Crystal City is fronted by Dave Helmer and Sam Drella. Helmer is a Midwestern singer/songwriter from central Iowa with blue-collar roots. Heavily influenced by Paul Westerberg, Tom Petty, John Prine and Townes Van Zandt, Helmerâs songs are approachable and relatable, touching on themes of love and loss, being good to each other, and celebrating life.
In 2009, Crystal City formed as a duo, recording their eponymous acoustic EP just three months after meeting. In the years to follow, the duo grew into a full band. In 2014, their first full-length album "Change" was released and met with positive reviews from around the country due to its blend of rock and acoustic songs.
Following the successful reception of Change, the band spent the next few years doing multiple tours around the country, sharing the stage with national acts such as The Whigs, The Good Life, HoneyHoney, Matthew Logan Vasquez and The Ike Reilly Assassination.
Crystal City's second full-length release "Bartenderly" is an album born from life in the bar scene, from the joy of a night out with loved ones, to a cold one keeping you company during the tough times we all have experienced. Bartenderly is the working personâs watering-hole album. Everyone can feel comfort from these songs.
Taking on dual personalities, Crystal City plays regularly around the Midwest as a Rock ânâ Roll outfit as well as performing more intimately as a fingerstyle duo, with rich harmonies and melodic whistling, comparable to the likes of Andrew Bird. Crystal Cityâs classic songwriting can warm a weary heart and get bedraggled feet stomping.