Father Vincent Crofts had been a professional musician since years before his family began. He had shared a deep musical love with his wife Coleen, who passed away from cancer after 19 years of blissful marriage. Music continued to be a great comfort and strength to him as he pushed forward, eventually married a new loving wife (Peggie Crofts) and joined her family of 6 children to his family of 5 in 1994. It was during the following year full of change, uncertainty, excitement and fear that Vincent started to include his youngest daughters’ voices in his musical journey. What started as a casual and fun activity turned into a lasting and beautiful memory for Colette Crofts (13), Callie Crofts (9), and Devri Dixon (9). Their older brother, Adam Crofts had learned to play the drums at a young age. He had since fallen in love with the bass and enjoyed playing it with his father and in his own bands all through his teenage years. In 1995 when his little sisters became a trio he was serving a mission in Brazil for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. During the Christmas Season of 1995 the family decided to make a tape of Christmas songs and well-wishes to send to Adam while on his mission. He was delighted to hear his little sisters’ young voices singing in harmony with their dad. He was excited to be a part of the musical adventure when he returned home.
At the age of 12, Callie Crofts became a songwriter and guitar player and has since created a professional music career as an adult. Adam has become a professor of Spanish and Portuguese and continues to nourish his love for the bass, playing in many different bands of various genres. He has also begun to share his musical love with his own children. Devri (now Esplin) has become a loving mother who brings her children to grandpa for music lessons, as well as learning guitar herself and continuing to sing with Vincent, who is still a professional musician playing in multiple bands. Colette (now Butler) has become an inspiration to millions of people who watch her family’s daily home videos on youtube (The Shaytards) as they show the world what it’s like to be in a normal, happy and loving family. Each of them has been deeply impacted by their upbringing in music and the emotions and experiences that accompanied those nostalgic songs.
In Fall of 2014, Callie Crofts rallied the family together and produced the Christmas album they had always wanted to record. Callie’s boyfriend and musical partner Zac Bryant joined the effort as the drummer/percussionist and a vocalist. The album, entitled “Sparrow in the Birch” includes songs that the Crofts family performed as children as well as newly arranged traditional hymns and 2 all-new original Christmas songs by Callie Crofts. A mix of folky nostalgia and haunting beauty, “Sparrow in the Birch” is anything but typical. Voices are pure and angelic with harmonies that hold your emotions hostage to the delightful and merry, the mysterious and stirring, or the simple and genuine sentiment of each song. This album is unlike any other modern holiday album and is sure to become a beloved family classic.
Produced by Callie Crofts
Recorded and mixed by Giles Reaves at Annex Recording
Callie Crofts – guitar, vocals, arrangements
Colette Butler – vocals
Devri Esplin – vocals
Vincent Crofts – guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, vocals, arrangements
Adam Crofts – bass, tenor banjo, octave mandolin, vocals
Zac Bryant – drums, percussion, vocals