Bob Schneider @ The Tractor

The Crocodile Presents:

Bob Schneider @ The Tractor

Ryan Hamilton and The Traitors

Tue, October 17, 2017

7:00 pm

Tractor Tavern

Seattle, WA

$22.00

This event is 21 and over

Tickets also available here!

Bob Schneider
Bob Schneider
“It’s nice to be alive,” Bob Schneider sings on Katie, the second song off of his new record “Blood and Bones”, his 6th since his 2001 solo debut Lonelyland. While this might sound like naivety or blind optimism, for Schneider, one of Austin’s most celebrated musicians, this observation was earned through experience. “Most of the songs are about this phase of my life,” he admits. “I’m re-married, I have a 2-year-old baby daughter who was born over two months premature because my wife had life threatening preeclampsia. So dealing with that traumatic event while getting older and looking at death in a realistic, matter of fact way, experiencing the most joy I’ve ever experienced along with feelings of utter despondency in a way that would have been impossible to experience earlier in my life all comes out in the songs. My relationship with my wife is the longest committed relationship I’ve ever been in, so there was a lot of unchartered territory there to write about.”
The songs on Blood and Bones reflect this. Recorded quickly with producer Dwight Baker, who has worked on Schneider’s last 6 releases, the album highlights the chemistry that Schneider and his backing band of Austin’s very best musicians have developed while relentlessly playing live, most notably at the monthly residency Schneider has held at Austin’s Saxon Pub for the last 17 years. “I didn't want to overthink the songs,” Schneider says. “I really respect Dwight’s ability to make great calls when it comes to what works and isn't working when we are recording the songs. I felt pretty good about the quality of the songwriting, so I figured that would come through in the end if we just went in and played them the way I do live.”
While the performance and production are stellar, the songwriting finds Schneider in a particularly reflective mode. Sure, there are live favorites like “Make Drugs Get Money” and “Texaco” that will get even the most reserved crowds dancing. But more often the album finds Schneider reflecting on marriage, parenthood and mortality. “I wish I could make you see how wonderful everything is most of the time, but I’m only blood and bones,” he sings on the title track, a meditation on the beauty and the limits of marriage. Later, on “Easy” he tells his daughter “it’s always been a scary thing to do, to let my heart fall down into the endless blue, but it’s easy with you.” Through it all, there is a clear sense of mortality, of just how fleeting all of this is. “The hours and days stack up in the mirror,” he sings on “Hours and Days”. “We’re just snowmen waiting for the summer” he signs on “Snowmen”, before adding “we can’t bring them back, can’t bring nothing back.”
One thing Schneider has excelled at in his career is bringing audiences back. Though he has received little national press or major label support, he has managed to become one of the biggest acts in Austin, if not Texas. His fans, who often discovered him after being brought to his shows by their friends, are fiercely loyal. Many have attended dozens or even hundreds of shows. Thanks to these fans, Schneider has won more Austin Music Awards than any other musician, including Best Songwriter, Best Musician, and Best Male Vocals.
In retrospect, it appears inevitable that Bob Schneider would become an artist. He was born in Michigan and raised in Germany, where his father pursued a career as a professional opera singer. As a boy, Schneider studied piano and guitar, often performing at family parties and backing his father on drums at nightclubs throughout his youth in Germany and Texas. He went on to study art- his other primary passion and avocation- at the University of Texas El Paso, before moving to Austin and establishing himself as a musician. He performs relentlessly, writes songs compulsively, writes poetry and regularly shows his visual art in galleries around Austin. With Blood and Bones, Schneider further cements his reputation as one of the most versatile, inventive and engaging songwriters working today.

Born in Michigan and raised in Germany, Schneider was playing music and creating art from the time he was four years old. "I was lefthanded, but the nuns at my Catholic school forced me to write with my right hand," Schneider reflects. "But I still like to think of myself as lefthanded. I've always thought of myself as a round peg in a square hole sort of person. Like I just didn't quite fit in. I was socially awkward and I think that led me to finding solace in imaginary worlds that I would create in my art and music."

At age ten, Schneider's father, an opera singer by trade, dressed him in a leisure suit and took him along to gigs where they'd perform jazz standards and other hits from the 1940s-70s.

