Adrian Bourgeois
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Adrian Bourgeois

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop Alternative

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Aug
30
Adrian Bourgeois @ The Pig and Whistle

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

Jan
13
Adrian Bourgeois @ Kathmandu Corner

Sonoma, California, USA

Sonoma, California, USA

Jan
07
Adrian Bourgeois @ Shine

Sacramento, California, USA

Sacramento, California, USA

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When I hear Adrian Bourgeois’s music I can’t help but hope that his particular style of songwriting will be the new wave in Pop. No offense to the Lady Ga-Ga’s out there, but Adrian’s music is the sort I’d like to hear when I turn on my radio. His songwriting is fluid, brilliant, not tweaked to death or over produced. It’s complex and lovely and brings to mind a time when songwriters flooded the airwaves and all was well. Adrian is highly intelligent and thoughtful and in his own way, hopeful. I spoke with him about his music and gained great insight into what helps a songwriter find his own groove.

Pop-Rock Candy Mountain: If you had to categorize your music, what genre or genres would you attach to it?

Adrian Bourgeois: My music at it’s most basic essence is pop if you had to pick a genre. Pop tends to be associated with shallowness by some but tell that to John Lennon, Brian Wilson or Elvis Costello. Some of the most ambitious, adventurous of the past 100 years has been pop music. The thing I like most about pop is that whatever dressing you put over the top of it, at it’s core is a song that just has this universal appeal to it that leaves no one out. It’s world peace in the form of a song!

PRCM: Who are some of your musical/lyrical influences?

AB: My two musical foundations are the Beatles and the Beach Boys. The Beatles virtually invented modern pop music and did in eight years what I imagine the rest of us will be chasing for centuries and Brian Wilson, the music world’s William Blake with his songs of both innocence and experience, gave us visions of the laughter of children echoing the tears of angels. Other huge influences include Elvis Costello who somehow is able to be George Gershwin, Bob Dylan and Arthur Alexander all in the same person, and Neil Young, one of the great improv artists of our time, who should get a Guiness World Record or something for most beautiful stream of consciousness put to tape. Ben Folds is probably my favorite “modern” singer/songwriter and I’ve always had a soft spot for Hanson for being the band that convinced me when I was in fourth grade to not wait until I was all grown up to get working on my music career. U2 has been a big influence not only as incredible songwriters but in using their platform as the biggest band in the world to speak from about injustice, disease and poverty, and are true shining examples of individuals truly using their position as best as they can for the betterment of the world.

PRCM: I read that you mostly produced and arranged your debut album by yourself. Please tell me a bit about the album, what it means to you and let me know where we can get it!

AB: My album was recorded over a variety of times and places between my sophomore and senior years of high school. The first sessions took place at the recording studio at my old church where I worked on them with my dad who has over three decades of experience at just about everything you can be in the music industry. The other bulk of the album was recorded with a local producer/engineer named David Houston who has been making amazing music since the sixties. The album both musically and lyrically definitely captures a specific time of my life where I think I was really starting to come into my own as a songwriter. I had already written close to a hundred songs before I started writing the songs that are on the album but I think these are sort of my first set of good ones. Because of the relatively long span of time that I spent recording this album–most of it was recorded on donated time whenever there was available space at the studio which was sometimes few and far between–there are songs on here about falling in love with someone and then songs about losing someone and they’re about the same person, just written a year or so apart; it’s a little discombobulating for me to hear some of those songs played next to each other on the same album! As far as the production goes, I kind of think this album was similar to the early Beatles albums in that I was really taking a lot of cues from my influences and seeing if I could take my own stab at making some classic sounds. Most of the songs I made demos of beforehand just in my bedroom and would pretty much get the arrangement down. Once in the studio, whoever I was working with would help me polish it up and help me realize it sonically. There’s some things I would change about the album of course if I could go back but overall I’m pretty happy with it for a first effort. You can find it on my website www.adrianbourgeois.com, on CD Baby, iTunes, and a few other various independent online retailers like Not Lame Records and Kool Kat Records.

PRCM: Tell me what playing before a live audience means to you.

AB: I love playing live but it’s a little like taking a test at school. It’s where you put everything you’ve developed and learned up to that point on the line in real time and let the world be the judge. In the studio - Pop Rock Candy Mountain


A Star is Born at Aloft: California Singer-Songwriter Adrian Bourgeois Wins 'Project: Aloft Star' Competition

Aloft Hotels Project: Aloft Star Is First Music Artist Discovery Program Powered by a Hotel Brand

The votes are in: Sacramento, CA singer-songwriter Adrian Bourgeois has topped the list of acts to win Project: Aloft Star, the musical artist talent search created by Aloft Hotels that has created major buzz among music fans. New Orleans crooner Jake Smith was named runner-up.

