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Burden Of ProofIt's taken him some time, but, at 47 years old, iconic and revered Austin singer-songwriter Bob Schneider is finally, begrudgingly, hesitatingly ready to admit something: He s not a kid any more. The writing's on the wall for the man the Austin Chronicle has repeatedly called the hardest working man in Austin show business; he's getting older and his tastes are starting to change. So it's little surprise to hear, then, that when Schneider talks about Burden of Proof, his whopping 12th solo release since 1998, adult is one of two words he constantly finds himself using to describe it.
As a musician, you can act like a kid forever, he says. Look at The Rolling Stones. Those guys are almost 70 and
they re still running around like they're kids. But I think it looks silly for me to act like I m a 12-year-old. Because I'm just not. So, yeah, this record has a more adult feel.
The other word Schneider repeatedly references in describing Burden of Proof? Strings. That much is immediately obvious within the first seconds of the album, which features the soaring string work of Austin's Tosca String Quartet throughout its 12 tracks, all of which are intentionally cinematic in scope. But if that much implies that Burden of Proof is a departure for Schneider, well, it should and it shouldn't.
Yet this is Schneider a man who once belted out songs with such titles as Pussy Fever and Big Butts and BJs
during his days fronting his adored Austin funk-rock outfit The Scabs. Grown-up or not, he remains a man who can t help himself. There s no ignoring the double entendre going on in Burden of Proof s Wish The Wind Would Blow Me
ballad, nor the sexual aggression behind the late-night booty call-inspired Unpromised Land, the latter of which is the most rocking cut on this release, which somehow retains Schneider's genre-hopping ways almost in spite of itself.
Turns out, the more Schneider changes, the more he stays the same.Side 1
1. Digging For Icicles
2. Wish The Wind Would Blow Me
3. Hop On The World
4. Swimming In The Sea
5. Unpromised Land
6. Best Day Ever
1. The Effect
2. Please Ask For Help
3. Weed Out The Weak
4. John Lennon
5. The White Moon
6. Tomorrow$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Blackberry LightCharlie Mars has been a journeyman artist with all the ups and downs that entails. He has gone from uncertainty to redemption with major label releases and high profile gigs opening for the likes of R.E.M., KT Turnstall, Citizen Cope and Steve Earle, among others. Now, with the extraordinary new Blackberry Light, the Mississippi-based troubadour builds his distinctive musical approach employing supple grooves and ambient Daniel Lanois-inspired production to enhance the elemental force of his classic songwriting influenced by Bob Marley, Bill Withers and Dire Straits.
From the dreamlike Nothing But The Rain, to the shimmering Picture of An Island, Blackberry Light sees Mars delving deep within to offer insight and a path to self awareness and ultimately transcendence via a gracefully beatific distillation of folk, rock, and smooth acoustic soul. Mars took a modest tack towards overall recording of Blackberry Light, which took place at Austin's Treefort Studios under production prowess of Billy Harvey (Bob Schneider), looking to capture those perfect uncalculated moments where everything just clicks.
Upon the sessions' conclusion, Mars sought out one of his dream collaborators legendary producer/engineer/mixer Tchad Blake. The Grammy-award winner, known for his distinctive work with such artists as Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson and Sheryl Crow, ultimately agreed and helped give Blackberry Light much of its uniquely spacious warmth. Like any songwriter worth his salt, Mars employs his art as a channel towards personal discovery, candidly exploring all the human limitations, from pride and fear to cynicism and self-doubt, that stand in the way of his attaining true happiness. 180g gatefold vinyl.1. Let The Meter Run
2. How I Roll
3. Nothing But The Rain
4. Blackberry Light
5. Pacific Oceans
6. Back of the Room
7. I Do I Do
8. Picture Of An Island
9. Sometimes The Sky
10. Great Wall of Chine$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now