Bob Schneider plays Asheville Music Hall on Dec. 20
It’s taken him some time but iconic and revered Austin singer-songwriter Bob Schneider is finally, begrudgingly, hesitatingly ready to admit something: He’s not a kid any more. The writing’s on the wall for the man the Austin Chronicle has repeatedly called “the hardest working man in Austin show business;” as he gets older his tastes are starting to change. So it’s little surprise to hear, then, that when Schneider talks about Burden of Proof, his whopping 12th solo release since 1998, “adult” is one of two words he constantly finds himself using to describe it.
“As a musician, you can act like a kid forever,” he says. “Look at The Rolling Stones. Those guys are almost 70 and they’re still running around like they’re kids. But I think it looks silly for me to act like I’m a 12-year- old. Because I’m just not. So, yeah, this record has a more ‘adult’ feel.”
The other word Schneider repeatedly references in describing Burden of Proof “Strings.” That much is immediately obvious within the first seconds of the album, which features the soaring string work of Austin’s Tosca String Quartet throughout its 12 tracks, all of which are intentionally cinematic in scope. But if that much implies that Burden of Proof is a departure for Schneider, well, it should and it shouldn’t.
Yet this is Schneider — a man who once belted out songs with such titles as “Big Butts and B?s” during his days fronting his adored Austin funk-rock outfit The Scabs. Grown-up or not, he remains a man who can’t help himself. There’s no ignoring the double entendre going on in Burden of Proof’s “Wish The Wind Would Blow Me” ballad, nor the sexual aggression behind the late-night-booty-call inspired “Unpromised Land,” the latter of which is the most rocking cut on this release, which somehow retains Schneider’s genre-hopping ways almost inspite of itself.
Bob Schneider in Concert
w/ Ruston Kelley
Wednesday, December 18
8pm Doors/ 9pm Show
Asheville Music Hall
31 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801