Bourgeois, whose “complex and lovely” songs “bring to mind a time when songwriters flooded the airwaves and all was well” (Pop-Rock Candy Mountain), will make a dream debut at “Live in the Vineyard,” a twice-yearly, three-day music, wine and food showcase in California’s Napa Valley, also presented by Aloft. With some of the music industry’s top moguls as his audience, Bourgeois will share the stage with stars like KT Tunstall, Zac Brown Band, and James Blunt.

An Aloft-sponsored tour will follow to give Bourgeois, 23, the opportunity to rock Aloft hotels across the United States.

Launched in June 2010, Project: Aloft Star solicited artist music videos on Facebook (Facebook.com/AloftHotels, RockOut&Win tab). Aspiring “Aloft Stars” submitted a video of an acoustic performance of original material. The top three finalists were chosen based on a combination of votes from Aloft Facebook fans and judging criteria from Aloft insiders and Live in the Vineyard organizers.

Project: Aloft Star generated nearly 5,000 fan votes and hundreds of comments for submissions from around the world. “Aloft has been a launchpad for fresh thinking in our industry, so acting as a launchpad for other creative endeavors makes a lot of sense,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “The Aloft guest is always on the lookout for what’s new, and I think they appreciate that we’re their partner in the discovery process.”

Project: Aloft Star is just the latest musical riff from Aloft. Aloft properties also serve as concert venues for Live in the Vineyard artists who rock it up close and personal with hotel guests and locals alike through a series of “Live at Aloft Hotels” (www.liveatalofthotels.com) events, throughout the year. Previous Live in the Vineyard artists have included Macy Gray, Colbie Caillat, Train and Melissa Etheridge.

Aloft is the 2010 presenting sponsor for Live in the Vineyard (www.liveinthevineyard.com), currently in its third year and held every April and November. - Business Wire


I spend a lot of time on the bicycle. Even when it rains like it has in the past month, I usually ride to work. It’s a great way to listen to new music via an iPod; I load the device with a lot of new songs, and I try to mix it up and listen to a lot of different things.

This past month was different. I became obsessed. The focus of my obsession was, and still is, nine songs by a local artist named Adrian Bourgeois. Simply put, these demos--four of them recorded with his father, musician Brent Bourgeois, and the other five with local producer David Houston--are among the finest post-Beatles pop tunes I’ve ever heard.

That covers a lot of ground: obvious Beatle knockoffs like Badfinger and Cheap Trick, singer-songwriters like Elliott Smith, early Todd Rundgren and the obscure Emitt Rhodes, along with anyone else who ever embraced a style of songwriting where melody and smart chord changes trump dynamics and texture while still maintaining a sound identifiable as “rock.” This even includes Elton John, before he went Carmen Miranda on everyone.

I’ve held off on writing this, perhaps hoping that a realization that these songs are no better than what everyone else is doing might sink in and save me from further embarrassment. Alas, no dice.

Does that mean there’s a Jon Landau-like statement in the offing: “I have seen the future of pop music, and its name is Adrian Bourgeois”? Given the fragmentation of the music marketplace--this isn’t like the rock milieu in the mid-1970s when Bruce Springsteen arrived--it’s a risky pronouncement to make.

So, I’ll paraphrase: If some smart record label should sign young Bourgeois and put a Jon Brion or Brendan O’Brien in the studio with him to help him produce a debut album (with “help” being the operative word, as David Houston says Bourgeois is almost confident enough to produce himself), and if that record gets competent marketing and promotion, Bourgeois most likely will become a huge force in the music world.

There’s a density of musical ideas permeating these nine songs--the Rundgren-esque “Silk to Ashes,” a John Lennon-meets-Pink Floyd number called “Summertime,” an utter pop delight titled “Mister Imaginary Friend” and the Harry Nilsson-like “Hey Juniper” among them--not typically found on most current albums, where one often hears the same one or two ideas repeated over and over in minor variations. I’d say this is “can’t miss,” except for the upside-down cruelties of pop culture, which sometimes elevates the aggressively untalented while relegating its true creative forces to undeserved obscurity.

If there’s a criticism, it’s this: Like Jackie Greene does by reinventing post-Dylan Americana, Adrian Bourgeois redesigns the vibrant sound of an earlier era more than he creates anything truly groundbreaking. Not that there’s anything wrong with such neo-classicism, as long as the emphasis stays trained on creating something original rather than reworking somebody else’s classic work. And, in the case of both Greene and Bourgeois, there’s far too much originality present to be overwhelmed by their reverence for the past.