Schneider spent his college years as a fine arts major, but dropped out to move to Austin and pursue a music career after taking to heart the words of singersongwriter Terry Allen. "I remember him saying 'If you're going to do art, drop out of school and start doing your art and living your life 'cause your degree's not going to make a difference."

So Bob Schneider blazed into Austin and has been packing houses and winning over audiences ever since, firmly claiming his place as one of the most sought after entertainers in the live music capital. Schneider sells out venues coast to coast from New York, Chicago Minneapolis and Baltimore to LA, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. His live shows are playful and raw, while on stage Schneider commands the room. He's charismatic and friendly, bantering with his bandmates and heckling the audience. As he launches into each song with his whole being, the audience is instantly transported, tumbling through the dark recesses of his imagination.

Much like Jack White and Ryan Adams, Bob Schneider has mastered the art of keeping his audience on their toes, never knowing what will come next. Schneider dances to the tune of his own drum and the beat changes from album to album. With Burden of Proof, he has elevated his game once again, creating a brilliant and elegant album. "Some folks might think that I'm taking a big risk musically by getting away from the more easily accessible pop songs of the earlier records," said Schneider. "But to me it seems like a natural progression that is more subconscious than conscious really."

Schneider's songs and albums thrive on the element of surprise, and the tracks on Burden of Proof are no exception, sure to be a crowd favorite, "Unpromised Land"—the first single off the album—packs all the energy of a Schneider performance into one fierce, rocking anthem. An instant stand out, "Swimming In The Sea," captures the out-of-body, spine tingling magic of falling in love. Schneider adds, "I love love songs that go against the grain of what it means to be in love and how that's supposed to feel. It's rarely a walk in the park for me and 'Swimming in the Sea' (which is something that I'm deathly afraid of) sort of captures the wonder and terror of being in love and not having any control over it all."

Other highlights include the Leonard Cohenesque "Digging for Icicles" highlights Schneider's vast vocal range, his voice dropping as the song descends into mournful meditations. "The Effect," gospel inflected and danceable, evokes Graceland era Paul Simon. With the deceptively simple "Tomorrow," the album's only cover, Schneider offers a stunning revision of the classic show tune, raw and unguarded. Amidst the hope tinged despair of "Wish the Wind Would Blow Me" Schneider tosses out what amounts to a playground insult, "I wish your mom was ugly/ And your dad was ugly too," but then deftly twirls it into a disarmingly charming love note, "Then they couldn't have had a girl/ To be as beautiful as you."

Nearly every track on Burden of Proof features string arrangements composed by Schneider himself. The album also showcases Schneider's decades-long creative relationship with the Tosca String Quartet. Schneider first paired with the quartet on "Love is Everywhere," the hidden track off of his award-winning album I'm Good Now. At the time, Schneider wrote a string arrangement for the beautifully devastating "Weed Out the Weak." That fan favorite has finally found a home on Burden of Proof, positioned amongst sensual charmers, danceable bursts of fire and bounce, and contemplative sojourns.

Longtime fans will recognize Schneider's trademark fusion of eclectic musical styles, innovative compositions, and intricate, emotion-filled lyrics. Schneider croons, drawing listeners in with the promise of romance. Then the energy shifts, the strings swell, and the songs turn seductively tangy, twisted.

Veering away from the traditional music video model, Schneider is instead honoring the cinematic feel of Burden of Proof by engaging the talents and artistic vision of twelve film directors. Directors include internationally renowned filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, who shot the video for Schneider's AAA Radio hit "40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliet)" from his 2009 album Lovely Creatures, and award-winning photographer and director Dan Winters, whose photograph and drawings grace Burden of Proof's cover and liner notes.

Schneider's artistic exploration is not limited to the stage or the studio. He is also a celebrated sculptor, painter, and poet with two published books of poetry and art and another one forthcoming.

With Burden of Proof, Bob Schneider delivers a much-heralded explosive addition to his already expansive artistic canon, a work of sophisticated craftsmanship and a wild ride to boot.
Ryan Hamilton and The Traitors
Ryan Hamilton and The Traitors
Trans Atlantic rock n roll band hailing from Texas and the UK. New album, The Devil's in the Detail, OUT NOW!
Venue Information:
Tractor Tavern
5213 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA, 98107
http://www.tractortavern.com/