John Schneider MUSIC
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John Schneider MUSIC

Alexandria, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Alexandria, Virginia, United States | INDIE
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"Dan MacIntosh Reviews "Happy Life" CD"

John Schneider’s photo, on the cover of his Happy Life CD, might lead you to believe his is an album filled with simple country or folk tunes. And although there are a few down-to-basics songs on this recording, there are also some real surprises, too.

“I Do Love You (Go Away)”, for instance, sneaks in a clarinet part. In the case of the latter song, Schneider has given us sophisticated pop.

Please do not judge this book by its cover. Even so, nothing that comes before it will prepare you for “Dig That Bone”, which is downright funky. There’s harmonica, organ, and a beat that just won’t stop. Schneider doesn’t so much sing it, as mumble it – and quite nicely – much like Leon Redbone. What its lyric is all about, however, is a mystery.

“Can’t Get No Job” is also cut from the dance music cloth, yet it also incorporates a snippet of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, just to ward off predictability.

But funk is not the only unexpected musical style found on Happy Life. “Peace of Mind” skips along like a peppy little folk song, whereas “Dance With Me”, with its accordion accompaniment and clarinet – clarinet again! – comes off like a ‘20s song.

The saddest song of all is “Together Forever”. On it, Schneider is found alone and lonely, making soup for one instead of spending time with the one he loves. Schneider has given us sophisticated pop.

Schneider is a hopeless romantic, one gathers, and he even suggests that all will end well in one particular relationship during “Everything Will Be Okay”.

But while “You Are My Woman” asserts confidence with its words, the way Schneider sings it tells an entirely different story. He seems even less sure about his future with the girl than John Lennon did with Yoko Ono, after his ‘lost years.’ Yet with its saxophone and slight nod to ‘50s music, “You Are My Woman” does flow a little like Lennon’s last recordings. I guess big rock stars always have a better shot at getting what they want.

Schneider is at his folk-iest on this disc’s title track, which is sung with Laura Baron. It includes lines like, “Happy Valentines Day for the last time.” It finds Schneider waxing nostalgic about how holidays always seemed to bring out the best in his relationship.

The song’s final verse begins, “Happy life for the last time, my friend.” It’s a tragic little ditty because it posits that, no matter how good the holidays make us all feel, good feelings alone can never salvage a doomed relationship.

Happy Life reveals a rather complicated John Schneider. He has more musical styles up his sleeve than you might first figure. And the happy life suggested by this album title is more hope than reality. It’s is a fine effort, and a work Schneider can be proud to call his own.

August 6, 2010 - Indie-Music.com


"Jamie Anderson Review "Happy Life" CD"

While the album is called "Happy Life," it has its share of sad songs, mostly about love lost and the longing for a particular woman. The exceptions are a few cool groove-heavy dance numbers. He's a keyboard artist and it sounds like he's created most of the arrangements himself, using an array of synth-based sounds that give everything a retero sound, like a 70's folk-rocker with funk leanings. His voice is pleasing and low, sounding a bit like Kenny Rogers, especially that little growl that Rogers employs.

"It Ain't All Up to You" uses what sounds like a wah-wah pedal and even though it's probably not a real guitar, we can pretend and tap our foot along to the fun beat. I like the jazzy wind instrument sounds in "I Do Love You" and the funky percussive sounds in "Together Forever." In the latter, he talks about his day, all backed by unusual clanging and banging sounds and an eerie organ, leading you to believe that his day isn't as normal as you might think.

The title cut is a duo with a woman who has a really smooth and pretty voice. It's about a couple who thought they'd be together forever. They sing, "With a candle and a song we could never go wrong." Many people will identify with this one.

"Feel You In My Arms" has a psychedelic rock feel and "This is the Time" has a playful reggae sound, complete with a marimba. The heartfelt "You Are My Woman" has some nice vocal harmonies and a soulful sax. In "Peace of Mind" he wonders where he can find peace.

- Jamie Anderson


"Sean Healy Reviews Title Song from "Happy Life" CD"

Happy Life is a beautiful sad song. The visuals of all of the holidays are very touching, The lyrics and vocals paint the picture. I feel like the couple is getting divorced or the relationship outgrew itself. I love the lyric ( candle and a song). Again, this is a very visual sad song. I loved the guitars and the piano. I see this song being placed in a romantic drama television or film and perhaps a Hallmark movie. The best part of the song is the picture it paints. Good job and continued success! - Sean Healy


"Review of "Happy Life" by Zack Daggy"

REVIEW OF “HAPPY LIFE” BY ZACK DAGGY

John Schneider is a man with an extremely well honed voice and incredibly deep lyrics. Schneider has a rich smooth-toned voice that has the sound of a seasoned veteran of the music industry. His voice is quite charismatic with a nearly-Bono quality to it.