Perhaps that’s a characteristic that will come to distinguish a Sacramento “sound” in the future, something this town will be known for--a place where the past gets reinvented in new and remarkable ways. - Sacramento News and Review



O fim do poderio onipotente das grandes gravadoras e a onipresença da Internet no nosso dia-a-dia, nos deu a oportunidade de ter, ao alcance das mãos, algumas ferramentas que são verdadeiras “rastreadoras de talentos mundiais”. Há 10 ou 15 anos, pouco se podia alcançar fora daquilo que era disponibilizado pelas gravadoras ao grande público. E hoje, ao contrário do que muitos dizem, nunca o cenário foi tão rico em artistas excepcionais. A diferença é que agora podemos encontrá-los com um simples clique, aonde quer que eles estejam.

E é aí que Adrian Bourgeois vem para reforçar a afirmação. Aos vinte anos de idade, acaba de lançar seu álbum debute, revelando-se um músico prodígio na sua capacidade em produzir pérolas pop. Também impressiona a sensibilidade do artista de São Francisco, em captar melodias e encaixá-las perfeitamente nas peças sonoras. Bourgeois – filho do também músico Brent Bourgeois – toca guitarra, piano e bateria desde o quatro anos. Provavelmente cresceu tendo os ouvidos embebidos na arte de mestres como Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson e Todd Rundgren. O que deve ter servido para direcionar seu imenso dom natural. Escoltado por uma verdadeira orquestra de amigos em seu disco de estréia, Bourgeois toca os instrumentos que conhece desde a tenra idade, além de cantar e assinar todas as composições. Que soam maduras e consistentes para alguém que mal curou as espinhas – e espinhos - da adolescência.

“Mr. Imaginary Frind” abre o disco disposta a impressionar: melodia contagiante, harmonizações vocais preenchendo espaços e carisma de alto calibre pop. A macia “Clown Review” mescla Elliott Smith com arranjos orquestrais à la Brian Wilson. “Juniper” é uma das mais belas canções do ano, com a voz doce de Adrian comandando notas de piano na melodia perfeita de linhagem Paul McCartney. Já “Dream On” poderia fazer par, nos hit parades, com “Wonderwall” do Oasis.

Refrão perfeito é com Adrian Bourgeois: o de “Silk From Ashes” segue fluído pela corrente sanguínea e fica armazenado no cérebro por dias. A climática e densa “Summertime” nem de longe sugere a juventude de Bourgeois. “My House” é radiofônica o suficiente para qualquer FM do planeta, ou seriado de TV ou longa-metragem de cinema. E o refrão? Nem com solvente sai da memória. Batida de piano ditando o ritmo, metais em profusão, um quê de pop orquestral, e outro de sunshine pop setentista, na empolgante “Melt In My Mind”. A bonus track escondida ilumina na voz,violão e gaita de Adrian Bourgeois – o garoto que está a um clique de você e a dois passos do paraíso pop. - http://www.powerpopstation.blogspot.com/


Adrian Bourgeois released his first full-length, self-titled album in 2007 to critical acclaim. Not only did Bourgeois win the grand prize for music, in the national OurStage contest (among other accolades,) in May, 2007, which led to features in CMJ and Relix magazines, the album also gained notice from Sacramento News and Review music columnist, Jackson Griffith, who deemed the work, “absolutely brilliant.” Aside from writing and singing lead on every song on this folk/pop gem, Bourgeois also co-produced and played guitars, keyboards, drums/percusion and harmonica on the album, with the support from a great band.

Early-on, the sound is heavily Beatles influenced, on songs, “Mr. Imaginary Friend” and “Juniper,” while later, Bourgeois' own style shines through on the light and airy “To Be (The First Man On Earth,)” which features cello, viola, violin and guitar, accompanied by Bourgeois' vocals. On the memorable, pop tune, “Silk From Ashes,” the Ben Folds Five comes to mind with a catchy, piano based melody. “Summertime,” showcases a warm, sweeping 3/ 4 time signature ballad that transports the listener to a picnic blanket, under an old oak-tree, on top of a breezy knoll. Bourgeois' ability to paint a picture in the mind of a listener, is a rare talent from a young artist, and one of his strong points.

Proving to be a multi-talented singer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Adrian Bourgeois is name to remember, and his album, something to behold.
- Evolution of Media




Like father, like son, Adrian Bourgeois is a musician.

In 1987, the singer's father, Brent, and his band Bourgeois Tagg scored a Top 40 pop hit with the song "I Don't Mind at All." Twenty-two years later, Adrian, 21, is trying to make a name for himself.

It's a journey taking the Elk Grove-raised singer-songwriter on a path paved by his father's experiences, myriad musical influences and Adrian Bourgeois' own deep, personal sense of religious faith.

