Crash Vegas

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Crash Vegas
Michelle McAdorey (centre) and Colin Cripps (right)
Background information
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Folk rock
Years active 1988 (1988)–1996
Labels Risque Disque, Polygram, Sony
Past members Michelle McAdorey
Greg Keelor
Colin Cripps
Jocelyne Lanois
Ambrose Pottie
Darren Watson

Crash Vegas was a Canadian folk rock band which formed in 1988,[1] and achieved moderate success in the early 1990s.


The band was formed by Michelle McAdorey and Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo in 1988. Jocelyne Lanois joined the band as bassist and shortly after Ambrose Pottie as drummer. The group played many opening shows for Blue Rodeo over the course of the following year, including The Horseshoe Tavern and Rivoli in Toronto and entered an extensive writing and rehearsal period. However, with Keelor's commitments to Blue Rodeo taking precedence, Jocelyne introduced the band to Hamilton guitarist Colin Cripps to replace Greg in time for the release of the band's first album, which was recorded and produced by Malcolm Burn in Jocelyne's brother Daniel Lanois' studio "Kingsway" in New Orleans.

The band released its debut album, Red Earth, on the Risque Disque label in 1989 and went on extensive tours of Canada and the United States, including several opening shows with Daniel Lanois and Blues Traveler. They had several notable hits on Canadian radio ("Inside Out", "Sky" and "Smoke"), and seemed poised for success. However, Risque Disque soon went bankrupt, leaving the band in limbo. In 1992, they signed a new deal with London/Polygram.

Lanois left the band, and was replaced by Darren Watson for the band's second album. That album, Stone, also included contributions from John Porter and Butch Vig. However, Crash Vegas had a rocky relationship with Polygram, and they subsequently moved to Sony Records after contributing a cover of "Pocahontas" to that label's Neil Young tribute album Borrowed Tunes.

The band performed at Edgefest on Canada Day in 1990 and 1993. In 1993, the band participated in the Another Roadside Attraction tour, and collaborated with The Tragically Hip, Midnight Oil, and Hothouse Flowers.

In 1995, Watson and Pottie exited the band partway through the recording of their third album, Aurora. The band, now down to Cripps and McAdorey, completed the album with session musicians John Borra and Mike Sloski as their rhythm section. Gavin Brown and Eric Chenaux took over the bass and drum slots on the subsequent tour. The single "On and On (Lodestar)" garnered significant radio airplay in Canada, becoming the second highest-charting single of their career, but the band broke up the following year.

McAdorey pursued a solo career, and Cripps went on to join Junkhouse, and was later a backing musician for Kathleen Edwards and Jim Cuddy. Jocelyne Lanois went on to play as bassist for Sarah McLachlan's release Solace, and to pursue music for film. Ambrose Pottie works as a graphic artist.


Studio albums[edit]

Release date Title Chart positions
RPM Album charts
February 1990 Red Earth #51
March 1993 Stone #50
May 1995 Aurora #31


Chart peak date Title Chart positions
March 1990 "Inside Out" #18 Red Earth
June 1990 "Sky" #69
September 1990 "Smoke" #82
May 1993 "You and Me" #67 Stone
September 1993 "Keep It to Myself"
August 1994 "Pocahontas" #62 Aurora
June 1995 "On and On (Lodestar)" #24

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director Producer
1989 "Inside Out"
1993 "You and Me" Bruce McDonald
"Keep It to Myself" Norry Niven Stone Core Films
1994 "Pocahontas"
1995 "On and On (Lodestar)" Jeth Weinrich


  1. ^ "Biography: Crash Vegas". The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia. Canoe Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-14.