The JJ Schultz Band
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The JJ Schultz Band

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Altcountry.nl (4.5 out of 5 stars)"

Earlier this year Altcountry.nl praised JJ Schultz' Bustin' Outa Town, a wonderful compilation of dustbowl country folk. JJ Schultz now appears to have his own band, and what a band it is. Besides JJ "The JJ Schultz Band" has a drummer and a bass player, and no less than guitarists (slide and Telecaster). This means that "Something To Me" (Last Stop Records) has a full, roving and rattling sound in the footsteps of Crazy Horse, without it sounding too heavy. Meaning it sounds exactly right. The endless row of telephone poles on the album cover already indicates that endless travelling is the overall theme of this great CD. And yes, the great leaving; the unwanted goodbye. Over the course of ten songs Schultz uncovers the white underbelly of today's America. The narrative, syrupy songs have titles like Ol' Billy The Cab Driver, He Drives and The Lonesome Truck driver, and from a musical standpoint the JJ Schultz Band swings like the proverbial train with its destination somewhere close to Sixteen Horsepower or even The Gun Club. Ballads are also safe in JJ's hands because slide, electrical guitar and Schultz' melancholy touch to the core. The cover of Ol' '55 is slightly superfluous, but you get full compensation by the tearing gallop of Drinkin' You Off My Mind: 'George Jones where are you now? I need you in my desperate hour.' Something To Me places JJ Schultz among unknown but very much loved country-rocking troubadours such as Steve Wedemeyer, Nels Andrews, Thomas Denver Jonsson, David Wolfenberger or Ramsey Midwood. What's great about Something To Me is that Schultz proves his capacity of not only creating wonderful country folk songs but also superior grating and enticing country rock songs. From that angle this Jerod Schultz is truly a gigantic talent. This man deserves worldwide distribution. Top class distributors this side of the ocean such as Sonic Rendezvous and Munich can feel confident about signing this class act. (Wiebren Rijkeboer) - Altcountry.nl


"Ctrlaltcountry.be (4.5 out of 5 stars)"

ces and names seem to be ruling the land of singer-songwriters. It takes somebody with a certain standing to be able to sift the wheat from the chaff. This, however, presents no difficulty for this JJ Schultz. The man who last year came out with the rather impressive debut album "Bustin' Outa Town" now confirms all the good things that were said and written about him with the recently released follow-up "Something To Me". On the one hand he explicitly refers to established (country) singer-songwriter-examples the likes of Townes Van Zandt, a Guy Clark, a Willie Nelson and a Merle Haggard, on the other hand a carefully incorporated rock element creates the infamous little bit extra. Call it the Dylan touch. Sandpaper voice, electric guitar here and there, gritty mouth-organ, each in turn adds a little extra colour. Because of that JJ Schultz and his band's Americana is given something irresistible. To listen is to buy! And... you'll continue to listen! The only non-Schultz-track is an insanely beautiful cover of Tom Waits' "Ol' 55". Besides that the good man sticks to his own material. Strongest moments: the carefully (roots)rocking opener "Jackie You, Jackie Me" and the intimate, somewhat elegiac triplet "The Lonesome Truckdriver", "He Drives" and "Something To Me". Impressive stuff! - Ctrlaltcountry.be


"MazzMuzikaS"

Barely recovered from our first introduction to JJ Schultz' music (the slightly fantastic Bustin' Outa Town) JJ launches his second projectile our way. This time it is a band record, where, over the course of ten songs (equal shares Dylan and Haggard) and 43 minutes, our man demonstrates what Americana should sound like and what, exactly, is meant by it. One carefully chosen and brilliantly performed cover (Waits' Ol' 55) and nine of his own songs are all that's required. I know teachers who are less efficient. Whoever manages to write songs like Drinkin' You Off My Mind, with its wonderful mouth-organ and slide guitar (of Fred Odell and Scott Robertson respectively), cannot really go wrong in our books. Ol' Billy The Cab Driver changes tack completely: the drawling and emptiness ooze from the speakers. The loneliness of the man who experiences how his loved one gets to know somebody else and who is incapable of doing anything about it... we all know the feeling, but few manage to write such a beautiful song about it like Schultz did in Someone Who's Not Me. He is just as good writing from the point of view of the father who is leaving his family behind and it does not make him happy (He Drives) or from the point of view of the man who kills his girlfriend she herself bought in the corner store (Something To Me). By showing he is capable of all of the above Schultz proves he should be ranked among today's greatest songwriters. Add the characteristic voice and the unmistakable sense for melody and you have a full package. It is time, HIGH TIME, for you to discover JJ Schultz! (DH)
- MazzMuzikaS


"Americana-UK"

This collection has traces of Young, Farrar, Parsons and a little Arlo Guthrie in it. With the welcome rise and rise of the American singer/songwriter showing no signs of slacking it's getting harder to pick the real talent out of the swirling mass, especially with the number of new acts emerging. It’s no exaggeration to say that Schultz is definitely in with a chance of rising to the top of the pot. This excellent record provides all the elements - thoughtful, lilting tracks, an individual voice and great musicianship, but it also has that x-factor that separates the CD one might play occasionally from the one which is straight on to the MP3 player after a single listen. The record is almost entirely acoustic, and Schultz is at his strongest alone with his guitar, but refreshingly the tracks into which he imports slide guitar, violin, drums, stand-up bass, harmonica or mandolin don’t feel over-produced or fleshed-out. Schultz, a Californian, is helped by a distinctive voice, complete with the odd hitch here and there (most noticeable on “Max My Dog”). Fans of the acoustic genre will almost certainly approve, and if they happen to think a song's not a song without tipping its hat to dust, dogs, love, beer and radiators they'll be all the happier. Of the ten studio and two live tracks on the record, the six-minute “Country Backroad”, the story of a refrigerator repairman driving home to propose to his girlfriend, is the defining composition. There’s plenty of good fare for the alt-country listener to get their teeth into, with tracks like “Song Of The Independent Rancher” and the title track “Bustin’ Outa Town”, and a good deal of humour too thanks to “Me And Elvis (We’d Be Friends)” and “Need A Pen”. Joyfully difficult to categorise, this collection has traces of Young, Farrar, Parsons and a little Arlo Guthrie, together with the gritty American story telling of Earle and Van Zandt in it and introduces a singer/songwriter with the genuine potential to rise to the next level. - Americana-UK


Discography

Live at Hotel Utah - 2002
Bustin' Outa Town - 2004
Something to me - 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

JJ Schultz is an Americana artist whose songwriting evokes the small town pathos of Nebraska era Springsteen, Steve Earle, and Townes Van Zandt.

His debut solo album, "Bustin' Outa Town", was released in June 2004 out of Last Stop Records in San Francisco. The 12 song effort has been very well received by critics and beer drinkers alike. It has been an editor's pick on the Western charts at CD Baby since its release.

His follow up, "Something to me" was released in October 2005, and by November, it registered #12 on the Euro-Americana chart (Neil Young was #13)

He performs regularly with his band, featuring Manny B on drums, Roy Elder on standup bass, Scotty "Rock and Roll" Robertson on slide and lead guitar, and Fred Odell on harmonica and lead guitar.

JJ Schultz Band shows, with their whisky soaked harmonies and lonesome slide guitar, will remind you of when you caught Merle Haggard at some small town beer bar - where the women were friendly and you had to shake the peanut shells off your boots.