If listening to Jack Schneider feels like traveling back in time then maybe that’s because in some ways you are. Records are capable of taking you places and Jack Schneider and his band have every intention of setting you on a journey back through the years to a time when everything felt a little more real somehow.
Recorded live to tape in a windowless studio on a hot day in June in Nashville with some of the city’s finest players, the recording of Jack Schneider’s debut album, Best Be On My Way, could easily have taken place back in the early 70s and no one would have raised an eyebrow; except perhaps in quiet approval at the timeless country soul that was coming out over the playback.
‘Josephine’ is the first taste of those recording sessions, easing gently out into the world with its laid back 70s country feel like a lost cut from Ryan Adam’s Heartbreaker or something off Lowell George’s masterpiece Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here. It’s an instant classic.
“The song was composed with my friend and collaborator Wes Langlois and recorded live to analog tape at Sound Emporium Studio B in Nashville TN July 2nd, 2021”, Schneider explained to us about the song’s origins. “Featuring David Rawlings on lead acoustic guitar, Stuart Duncan on mandolin, Dennis Crouch on upright bass and Liv Greene on harmony vocals, Josephine came to life organically, in a matter of just two or three takes”.
“The song itself showed up a few weeks before. Wes had written the chorus already, a melodic ode to a character from the distant past, a memory preserved in the framework of the cadence. The verses were written around that image to capture the essence of a fleeting memory, one that lingers, evolving with the passage of time. The recording itself fell into place quite similarly. We all played to that figurative image, and the result brought to life the sense of movement outlined in the lyrical narrative.”.
In keeping with Schneider’s love of all things analogue, the music video was shot on Kodak 50D super 8 film using a Bell & Howell director series camera, processed with metropolis post.
“When determining a creative course of action for a video, I knew Jess Dimento would be the right person to undertake the task of visually representing the nature of this song. We chose to work with 8mm film, as it would provide an intentionally nostalgic and hazy lens through which to interact with the content, the same way that a memory softens with the passage of time. Jess took care of the rest, and with the help of ballerina Ava Namar, the video emerged, bringing the song to life and immortalizing what was once a fleeting memory”.
Born in New York and raised in Georgia, a pre-school Jack Schneider picked up the guitar at three years old and beginning to make trips to Nashville when he was in high school. Despite attending university in New York City, Schneider spent most school breaks and long weekends in Music City, working summers at Gruhn Guitars; it was there that he met and befriended Vince Gill, whose touring band he now plays in and who turns up playing guitar on Best Be On My Way along with the cream of Nashville's musicians.
Jack Schneider is a lot of things: a guitarist, a songwriter, a singer, a producer, a guitar collector and a tape machine enthusiast. But most of all he's a channel back to something lost to the relentless drive towards modernisation in the digital age: something simpler and more satiating somehow, that feels like it got left behind somewhere along the way. Best Be On My Way is the kind of record you'll look to for comfort when it feels like the modern world is getting to much for you. A little taste of the way things used to be that fills you up properly for once.
Best Be On My Way will be released on November 11th