercely talented and driven so we work very well together most of the time and what’s better than sharing the work with someone you love. That band has consistently grown, won multiple awards and we have become solidified on the Colorado music scene that we love so much. Our approach in 2105/2016 changed a bit and we started to branch out in our career and become more diversified as a unit. Along side touring and making records we started teaching, directing kids music camps, producing, arranging and consulting with teaching being a huge focus because we must invest in the next generation if we are to succeed in our generation.
In 2017, an opportunity to start a sync licensing project came to us so we started writing and making music with an LA producer friend, Robbie Nevil under the name ‘Everybody Loves an Outlaw’. ’18 and ’19 gave us a few placements in television and commercials but it wasn’t in the forefront of our professional endeavors, just another line in the water hoping for a lunker. Then in 2020 after all of our gigs, engagements and touring were canceled due to the pandemic we struck a huge win in the licensing world with a song called ‘I See Red’. The song got placement in the hit movie ‘356 Days’ and subsequently became a huge global hit staying at #1 on the global viral Spotify charts for eleven days, a previously un-matched achievement for an unsigned song from a sound track. With all the heat and love from the song we landed a record deal with Colombia records in July of 2020 and now we have nearly 100 million streams. We wrote and recorded a full length album in the fall of 2020 and we are currently working on music videos and social media content since we still cant play live shows with album expected out later this year (2021).