The long awaited full-length album by Chicago folk rocker, Rich Krueger, Life Aint' That Long releases on Friday, January 26th with a celebration performance to be held in Berwyn, IL
Here's Krueger's sound as described by The Pasadena Weekly-- "Veteran Chicago guitarist/pianist Krueger delivers a winningly unpretentious, lyric-focused set that plugs in at the intersection where folk, rock and melodic pop jawbone and flip off genre distinctions. Country fiddle, R&B sax, gospel piano and harmonies make satisfying musical sense backdropping Krueger’s free-ranging perspectives."
Record Release Party @ Friendly Tap Saturday January 27th
7 pm // Price: Pass The Hat - Tips Appreciated!
6733 Roosevelt Road Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 484-9794 Full Band with Special Guests
BONUS: It’s Rich’s Birthday!
Rich Krueger is an interesting and generous guy who has something to tell you if you are willing to listen. Something that you might or might not enjoy, something that might even trouble you, but it will never be ordinary.
Krueger, who is now based in Chicago, IL, was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NYC. He has been writing and performing with his band The Dysfunctionells since 1985. The Dysfunctionells, (who describe themselves as “THE Butt-Ugliest Band in Chicago”) have backed up the Holy Modal Rounders at their reunion at The Bottom Line in NYC, and Krueger has recorded with Peter Stampfel on his own and with the band.
This summer Krueger released an EP Overpass, which was the pre-cursor to two solo albums he plans to release with Life Aint That Long being the first of the two. Overpass draws songs from each of the projects and features many great musicians from Chicago, Tulsa, Pennsylvania and New York City including John Fulbright who plays accordion on the song, “In Between Kingfish” (which is set to release with the 2nd project). Krueger’s friend and fellow musician, Robbie Fulks has claimed that “(Overpass) is the best thing Rich Krueger has done to date.”
The folk rock Bible, Dirty Linen (no longer in print) has called Krueger’s music “Richard Thompsonesque”, and Anti-folk noted that, “Krueger is an old folkie at heart (although an esotericist in practice), and has a folkie’s love of text above all.” Just this year Krueger was chosen as one of the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Finalists. His love of text shines on Life Aint That Long. He performs original songs with well-made, intelligent, thoughtful and sometimes disturbing lyrics. His songs are story songs with characters that aren’t always fully aware of or are in denial about what is happening to them. The songs are usually touched by humor, even the songs with heavy topics. They challenge his listener’s beliefs, not just massage their prejudices.
Guest artists on Life Aint That Long are too numerous to name, but all are friends, and supporters of his music. The album was mastered brilliantly by Dave McNair (Dylan, Bowie, Springsteen). Along with Krueger, the core of the band is Vence Edmonds (The Dysfunctionells) on drums and Bill Kavanagh on bass. Kavanagh also recorded, engineered, and mixed the record and was one of the producers. Others involved in producing with Krueger were Urbana, IL legend Paul Kotheimer, and Jay O’Rourke, the former Insider’s guitarist who has worked on recordings with Robbie Fulks, Warren Zevon, and Urge Overkill, to name a few.
A Neonatologist at The University of Chicago by day, Krueger came to writing songs because he grew up listening and singing translations of the songs of Belgian singer-songwriter, Jacques Brel. “I listened to these songs over and over,” he said. “They were braver, more honest and cut to the bone. I wanted to write like that.”
Life Aint That Long is an eclectic collection of 10 songs (plus a bonus track). The record starts off with “A Stoopid Broken Heart” and fiddle and pedal steel driving the upbeat Americana song all throughout. “The Gospel According To Carl” is Randy Newmanesque song with piano, full band, horn and gospel singers. “77/17” is a punk-edged number with Krueger reminiscing about 1977 when he was 17 years old.
“The Wednesday Boys” is a blue-eyes soul anthem with a Van Morrison inspired groove. The closing song, “What We Are?” is a piano and gospel propelled soul number and a humorous, but sober reflection on the paradox of hope for the future in these difficult times. There is a bonus track, the Christmas-themed, “And It’s That Time Again” which Krueger wrote back in 1985.
“I’m primarily motivated by having my songs heard by as many folks as possible, There have always been doctors who are writers, poets, and musicians, both professionally and otherwise. That’s not unusual. I make a living doing medicine that I enjoy (mostly), I help folks (mostly) and I’m fairly competent at it (mostly),” He jokes. “I’m not in need of making a living off of my music. But,” he adds, “I’m not gonna stand in anyone’s way if they want to pay me for listening.”
30 plus years of making music has allowed for Krueger to grow his fan base. He’s had fans that insist that he sing at their funerals, fans that will jump up and down after he plays a song claiming that the song is “amazing!” He has had fans that will pull up beside him while driving to ask if he had any recordings. Now, with Life Aint That Long, he can tell those fans, “yes”. And after 30 plus years of making music it’s nice to know that Rich Krueger still has something to say.