Roy Schneider’s “Blue Twangled Folk ‘n’ Roll”
Roy Schneider is a singer-songwriter in the grandest tradition of Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Guy Clark, and Lyle Lovett. But, his voice, songwriting skill, stagecraft, and instrumental talent are all his own. Together, the result is like a vibrant jubilee singing out on the banks of the Mississippi River. His gift for blending Southern-influenced folk, blues, country, and rock into a seamless genre with his own signature sound demonstrates his connection to the best in the tradition of fine wake-me-up and kick-me-in-the-ass roots music.
These ingredients make his recently started Indie Go-Go crowd funding campaign for his upcoming album, Ten from the Pen, a surefire success story in the making. It also is a strong platform for upcoming national success. Best of all, what makes his music distinctively Americana is the simple fact that it is impossible to pin him down to a specific genre.
In a recent interview with No Depression contributor Kathy Sands-Boehmer, he described his sound as “blue twangled folk ’n’ roll.” Ten from the Pen, due for release June 1st, is a collection of well-crafted songs layered with lyrical and melodic imagination. His voice is distinctive with a strong country-folk soul. The sound on this upcoming album is not your typical pretty folk songs of reflection and introspection, but a big electric guitar driven sound with songs that will blow the lid off most coffee-houses if played with a full band.
With wife Kim Mayfield, who plays keyboard and sings background harmony, he has been on the hard highway of touring and recording for the last seven years. Indeed, this album has the feeling of movement, like tales of life on the road. However, it’s not a tired road Roy and Kim have been on as they have toured the country playing coffee houses, festivals, small clubs, and house concerts. This road is one of new birth and discovery. This is the theme that turns up on this fine new album. It’s a rarity, an album that reflects the joy of the road and building a career, one town at a time.
He is also that rare breed of a singer-songwriter sometimes known as the “the triple threat.” That is, he is a vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Add to that a fourth dimension of an engaging and entertaining live performer and you’ve got a good idea of what Schneider is about.
In his home area of Fort Myers, FL, he was drafted by country and folk legends John McCuen and Tom Paxton to accompany them for local shows. Tom Paxton had some high words of ironic praise for the musician:
“Roy is a multi-instrumentalist, one of those horrible people who seemingly can play anything they pick up and play it beautifully.”
Another important person in his corner for Ten from the Pen is Gurf Morlix, one of Americana’s leading producers and singer-songwriters. Morlix is known for producing Blaze Foley, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Mary Gauthier, and Lucinda Williams, so it was natural to reach out to him with this collection of songs.
“I approached him with my 13-song demo and asked if he would consider producing me. He listened, said he thought I was doing fine and that it didn’t make much sense for me to come to Austin and chop up the budget when I’m capable of making really good music on my own (yeah, that was pretty cool to hear). Instead, he offered his perspective – helped clarify the song selection, trim the fat off an arrangement here or there, an occasional comment on instrumentation … I’d send him a batch of mixes periodically, he’d listen and give me thoughtful feedback. He gave the album focus. Without his help, this would have been a very different album.”
Morlix commented in a fairly typical modest fashion:
“Roy is really good all-around songwriter, singer, performer and writer. He contacted me via email, and we just got along. He sent me some of his music and I really liked it. I was very happy to tell him what little I know, and offer encouragement.”
The result is an album that casts a bold stylistic net out with songs strong enough to catch fire on an international Americana music platform. After seven years on the road, gathering songs of the hard highway along the way, Ten from the Pen gives Ron Schneider the kind of trajectory that will attract the attention of a strong fan base and make his mark in Nashville and Austin. He’s one artist to watch in 2015.
To donate to this project go to his page on Indiegogo.