JJ Schultz released his fourth studio album, Carolina, on Saturday August 11th. Following his albums Bustin' Outa Town, Something To Me, and Traveling Songs, Carolina features a stripped down Americana sound, communicating one mans struggle with love and manhood. With whiskey soaked lyrics, sparse guitars, and a heavenly Hammond B3, Schultzs Western Roots music weaves a lush, intricate mood.
The album features a combination of Schultz's solo work as well as numbers with his full band. On the solo tracks, Schultz's relaxed and almost casual guitar picking is accompanied by some otherworldly Hammond licks played by Danny Eisenber (Tift Merritt, The Mother Hips, Ryan Adams). When joined by his band, Schultz lets loose and we hear once again the trademark guitar sounds of Scott Robertson and Jeff Cotton, the jazzy thump and bowing of Craig Koozer's upright bass, and Manny Bernal's understated and beautifully tasteful drumming.
Songs from Carolina include the rocking "Karma Come Early", a story about a newly unemployed farm laborer who comes back dish out a little karma. Karma is just a song about a dude who got fired, and he's kind of upset, Schultz explains. He explains more in the lyric "Come on now let's get started/Lord knows the river will flow/Come on now this poor man's hungry/Time to reap what you have sown", and the poignant "Alchemy", a wistful story about a man longing for a family - longing for "a house built by hand/on our
own piece of land/for you and me/and our family band".
Schultz wrote the songs for Carolina over a three year span from 2007-2010 and recorded them over the following two years. Schultz self-produced the album, Roger Rocha (Four Non-Blondes, The Golden Hearts) provided the studio and engineering, and Michael Romanowski provided the mastering. Mark Tolsted, a Wisconsin based graphic artist, contributed the album design and artwork, as he has for all of Schultz's studio albums.
Originally from Northern Wisconsin, Schultz relocated to San Francisco in the late 90's. While his songs are deeply personal and pull from his life experiences, he cautions The songs are not photo-realistic self portraits. When I write, I usually write a story, but the story is influenced by what I'm going through at the time.
His band has been together since 2002. When not touring, Schultz commonly performs around San Francisco at venues including Hotel Utah, Cafe Du Nord, and Bottom of the Hill. His 2011 tour schedule included the main stage at San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury Street Fair.
Carolina will be available on Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, CD Baby, and at jjschultz.com. You may also purchase from a limited vinyl pressing. For more information on the release concert or ordering from the vinyl pressing, please visit www.jjschultz.com.