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He's good now

Bob Schneider at 32 Bleu

Bob Schneider (2nd from left), sometimes crude, sometimes, uh, more mature.Hes at 32 Bleu on Saturday.
  • Bob Schneider (2nd from left), sometimes crude, sometimes, uh, more mature.Hes at 32 Bleu on Saturday.

Just minutes after completing a radio interview, a very hungry Bob Schneider is incredibly pressed for time.

"The thing about touring and having your album do well is that suddenly there's less time to eat," says Schneider, a scruffy Texan with an amazingly versatile voice, whose gradual ascent to stardom is suddenly shifting into high gear.

With the sound of restaurant clatter in the background, Schneider remarks, "I've been doing this for a long time, but the whirlwind never gets old."

In a matter of moments, Schneider is out the door and on his way to a sound check at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore, a stop on Schneider's current tour, which will also bring him to Colorado Springs on May 29 for a performance at 32 Bleu.

The tour, in support of Schneider's most recent solo album, I'm Good Now, has the potential to be a career-altering experience for the veteran musician, who has already earned widespread regional recognition as a premier songwriter and showman in the Austin, Texas, music scene where he honed his chops throughout the 1990s.

"Austin is definitely a place with a very supportive brotherhood of musicians," says Schneider, "but getting out on the road, and playing a different place every night really gives me a new perspective to work from."

Touring is nothing new for Schneider, who garnered a cult following in the Austin-based bands Joe Rockhead, the Ugly Americans, and the Scabs during the '90s. But having matured stylistically, Schneider is convinced that a whole new audience is suddenly discovering his music.

"I have no idea where I am now stylistically, I'm interested in creating a wide variety of tones and moods for as many people as possible to enjoy," says Schneider.

Having traded much of the rap-rock bombast that pervaded the material on his earlier albums for the electronica-tinged roots pop that saturates I'm Good Now Schneider's metamorphosis to sensitive singer-songwriter isn't quite as inexplicable as it sounds. His voice manages to evoke both Jay Farrar and Kid Rock, but the juxtaposition of styles and textures seems purposeful and tasteful.

"For people who have doubts about my albums, my live shows are really a chance to showcase a lot of different sounds," he says, "We still incorporate some vulgar and crude stuff, but there will be certainly be some mellow stuff as well."

In fact, Schneider's recent sets, while predominately featuring his newest material, have been a chance for Schneider to revisit his past and pay some long-standing dues. Performing selected material from throughout his career, including forays into funk, hard rock and face-melting jam band soloing, Schneider has chosen to catalog each concert with a live digital recording that is sold at the end of each performance.

"By making the recordings available, we're allowing people to have a recording of the show that they just saw," says Schneider. "Our fans are taking the rock 'n' roll home with them."

-- Joe Kuzma capsule Bob Schneider with Ari Hest

32 Bleu, 32 S. Tejon

Saturday, May 29 at 9 p.m.

$12 in advance, $14 day of the show


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