Some reviews on his favorite tracks of the CD, “Happy Life”…

Happy Life
This is a mind-blowing and utterly amazing title track that deserves to be on the airwaves, the silver screen and your iPod. The vocals soar to incredible heights as John Schneider's rich tones and Laura Baron's silky smooth voice compliment each other perfectly. This and the deeply moving lyrics easily make this not only the best song off of this album, but also quite possibly one of the best songs of the year!

I Do Love You (Go Away)
It is hard to listen to this song and not smile. It's a blend of 20's flapper music mixed with a Kenny G flair, which is an extremely enjoyable sound. It's the kind of song that you want to listen to again and again.

Together Forever
The success of this track is due to the simple production of John Schneider's voice. When left alone, it gives him a chance to truly shine, which he can absolutely do! When he sings, he sings with something very few artists have: emotion.

Everything Will Be Okay
This is a sweet, solid track.

You Are My Woman
Musically, it works, featuring Kenny G vibes with just a hint of Chris Isaak.

This Is The Time
Billy Joel with a reggae infusion…it's just a feel good song. It's the kind of song that you could picture yourself listening to as you stroll down the beach in the early morn of a beautiful day. The music is the perfect blend of reggae and calypso. Throw in Schneider's rich vocals and you have the perfect romantic vacation song.

I'm Not Too Old
Piano ballad in the vein of Billy Joel. It's a very sweet and emotional song sung from the heart…it is extremely good, and may be the best on Happy Life.

Dance With Me
It really is impossible to peg a genre down for this song. It's very…different. The music is impressive with its unique blend of instruments.

- Indie-Music.com


Discography

My current CD, "Happy Life," is an album of songs which celebrates the comings and goings in our likves.

The next CD is scheduled to be released in January 2011.

Photos

Bio

My initial infatuation with music was a result of Elvis Presley.
After his emergence on the public stage, I immediately asked my folks to buy me an official Elvis guitar (which they did). I couldn't really play it, but my parents always applauded after one of my impromptu performances in the living room. I also remember get a small drum set for my fifth birthday which of course drove everyone crazy.

Finally, there was always a piano in our home, and while I never took lessons, I would often sit down in front of the keys and let my childish fingers -- and imagination -- play a beautiful symphony. Ah, fantasy!

Then came high school and The Beatles. Everyone, it seemed, was trying to play the guitar because it was the primary way of looking cool in front of the girls. While everyone was playing most of the popular songs containing the three basic chords, I was already experimenting with writing and playing my own stuff. It was all very heavy and deep, such as:

"What joy is there to being? What's that blind man really seeing? In the darkest night, there is always light -- light of mind and light of spirit. It's loud enough so you can hear it."

However, the real joy it seemed was when I formed my first rock band. Actually, I thought I was wasn't good enough to play guitar in a band, so I decided to play drums. The band was called "The Electric Harpoon" and we actually played at quite a few gigs. Most notably was the time we played at Florida's very first "Love In" in a park on the beach. My biggest thrill was playing the drum solo in "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly.

I also acted (mostly starred) in almost all of the plays in high school and college. Everyone thought I should go to New York City (which I did later) and become famous (which I almost did). So, I listened to my friends and went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in The Big Apple. While there, I did some stage plays, television and a film or two. I couldn't play drums in my apartment, so I started playing guitar again.

Since the early days, I've been in and out of rock bands as well as on and off theatrical stages. And I've met so many wonderful, inspiring and famous people along the way. But my favorite people have always been those folks who listen to and enjoy my music.

I know from experience that I'm an acquired taste. Not everyone is a kindred spirit in my enjoyment of quirky songs and music that makes you think a little harder. I simply love being in this special relationship with my music and the people who enjoy it.

Today, I spend most of my time writing original songs. I also play live music at parties and weddings because I receive a lot of pleasure from being part of other people's celebrations. I also founded an organization called "Musicians For Charity, Inc." which connects music and musicians with community charities. Community service is a meaningful experience and a big part of my life.