“The best artist you’ve never heard of.”
So says a saying about Austin-based pop/rock/folk musician Bob Schneider.
Being well-familiar with Schneider’s 2009 “Lovely Creatures” and 2011 “A Perfect Day” releases, yours truly ventured north – 2 hours, mind you – to catch Bob’s show at Mississippi Studios Friday night.
Located in the heart of north Portland, it’s a small but well-respected venue in the historic Mississippi District – think “charming and comfortable.” And, because the place is built and owned by musicians, the acoustics at this place are far and above your average music hall.
Though Schneider is generally speaking, not yet well-known on your local radio dial, he apparently has far more fans outside Texas than just me. Mississippi Studios was so packed to the rafters with concertgoers that nary a space could be found to settle in for the music.
Time and again at Friday’s show, the venue broke out into full-on chorale accompaniment. Fans belted out lyrics to many songs from the 2-hour setlist Schneider plucked from his voluminous body of work (a talented and prolific writer, he writes 50+ songs a year and consequently has a hefty and impressive discography).
He’s also phenomenally talented as a fine artist, working in a variety of mediums – particularly collages.
Musically speaking, Schneider is currently working on “King Kong Vol. II,” the second EP in his three-set “King Kong Suite.” He sang several new songs from the EP at Friday’s show and also covered some of the more popular tracks from throughout his 14-year career – including “Honeypot” from “A Perfect Day.”
After two hours of varied and well-paced selections and lots of playful interaction with the crowd, Schneider came back for an encore, bringing the house down with “Tarantula” and gently blowing the audience a kiss at the close.
His new EP is set to release in June, and we can only assume some or all of these three releases will comprise his next album.
Meanwhile, you can find his music and upcoming show dates on his website .