Adrian Bourgeois & the Coincidence will perform Saturday at the Vox Cafe in West Sacramento.

Bourgeois sat behind his first drum kit when he was 2, started writing songs at 10 and picked up his first guitar when he was 12. At 19, Bourgeois' song "Mr. Imaginary Friend" won top honors in the national OurStage.com monthly songwriting contest.

"My dad's a musician; my mom has a good love of music," he says. "I feel like I was born with the desire to make music."

The contest's $5,000 prize was more than a cash infusion. It gave the budding musician exposure on a few nationally distributed CD compilations and an invaluable sense of confidence that, hey, maybe he could really do this. That was summer 2007, and in the 18 months since, Bourgeois, who now lives in San Francisco, has quit school for a job leading the music worship group at a Fairfield church and pursuing his art full time.

The decision to put academics on hold – Bourgeois was attending community college in San Francisco – wasn't easy.

"I really enjoy school, but my interests have been so split between school, music and work, it just felt like something had to give."

And so, armed with his love for the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Rufus Wainwright, Arcade Fire and, yes, Jesus Christ, Bourgeois is trying to make a living making music (with a little help from a part-time job at Trader Joe's in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood).

He knows, he says, that it's not exactly what his parents, Brent and Mary Ann, had in mind for him.

"It was hard for them to accept," Bourgeois says.

"They're a little concerned, but I think they're learning to live with the decision."

Brent Bourgeois is trying to do just that.

"Because of my own (background), I have very mixed feelings about Adrian's decision," the elder Bourgeois admits.

For Brent and his wife, it's difficult to watch Adrian pursue a career in music.

"On the one hand, I know what he's going through, what he wants to do," says Brent Bourgeois, whose own ambitions saw him through Bourgeois Tagg, working with legendary producer Todd Rundgren, solo albums and later as an A&R rep for Nashville's Word Records label.

"But I also know what he's getting himself into. (The music industry) is not a pretty picture – especially today; it's harder to break in."

These days, 50-year-old Brent Bourgeois leads a music worship group at St. Mark's United Methodist Church and is studying journalism and history at Sacramento State.

He says he and his wife wish Adrian would finish school to expand his career options.

But, he adds with a laugh, it's a funny thing.

"I was the same way (as Adrian), and my parents never said that to me."

And so, the elder Bourgeois says, he gives his son advice now and again – "sometimes I'll pass it along through friends because I think it actually gets to him then" – and watches and listens with more than a little fatherly pride.

"I think he's incredible – a very gifted songwriter."

The younger Bourgeois credits his dad for plenty of inspiration and support.

The two have played together and have co-written songs. Adrian has even worked with many of his father's friends and colleagues.

Bourgeois Tagg co-founder Larry Tagg and longtime Brent Bourgeois friend Mike Roe even appear on Adrian Bourgeois' self-titled debut album (available on Amazon.com and via www.adrianbourgeois.com).

"We like the same music, (and) in some ways I think I get on better with them than I do most people my age," Adrian Bourgeois says.

Indeed, his music speaks to another time in pop songwriting. Lush with strings, angelic harmonies and melodies that swoop and soar like a hook-laden roller coaster, this is classic Beatles pop with a modern edge.

That's what persuaded Heath Dalrymple to book Bourgeois at the Vox Cafe, a small nonprofit that highlights local arts and culture.

"I'm amazed that (here is an) artist who writes classic pop material – but it still sounds new and refreshing," says Dalrymple.

"It's not that he just went and listened to a bunch of Beatles and Brian Wilson records – his music is not derivative."

A delicate thread of faith also runs through Adrian Bourgeois' music with songs such as "Jesus" and "To Be (The First Man on Earth)" touching on the singer's spirituality.

Although Bourgeois doesn't go as far as to call himself a "Christian rock" singer, religion plays a "very large" part in every part of his life.

"It's very much a day-to-day thing. It's somethi - Sacramento Bee


More proof that bloodlines can matter in music - on the heels of our Pinder Brothers review, here's Adrian Bourgeois, son of Brent Bourgeois of the 80s band Bourgeois Tagg, which worked quite a bit with Todd Rundgren. Adrian's his own man, though, and he's not going to need his last name to get his high-quality solo debut noticed. In fact, I am sorely tempted to break out the siren for this one.

