Crazy All By Myself
Vizztone Label Group
Nick Schnebelen is from Kansas City where he grew up in a household surrounded by music. “Music’s been in my blood for generations” as both of his parents were professional musicians, as were his grandparents and great grandfather. Schnebelen is a founding member of the band “Trampled Under Foot” formed with his sister Danielle Nicole and brother Kris. In 2008 TUF won the band competition at the International Blues Challenge and Schnebelen took home the Albert King Award as the competition’s best guitarist.
The Grammy winning producer/drummer Tony Braunagel produced both TUF’s 2011 “Wrong Side of The Blues” and 2013’s “Badlands”. The latter won the band a 2014 Blues Music Award as “Contemporary Blues Album of The Year”; and two nominations for “Band of The Year”. Collectively the siblings decided it was time to break up the family business and pursue their solo careers. While Danielle found quick success by releasing an EP that blossomed into a full length release, guitarist Schnebelen began gigging and building his repertoire.
In June of 2016 The Nick Schnebelen Band released their initial recording “Live At Knuckleheads Vol. 1” and followed up later that year with “Live in Kansas City”. Nick being a perfectionist held off creating his studio debut stating “My goal is to continue to write and create new styles for the blues…I want to stand out as an original artist”. The much anticipated studio debut is finally here.
Schnebelen once again teamed with Braunagel. The studio band includes Schnebelen, guitar and vocals; Braunagel, drums; Mike Finnigan, organ and piano; and Hutch Hutchinson, bass. Eight of the thirteen tracks are co-written by Schnebelen with some of our best songwriters.
The opening track “Lil’ Death” is from the blues rock band the Imperial Crowns who first recorded it in 2004. It’s an ominous vocal by Schnebelen and it kicks off this auspicious debut. Braunagel’s production includes violins and a background vocalist. The song “Altar of Love” also traces back to this band and features Schnebelen with Jason Ricci on harmonica.
Great parings abound throughout the recording as “Ain’t Got Time For The Blues” and the title track, “Crazy All By Myself”, were both written by Schnebelen and Blues Music Award winning songwriter David Duncan. Schnebelen’s stinging guitar and Finnigan’s piano highlight the track as Schnebelen sings about not needing a woman to wreck his life; he can do it by himself. Duncan also contributes “I’m A Fatboy”.
“Bad Disposition With The Blues” was written by Schnebelen and Nashville’s Gary Nicholson and features Dustin Arbuckle on harp. “Monkey Around” is from Delbert McClinton. “Soul Magic” is from Schnebelen and hard rock keyboardist Jeff Paris; Paris plays piano as Kansas City’s Heather Newman sings the backing vocal. Schnebelen also gives us a wonderful cover of Magic Sam’s “Out Of Bad Luck”, originally released as a 1966 single on Crash Records.
Four more songs are co-authored with Braunagel including “It Ain’t Me” and “Bad Dream”. The other two are my favorites. “I Leaned My Heart On You” pair’s guitarist Davy Knowles with Schnebelen and their twin guitars play together in perfect harmony. “Holding On” was written by the two of them with Duncan.
This studio recording should establish Schnebelen as a creative force; as a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist.