Chas Cronk | Biography
I started out playing guitar and bass and writing songs with school, college, and local bands and was signed as a teenager to a production company under the guidance of legendary producer Denny Cordell where I was introduced to studio and session work before being employed by DJM Records to play bass and acoustic guitar for singer/songwriter Phillip Goodhand-Tait with whom I recorded the album “Songfall” and toured the UK and Europe opening for acts like Deep Purple and Elton John.
In 1972, Rick Wakeman recorded his first solo album “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” and asked me to play on some tracks, one of which was “Catherine Howard”. Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert of Strawbs also performed on this track and in January 1973, all of us teamed up for the album’s promo TV debut appearance on “The Old Grey Whistle Test”.
Some months later, I was invited to join Strawbs.
Six albums and countless tours of North America, the UK, Europe and Japan followed until 1980 when Strawbs took an indefinite break due to Dave Cousins decision to go and work in the radio industry.
Returning to session work, I also played with Steve Hackett from 1981 (UK, Europe, North American tours, and live recording) and again with Rick Wakeman from 1985 (Studio album, touring in the UK, North America, Australia, and live recording. Following this in the late 80’s to the 90’s, I teamed up with Roy Hill to form the duo “Cry No More”.
A couple of Indie releases were followed by a record deal with EMI and the albums “Cry No More” (Parlophone) and “Love And Power” (EMI / Electrola).
During this period, we toured the UK, Ireland, and Germany opening for acts like Suzanne Vega, John Martyn, and Marillion.
Always fascinated by the recording process and as digital technology progressed, I took time learning to operate new systems and produce music following techniques influenced by the many great recording engineers and producers I had worked with over the years.
Around the millennium and following two trips to Egypt exploring the sacred sites and recording ambient sounds in the temples and pyramids, I wrote, recorded and self-released “Mystic Mountain Music” (2002) , a CD of ambient music produced to complement Reiki Healing, Meditation and Relaxation, using specific frequencies and modulations.
Having gradually reconnected with Strawbs, in early 2004 I rejoined the new Acoustic Strawbs lineup and the full electric band a few months later. Many more tours of North America, the UK, Europe and Japan have since followed along with several new albums and videos. Utilising my expanding studio skills, I was responsible for not only pre-production work, but also mixing and mastering many of these new releases for the band (see discography).
In March 2020 during the first Covid lockdown and alongside work on a new Strawbs album, I started writing and recording a sequence of songs that would eventually become my first proper song-based solo album “Liberty”. It was released in March 2022 on Renaissance Records.