This is a Grade A tour-de-force of pop (power and otherwise) stylings that we all know and love here at Absolute Powerpop. "Mr. Imaginary Friend" hooks you into this disc from the beginning, with its Michael Carpenter-like jangle and breezy melody. "Clown Review" follows, a stunningly beautiful track that channels both Elliott Smith and Michael Penn. "Juniper" is a Beatlesque delight in the vein of the more sublime moments of The White Album and Abbey Road ("Because" in particular). Meanwhile, the slightly bombastic "Dream On" is reminiscent of Oasis when Oasis were good; I've already mistaken the ballad "To Be (The First Man on Earth)" for David Grahame when it came up randomly on my iPod, and "Silk From Ashes" recalls the aforementioned Mr. Rundgren. And those are just the first six tracks. There's no dropoff in the second half either: "Melt In My Mind" has a bit of a Bacharachian/Brian Wilson vibe and the midtempo "My House" might be as good as anything on the album.

There's really no other conclusion to draw than to say this one just shot to the top of your "Discs to buy" list, and it's shooting right up my top 10 of 2008 list as well (to be finally unveiled next week, I promise). - Absolute Powerpop


Adrian Bourgeois' bio doesn't pull any punches, and after the first handful of listens to his self-titled debut album, it's easy to see why the Bay Area singer/songwriter sounds so confident. The disc took a few spins to get me fully immersed, but sure enough, I was tapping my toes all the way to work that day. Best described as a cozier, coffee-shop Beatles sound, it's easy to see where Mr. Bourgeois gets his inspiration and one almost expects the track "Hey Juniper" to begin with a "Hey, Jude..." However, this is no copycat disc. The variation in instruments and backing vocals, paired with Bourgeois's own soothingly sweet harmonies, ensures that the songs stay interesting and engaging from beginning to end.

Standout tracks: "Mr. Imaginary Friend," "Melt In My Mind."

- - The Owl Mag


More proof that bloodlines can matter in music - on the heels of our Pinder Brothers review, here's Adrian Bourgeois, son of Brent Bourgeois of the 80s band Bourgeois Tagg, which worked quite a bit with Todd Rundgren. Adrian's his own man, though, and he's not going to need his last name to get his high-quality solo debut noticed. In fact, I am sorely tempted to break out the siren for this one.

This is a Grade A tour-de-force of pop (power and otherwise) stylings that we all know and love here at Absolute Powerpop. "Mr. Imaginary Friend" hooks you into this disc from the beginning, with its Michael Carpenter-like jangle and breezy melody. "Clown Review" follows, a stunningly beautiful track that channels both Elliott Smith and Michael Penn. "Juniper" is a Beatlesque delight in the vein of the more sublime moments of The White Album and Abbey Road ("Because" in particular). Meanwhile, the slightly bombastic "Dream On" is reminiscent of Oasis when Oasis were good; I've already mistaken the ballad "To Be (The First Man on Earth)" for David Grahame when it came up randomly on my iPod, and "Silk From Ashes" recalls the aforementioned Mr. Rundgren. And those are just the first six tracks. There's no dropoff in the second half either: "Melt In My Mind" has a bit of a Bacharachian/Brian Wilson vibe and the midtempo "My House" might be as good as anything on the album.

There's really no other conclusion to draw than to say this one just shot to the top of your "Discs to buy" list, and it's shooting right up my top 10 of 2008 list as well (to be finally unveiled next week, I promise). - Absolute Powerpop


California pop artist Adrian Bourgeois starts with a great pedigree (his dad being part of the power pop band Bourgeois Tagg in the 80's) and he's been playing since he was three years old (no kidding). He's been weaned on a steady diet of Beatles, Beach Boys and Neil Young growing up in Sacramento, CA. Opening with "Mr. Imaginary Friend," it's fresh harmonies and Beatlesque melodies are best compared with Jason Falkner and Michael Penn. This debut continues to be engaging and immediate with the gentle ballad "Clown Review" and continues with "Juniper" an Elton John meets McCartney piano ballad. Other highlights are the violin and guitar ballad "To Be (The First Man on Earth)" which brings comparisons to Elliott Smith or Nick Drake. The very Todd Rundgren-like "Silk from Ashes" picks up the tone with great melodic chorus and those fabulous "do-do-do" backing vocals. The song "My House" has a sweet catchy guitar lead with a superb vocal melody. "Melt in My Mind" continues the chord twisting theatrics with a full horn section and organ solos, that recall the best of Ben Folds. The dreamy "Summertime" continues in that style and doesn't pull any punches either, as Adrian puts his soul out onto the table here. The Christian faith come out in "Jesus," and is the sole overtly "Contemporary Christian Music" track. This album is pure power pop and this guy is only twenty years old (Drake Bell has some competition here) and did all of the instrumentation and arrangements. This is a very impressive debut, a top ten contender and I can't wait to see what's next. Don't miss this one. - Powerpopaholic


