John Craigie is a gifted storyteller whose lyrics range from humorous to melancholy. The singer-songwriter hails from California, but spends most of his time on the road and has performed in all 50 U.S. states. He released his 10th studio album, "No Rain, No Rose," earlier this year.

More from OpenAir Sessions:

Craigie plays a release show at Denver's Walnut Room Thursday night. Accompanied by violinist Bevin Foley of Colorado band Trout Steak Revival, Craigie performed four songs in our studio. He also spoke about playing the first-ever concert at the farm of Boulder artist Gregory Alan Isakov, the pros and cons of playing solo shows and blurring the line between humor and tragedy with his lyrics.

Stream the session and watch John Craigie perform "I Am California" above.

Interview highlights:

Craigie on writing both funny and sad songs:

"A folk singer's job is to encapsulate the human experience the best they can, in the 60 minutes or however long they have. It's important for me to not be too much of either."

On preferring solo shows over playing with a band:

"For my kind of music and for my show, there's a lot of storytelling. And a lot of emphasis on the lyrics. And I like bands. I like seeing bands. I like having a band. But I find when you have a band, the more players means the less the lyrics shine."

Songs performed:

  • "I Am California"
  • "Broken"
  • "Coldest Colorado"
  • "Virgin Guitar"

"Broken"

"Coldest Colorado"

"Virgin Guitar"