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Bob Schneider - 8/14
at City Winery New York City
Bob Schneider is not new to this game. He has built his career as a working class musician and as a result has an institution of faithful followers all across the country with a mega-fan-base epicenter in Austin. There have been highs - the near-breakthrough success of 'Lonelyland,' and the next-big-thing hype that surrounded it. And lows - he was subsequently dropped by two labels. Through it all he sustained and even flourished as an independent artist releasing five albums, hundreds of digital singles, and fronting three bands simultaneously. Yet, Schneider still continues to push himself in a multitude of creative directions now with the beguiling melodies of 'Lovely Creatures'
Undoubtedly, with 'Lovely Creatures,' Bob Schneider delivers the album that his fans have long wanted. Yearning choruses, sharp lyrics that are at times funny and alternately tragic, memorable melodies, and clever surprises all converge on 'Lovely Creatures' in an ear-friendly fashion that promises heavy rotation for devout fans and newly converted Schneider-philes.
"I ended up going into the studio with Dwight Baker, the producer," says Bob, "with the idea that we wanted to make a polished and beautiful sounding record, which I believe is what we ended up with. Because the songs are all love songs, for the most part, I ended up calling the record 'Lovely Creatures,' referring both to the collection of songs and to people in general."
On 'Lovely Creatures,' Bob focuses (at least thematically) on songs about love (both found and lost) while keeping the musical styles quintessentially diverse. The first single, "40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliet)," is Americana-pop at its finest, with lyrics that exude cleverness ("you're the color of the colored part of 'The Wizard of Oz' movie"). Patty Griffin makes a guest appearance on the aching "Changing Your Mind," making the heartache even more desolate. Mambo-flared and dance-ready "Tarantula" and "Bombonanza" have been favorites at Bob's shows for years, finally making their studio-recording debut on 'Creatures.'
Austin is a renowned music town and the list of successful artists that call it home is as long as it is eclectic and numerous, but Bob has set himself apart in more ways than one: 'Lonelyland,' for instance, is the 1 bestselling album ever at Waterloo Records, the city’s legendary indie music store, having sold 25,000 copies at that location alone. Bob also performs every Monday night at the tiny local favorite Saxon Pub, playing both old and new material for a SRO crowd. And when he isn’t on the road, Bob plays as many as four more times per week at larger venues all over Austin.
Now, at the core of Bob Schneider’s talent lies a versatile singer/songwriter. But Bob has too much to say and too much to play to be tied to the limits of that model. All of his many faces are revealed through his solo work and the bands that he fronts – The Scabs (performing this year at the Austin City Limits Music Festival), Texas Bluegrass Massacre, and Lonelyland. His fans have come to expect the unexpected from Bob Schneider but all of these bands give him free rein to explore the music that he loves – funk, pop, bluegrass, jazz, soul, blues, hip-hop and good old-fashioned bar rock raunchy enough to make you flush, and emotional enough to choke you up...