Get with the program and pick up your copy of Sacramento-bred singer/songwriter Adrian Bourgeois's self-titled record before he blows up and becomes a major figure in the music world. Then you can brag to your friends that you knew about him first. the entire album has a very mature, post-Beatles pop sound, which is surprising considering how young Adrian is (he's just 20 years old). The future is bright indeed for this pop star in waiting. - Submerge Magazine


California pop artist Adrian Bourgeois starts with a great pedigree (his dad being part of the power pop band Bourgeois Tagg in the 80's) and he's been playing since he was three years old (no kidding). He's been weaned on a steady diet of Beatles, Beach Boys and Neil Young growing up in Sacramento, CA. Opening with "Mr. Imaginary Friend," it's fresh harmonies and Beatlesque melodies are best compared with Jason Falkner and Michael Penn. This debut continues to be engaging and immediate with the gentle ballad "Clown Review" and continues with "Juniper" an Elton John meets McCartney piano ballad. Other highlights are the violin and guitar ballad "To Be (The First Man on Earth)" which brings comparisons to Elliott Smith or Nick Drake. The very Todd Rundgren-like "Silk from Ashes" picks up the tone with great melodic chorus and those fabulous "do-do-do" backing vocals. The song "My House" has a sweet catchy guitar lead with a superb vocal melody. "Melt in My Mind" continues the chord twisting theatrics with a full horn section and organ solos, that recall the best of Ben Folds. The dreamy "Summertime" continues in that style and doesn't pull any punches either, as Adrian puts his soul out onto the table here. The Christian faith come out in "Jesus," and is the sole overtly "Contemporary Christian Music" track. This album is pure power pop and this guy is only twenty years old (Drake Bell has some competition here) and did all of the instrumentation and arrangements. This is a very impressive debut, a top ten contender and I can't wait to see what's next. Don't miss this one. - Powerpopaholic


Predictions are a dime a dozen. Some of us are still waiting for our flying cars or for Michael Jackson to get a sex change before becoming the country’s first woman president. Any idiot can make a prediction, right?

OK, so here’s a prediction: One day, in the not-too-distant future, Adrian Bourgeois will be an influential force in pop music, the kind of star the entertainment business used to call a “career artist,” the kind of artist whose work turns up in critics’ yearly best-of lists.

At age 19, Bourgeois already has assembled enough first-rate songs to make him a serious contender. Over the past few years, he’s recorded those songs in small batches: with his father, Brent Bourgeois, himself a former major-label artist (as part of ’80s band Bourgeois Tagg and as a solo act) and head of Christian label Word Records’ artists and repertoire department; with David Houston; and with Ralph Stover.

Bourgeois the younger has sequenced some of those songs into a self-released 10-song CD (11, if you count the hidden bonus track) he’s titled Pop/Art. “It’s a little depressing to think that in the time that it took me to record this whole thing, the Beatles recorded Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper,” he joked.

Listening to Bourgeois’ music, it’s quite apparent that he’s spent a lot of time listening to Beatles records, along with the Beach Boys and plenty of other acts whose creative high-water mark occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, long before he was born. His songs possess a remarkable melodic confidence--just when a tune has ingratiated itself into your memory, in the way the kind of pop music does that inspires one to whistle, the melody sweeps upward, turning and dancing in that unpredictable way that a flock of birds does when it moves toward the sun.

That melodic sense, Bourgeois explained, came from exposure to pop classics from age 3, which turned him into a serious student of pop. “I spent years downloading chord charts online and learning how to play these different songs and chord structures and all that kind of stuff. It’s developed my sound--I’ve tried to use that late-’60s melodic thing, the Beatles and Beach Boys kind of stuff, the way the Beatles used early Motown and R&B in their music.” He figures that after a few albums, he’ll be up to speed in a similar fashion. “Hopefully, as they sprung from old rock ’n’ roll and developed that into something new, I’ll be able to jump off their foundation and make that into something new.”

The songs on Pop/Art certainly evoke that foundation; they include such gems as mellow opener “Juniper,” which could have come off Elton John’s American debut album; the elegant “Summertime,” whose melodic sweep evokes George Gershwin writing for Pink Floyd; and one of the newer songs, “To Be (the First Man on Earth),” a stark ballad with Bourgeois backed by the Christynas, David Houston’s two-woman string section.

And then there’s “Jesus.”

Bourgeois doesn’t hide his faith. “Christianity very much has a bad name in the culture these days, as represented by George Bush or Pat Robertson; that’s what a lot of people think of as Christians,” he explained, adding, “I do want to change that impression of Christians through my day-to-day life and also through my music.”

This month, Bourgeois leaves Sacramento to begin his freshman year at UC Santa Cruz, where he will major in philosophy. He’s played a few farewell gigs, both solo and with his local band, which includes guitarist Mike Roe of the 77s, bassist Cheyenne Hill and drummer Steve Mitchell--who once played with dad Brent Bourgeois’ 1970s band, Uncle Rainbow. He has a CD-release party at HQ on October 20.

