Monday, March 17, 2008

Strummin' along with Richard Julian

Richard Julian has been kickin' around for a decade or so, although he hasn't garnered the attention that he deserves, which is a shame because in the heavily populated land of folksy singers/songwriters, Richard really belongs in the forefront. Although you might not recognize his name, he was/is a member, along with Norah Jones, of The Little Willies, who released an album of classic country covers along with some original material back in 2006.

This last month, he released Sunday Morning In Saturday's Shoes, his fifth solo album. Don't expect anything revolutionary here; it's an album of very solid sounding and well written material. It's delivery is where the magic happens. At times it roils, other times it rollicks, and yet underlying it's apparent carefree vaudeville manner there's a sense of melancholy (listen to If You Stay below to see what I mean), an attempt to deal with an imperfect world, a weariness that Richard's voice conveys that belies the upbeat tone. It's almost as if he's trying to trick himself into thinking that everything is right in the world. Accompanying this lassitude are bluesy folksy riffs that roll along at a cantering pace. Backing him up is a simple trio that provides just enough of a foundation for the album's eleven tracks

My personal favorite track on the album is one of its quietest: A Thousand Days. Take a look at the opening lyrics while listening to it below:
i remember the way the window
barely let the morning
into the attic apartment she rented
i remember
the deep south and the mild december
the ornaments adorning
the yellowing lawn as the evening ended
and we befriended
i remember
a sadness in her laughter
but the madness that came raging after
it struck without warning
and it burned through a thousand days and a dozen seasons
now a thousand days and a dozen seasons are gone
The rest of the album is just as good, so listen to the following and then consider buying the entire thing for yourself (buy a physical copy and you'll get a whole slew of cocktail recipes with the liner notes that go along with the tracks), and then check the tour dates at the bottom to see if he's coming anywhere near you.

Richard Julian - If You Stay : Sunday Morning in Saturday's Shoes

Richard Julian - A Thousand Days : Sunday Morning in Saturday's Shoes

and an older one:

Richard Julian - Please Rene, Not Now : Good Life

Visit his website, his label Manhattan Records, and become his friend on MySpace.


Tour Dates

17-Mar San Francisco, CA Yoshi's
19-Mar Monterey, Ca Monterey Live
20-Mar Eugene, OR Cozmic Pizza
21-Mar Portland, OR MS Studios
22-Mar Bellingham, WA Acoustic Tavern
25-Mar Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
26-Mar Toronto, ON Courthouse
27-Mar Rochester, NY Water Street Music
2-Apr Durham, NH Mill Pond Center for the Arts
3-Apr Northwood, NH Lake Shore Farm
12-Apr Easton, MD Coffee East
13-Apr Philadelphia, PA Tin Angel

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