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Insane is the last thing you’d expect someone to call him or herself. Really, insanity is not exactly considered to be a good thing—in fact, it’s quite the opposite. So why would anyone willingly brand themselves with such a label? Despite the oddity, that is exactly what Smokey Alan and Lydia Crymes have done—called themselves EnSanity.
What would possess anyone to declare him or herself insane to the whole world? Lydia explains, “Smokey and I have always been drawn to songs that challenged us, musically and vocally. The harder it was, the more we wanted to conquer it. It didn’t matter what genre it was, if we liked it, we added it to our repertoire. Eventually, we were doing songs that spanned a large spectrum of artists, from Heart and Pat Benatar to Journey and Motley Crue, with some Martina McBride thrown in for good measure. One night, I looked at Smokey and said ‘You know, people are going to think that we are insane for doing all of these songs…’” and Voila—EnSanity was born!
Keeping true their name, EnSanity continues to march to the beat of a different drummer. They strive to break the established molds and make the kind of music they love, regardless of the genre. “She’s a little bit Country, and I’m a little bit Rock n’ Roll,” Smokey Alan says. “We enjoy both genres, so why should we have to choose one over the other? We’d just do both.” EnSanity’s show includes many familiar songs, with a whole new twist. “I can’t play a cover tune just like the original,” Smokey says. “What fun is that anyway?”
Smokey’s talent on the keyboards seems to channel Keith Emerson, Elton John, and Billy Joel, combined with a bit of Yanni to create a distinctive sound all his own. Lydia’s sweet soprano voice moves easily between Rock and Country, combining a bit of her influences, Pat Benatar, Ann Wilson, Martina McBride and even Whitney Houston. Their musical versatility shines through in their original tunes as well. From the rocking “Kid at Heart”, an anthem celebrating the Peter Pan syndrome most musicians have, to the country love song “Once in a Lifetime”, their songs highlight Smokey’s complex keyboard work, Lydia’s light melodic vocals, and their enchanting harmonies.
EnSanity’s music is varied but always unique. So are they insane for doing something so different in today’s music world? Perhaps—But Smokey Alan sums it up best—“Yes, we’re insane, but we’re insane with class.”