And what if Pop/Art turns into something that entices him to put his studies on hold? “I’ve always said that the music comes first,” he said. “That’s always been my dream, and that’s what I want to pursue. If it comes down to it, it’s music, then college.
- Sacramento News and Review


Adrian Bourgeois brings something new to the table of post-Elliot Smith indie artists: psychedelia. There's as much C.S. Lewis as there is Simon and Garfunkel in this Californian's airy, dreamy folk-laced sound. He has song titles like "Juniper," "Mr. Imaginary Friend" and "Clown Review." And the spare but lushly layered music swells at just the right moments, with every subtle inflection of Bourgeois' tender voice. He's a wide-eyed six-year-old boy trapped inside an twenty-something pop-genius's body. The result: cool new music you'll soon be hearing more about.

As his debut self-titled album is released, the Santa Cruz-based Bourgeois seems to have a firm grasp on these musical finger paintings. He causes critics to comment on his songs, "the finest post-Beatles pop tunes I've ever heard," says one. Weighty statement, especially when Bourgeois is so young, but the music more or less speaks for itself. Not many hip fanzines have been speaking his name (he's still playing coffee shops around California, so not yet at least), but if his surefooted, soulful tunes have anything to say, it's not only just a matter of time, it shouldn't even matter either way. Bourgeois seems pretty comfortable where he is, and after a few listens to him, you will too.
- WERS


Predictions are a dime a dozen. Some of us are still waiting for our flying cars or for Michael Jackson to get a sex change before becoming the country’s first woman president. Any idiot can make a prediction, right?

OK, so here’s a prediction: One day, in the not-too-distant future, Adrian Bourgeois will be an influential force in pop music, the kind of star the entertainment business used to call a “career artist,” the kind of artist whose work turns up in critics’ yearly best-of lists.

At age 19, Bourgeois already has assembled enough first-rate songs to make him a serious contender. Over the past few years, he’s recorded those songs in small batches: with his father, Brent Bourgeois, himself a former major-label artist (as part of ’80s band Bourgeois Tagg and as a solo act) and head of Christian label Word Records’ artists and repertoire department; with David Houston; and with Ralph Stover.

Bourgeois the younger has sequenced some of those songs into a self-released 10-song CD (11, if you count the hidden bonus track) he’s titled Pop/Art. “It’s a little depressing to think that in the time that it took me to record this whole thing, the Beatles recorded Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper,” he joked.

Listening to Bourgeois’ music, it’s quite apparent that he’s spent a lot of time listening to Beatles records, along with the Beach Boys and plenty of other acts whose creative high-water mark occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, long before he was born. His songs possess a remarkable melodic confidence--just when a tune has ingratiated itself into your memory, in the way the kind of pop music does that inspires one to whistle, the melody sweeps upward, turning and dancing in that unpredictable way that a flock of birds does when it moves toward the sun.

That melodic sense, Bourgeois explained, came from exposure to pop classics from age 3, which turned him into a serious student of pop. “I spent years downloading chord charts online and learning how to play these different songs and chord structures and all that kind of stuff. It’s developed my sound--I’ve tried to use that late-’60s melodic thing, the Beatles and Beach Boys kind of stuff, the way the Beatles used early Motown and R&B in their music.” He figures that after a few albums, he’ll be up to speed in a similar fashion. “Hopefully, as they sprung from old rock ’n’ roll and developed that into something new, I’ll be able to jump off their foundation and make that into something new.”

The songs on Pop/Art certainly evoke that foundation; they include such gems as mellow opener “Juniper,” which could have come off Elton John’s American debut album; the elegant “Summertime,” whose melodic sweep evokes George Gershwin writing for Pink Floyd; and one of the newer songs, “To Be (the First Man on Earth),” a stark ballad with Bourgeois backed by the Christynas, David Houston’s two-woman string section.

And then there’s “Jesus.”

Bourgeois doesn’t hide his faith. “Christianity very much has a bad name in the culture these days, as represented by George Bush or Pat Robertson; that’s what a lot of people think of as Christians,” he explained, adding, “I do want to change that impression of Christians through my day-to-day life and also through my music.”

This month, Bourgeois leaves Sacramento to begin his freshman year at UC Santa Cruz, where he will major in philosophy. He’s played a few farewell gigs, both solo and with his local band, which includes guitarist Mike Roe of the 77s, bassist Cheyenne Hill and drummer Steve Mitchell--who once played with dad Brent Bourgeois’ 1970s band, Uncle Rainbow. He has a CD-release party at HQ on October 20.

