REVIEW: Saul Conrad’s “The Fancy LP”

 photo SaulConradTFL_cover_zps5f681713.jpg The last I heard from Saul Conrad, he released an EP called Poison Packets (my review of which can be read by clicking here), where I said his music had “a love of the daring and the unknown”. He has returned with a full length album, and it’s called The Fancy LP (Mountain Of Lepers/Cavity Search).

The feel of this album is “on the road again”, travel songs that you’re supposed to know by heart, where you guy up some clothes in a handkerchief, tie it to a stick and play the part of a hobo, so that you can jump on the next train to who-knows-where. These songs are new, but they’re meant for the weary and torn, so that one can sing through/with them and find an optimistic aspect of these songs, which aren’t negative but they’re not all happy either. “I Know The Meaning” sounds more like a drunk Elton John demo than anything, but then it leads to something as charming as “Cropped”, and like his previous works, what makes these songs brighter is the vocals of Katie Schecter, which serves as support, courage, or a companion on/of the road.

Conrad’s music could be the new wave of folk, although I don’t know if folk traditionalists would like the association. He is a singer/songwriter but he’s not what I would call one that is worthy of winning a Grammy (although should). He’s a bit of a trip, not doing things by the rulebooks that tend to be a path towards success, but I hope with The Fancy LP, Conrad will find some level of success on the road he is not only walking on, but paving for himself and others along the way. Or even better: to pave a path off the road and into the musical wilderness he seems to enjoy a bit more. Feet in the dirt music: that’s Saul Conrad.

(The Fancy LP will be released on September 17th.)

SOME STUFFS: Saul Conrad offers a slice of “Sycamore” before hitting the street

Director Catherine Please came up with this video treatment for Saul Conrad’s “Sycamore”, and it comes at a good time. As fans both old and new get a chance to be excited musically and visually, Conrad will be hitting the streets for some performances. This is also known as “hitting the road”, a/k/a “a tour”, beginning this Valentine’s Day. If you can make it, you will have fun for an hour or so. Dates and times are located below. You may click here to see what artists will also be performing at each show.

February 14… Boston, MA (The Lily Pad – 11:30pm)
February 15… Pittsfield, MA (Marketplace Cafe – 7pm)
February 16… New York, NY (National Underground – 7-8pm)
February 17… Wilmington, DE (Mojo 13 – 10pm)
February 18… Baltimore, MD (Bohemian Coffeehouse – 8pm)
February 20… Pittsburgh, PA (Inn Termission Lounge – 9pm)
February 21… Cleveland, OH (Wilbert’s – 9-9:45pm)
February 22… Columbus, OH (Kafe Kerouac – 10-10:45pm)
February 23… Canton, OH (Buzzbin Magazine & Art Shop – 9:30-10:15pm)
February 26… Bloomington, IN (Bear’s Place – 9-9:45pm)
February 27… Nashville, TN (The National Underground – 7-8pm)
February 28… Louisville, KY (Zazoo’s – 10-10:45pm)
March 1… Chicago, IL (The Elbo Room – 9-10pm)

He is doing shows because he likes to, but he also released an EP called Poison Packets, my review of which can be read by clicking here.

SOME STUFFS: North American tour dates for Saul Conrad

SaulConrad_old_zps33ec4365 photo SaulConrad_old_zps33ec4365.jpg
Saul Conrad’s Poison Packets EP impressed me (I said so in my review, which you may read by clicking here, and now he will be taking those songs, and others in his songbook (or bag) and carrying them in his travels throughout North American starting mid-February, with a number of touring mates along the way. Catch him if you can:
February 14… Boston, MA (The Lily Pad) */**/***
February 15… Pittsfield, MA (Marketplace Cafe) *
February 16… New York, NY (National Underground)
February 17… Wilmington, DE (Mojo 13) +
February 18… Baltimore, MD (Bohemian Coffee House) *
February 20… Pittsburgh, PA (Inn Termission Lounge) ++
February 21… Cleveland, OH (Wilberts) +++
February 22… Columbus, OH (Cafe Kerouac) @
February 23… Canton, OH (Buzzbin Magazine & Art Shop)
February 26… Bloomington, IN (Bears Place) @@
February 28… Louisville, KY (Zazoo’s) @@@
March 1… Chicago, IL (The Elbo Room)

* w/ Katie Schecter
** w/ The Lowbred Watts
*** w/ Mike Greenstein
+ w/ McAdoo & Rosu Lup
++ w/ Chris Harrington & Blue Baxter
+++ w/ Kelly Zullo & Charlie Mosbrook
@ w/ Elijah Aaron, John Swanson & Faraway Strays
@@ w/ Nick Sexton
@@@ w/ Field of Kings and Nick Peay

REVIEW: Saul Conrad’s “Poison Packets” (EP)

Saul Conrad In terms of closeness and intimacy in music, there’s nothing like getting an acoustic guitar and just play and sing. This is exactly what Saul Conrad does on his new EP, Poison Packets (Cavity Search/Mountain of Leopards), but it involves a little more than being acoustic.

While he is said to be in the vein of Townes Van Zandt and Elliott Smith, I would add the likes of Jeff Tweedy and even Chris Robinson into the equation, as Conrad’s songs are tales that are personal, reflective of his experiences and/or what he wants to have from life. The listener may want to go along that route, or at least to experience life and its experiences in the same way that Conrad conveys it in his music. He balances things between playing rootsy modern folk with doing things country style, as he does in “Whiskey Eggs”, which may make you hoot and hollar until you realize he may be telling you your own life story (or at least a page from your life thus far). What also makes this EP work is the complimentary vocals of Katie Schecter, who catches a lead vocal here and there but it tends to represent (metaphorically) the sensitive side of Conrad’s lyrics while also sharing a love of the daring and the unknown.

It’s an outside experience, or at least Poison Packets will make you want to feel the air of the great outdoors and live life. Period. One of the great things about this EP is that some of these tracks consist of one sole verse, and before it dwells in itself for too long, you’re off into the next story. It’s an experience period, an EP of ten tracks that could easily be the loose change in your pocket that looks to be useful, and each coin is ready to be deposited in the machine of your choice. You just have to choose wisely to get from point A to point B, and these songs could lead the way towards the promised land. Or the preferred vending machine.