And what if Pop/Art turns into something that entices him to put his studies on hold? “I’ve always said that the music comes first,” he said. “That’s always been my dream, and that’s what I want to pursue. If it comes down to it, it’s music, then college.
- Sacramento News and Review


Discography

"Adrian Bourgeois"
"Picture Frame (ep)"
"Parachutes (ep)"
"Pop/Art" (coming soon)

Photos

Bio

Adrian Bourgeois believes in you. He is an old fashioned sort of artist in that the songs he writes are inspired by moss-covered monuments, soldiers with umbrellas, merry-go-rounds that come to life, and reading other peoples’ minds. He believes that music itself as a sound and an essence cannot change the world but music that is written about love and magic, water and fiction, war and childhood, can indeed change the world, as well as the ocean that moves the world and the tiny drops of water that create the ocean. This is why he believes in you. You are the ocean. Adrian Bourgeois believes in creating drops of water because even the ocean gets thirsty sometimes.

The Bio: Born in Sacramento, CA, September 6th, 1987. Raised in a musical family (father led 80's pop group Bourgeois Tagg to brief stardom). Learned to play drums, piano and guitar and sing before he could read or write. Spent most of his childhood in Nashville, TN observing as keenly as only a child can the ins and outs of the recording industry before returning to Sacramento in time to start high school and begin playing the local coffeeshop scene. First album released in 2007 to universal acclaim garnering reviews such as "there's as much C.S. Lewis as there is Simon and Garfunkel in this Californian's airy, dreamy folk-laced sound. (WERS New Music Forecast, Boston)," "a cozier, coffee-shop Beatles sound (The Owl Magazine, San Francisco)", "has a bit of a Bacharachian/Brian Wilson vibe...in the vein of the more sublime moments of The White Album and Abbey Road (Absolute Powerpop)," "chord twisting theatrics with a full horn section and organ solos, that recall the best of Ben Folds (Powerpopaholic)," "it`s the slow, urgent, unfolding melodies that shine, shine, shine and are impossible to miss (Not Lame Recordings)," "his music speaks to another time in pop songwriting. Lush with strings, angelic harmonies and melodies that swoop and soar like a hook-laden roller coaster (Sacramento Bee)," "orthodox pop beauty....the young Sacramento dude's plaintive whisper has a way of surrounding you with sunny streams of light (Providence Phoenix)," and "just when a tune has ingratiated itself into your memory, in the way the kind of pop music does that inspires one to whistle, the melody sweeps upward, turning and dancing in that unpredictable way that a flock of birds does when it moves toward the sun (Sacramento News And Review)". Picked up a Sammie (Sacramento area music) award for outstanding songwriter and first place in the international OurStage music competition in 2007. Was the first artist launched by Aloft Hotels on a nationwide tour and a performance at the prestigious Live in the Vineyard event in 2010. Has toured the country multiple times opening up for artists such as Neon Trees, the Zac Brown Band, Guster, KT Tunstall, Todd Rundgren and Charlie Peacock. Currently at work on his sophomore LP, Pop/Art, a double album which is being recorded entirely in Adrian's home studio with Adrian playing and singing every part himself. To be continued...

But why should you care?

"I live in a constant state of inspiration. If you’re not spending every waking hour (and every sleeping one at that) inspired by something or other, you’re not paying attention!" Speaking in a recent interview with music blog Pop Rock Candy Mountain, Adrian divulged what makes him and his music an anomaly in the 2010's. For starters, Adrian is not shy to classify his music as simply "pop" and is oddly defiant about why pop music is the surest answer to changing the world: "Some of the most ambitious, adventurous of the past 100 years has been pop music. The thing I like most about pop is that whatever dressing you put over the top of it, at it’s core is a song that just has this universal appeal to it that leaves no one out. It’s world peace in the form of a song!" Adrian's upcoming album will follow in the musical tradition of self produced homemade one man band albums of years past such as "Something/Anything?" by Todd Rundgren, the first two McCartney albums, and "Rockin' the Suburbs" by Ben Folds, and it aims above the current musical climate of planned obsolescence and shoots for creating something timeless, songs that will be sung for generations to come. An old fashioned aspiration perhaps but Adrian also sees his role as a creative artist and musician as part of a much larger social context: "For some reason, besides politicians and people in law based professions, the occupation that is arguably given the most power to influence culture and the biggest voice to speak with publicly is the entertainer. I don’t know if entertainers were a wise choice to be their generation’s spokespeople–teachers and doctors probably would have made much more good of their celebrity status than musicians and actors–but circumstances being what they are, being a musician seems like a pretty good thing to get into if you want a soapbox to stand on to start getting