Greg Schatz writes and plays music that gets stuck in your head. Steeped in tradition, yet completely original, his songs give words to life’s hard-to-describe moments.
Small Peace of Mind, released June 2017, is his sixth overall full length album of original material, expands the song-driven mix of roots music he began exploring with his 2012 record, Where the River Meets the Railroad Tracks, and the 2015 follow up, Everything That You Wanted. Small Peace of Mind further solidifies Schatz’s musical vision, informed by the traditions of New Orleans piano masters and a myriad of songwriters, from Jelly Roll Morton to the Kinks. His core backing band ‘the Friggin’ Geniuses’ – Doug Garrison (The Iguanas, Alex Chilton, Panorama Jazz Band) and Paul Santopadre (The Song Dogs, Pigeon Town) on drums, Alex McMurray (Royal Fingerbowl, The Tin Men) and Dave James (Gal Holiday, Dirty Mouth) on guitars and Dave Stover (Bicyle Jones, Lynn Drury) on bass – is a New Orleans all-star team, seamlessly locking into a groove and brining the most out of every song. A host of additional New Orleans luminaries appear on Small Peace of Mind, including: Solid Harmony (Topsy Chapman, Yolanda Windsay and Jolynda Phillips), Susan Cowsill (The Cowsills, Continental Drifters), Jason Mingledorff (St. Paul’s Broken Bones, Papa Grows Funk), Dr. Sick (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Asylum Street Spankers), Helen Gillet (Wazozo), Tiffany Pollack (The Dapper Dandies), and Sarah Debacher.
Schatz began writing and performing original music as a teenager in upstate New York. He moved to New Orleans in 1995 to play accordion with the Big Mess Blues Band and subsequently took up the upright bass in the trio, Jeremy Lyons & the Deltabilly Boys. In 1999 he started his own band and released three albums under the name Schatzy, which often blurred the lines between genres and had a vibe of global musical hopscotch. His album, Where the River Meets the Railroad Tracks, marked a sea change in approach, songwriting, and instrumentation, as Schatz brought piano to the forefront as his primary instrument (as opposed to accordion on his first three records.) Small Peace of Mind may be Greg Schatz’s most accomplished release to date, with a dozen songs that touch on a myriad of moods, experiences and emotions, all unified by a distinctly one-of-a-kind musical standpoint.
In 2016 Schatz composed and performed the theme music for producer Eve Abrams radio and podcast documentary series, Unprisoned, which won a Gabriel Award, and was a Peabody Award finalist.
“Schatz is one of the city’s great songwriters. He has a knack for taking life’s everyday moments, often some of the quirkier ones, and using fresh lyrics and catchy melodies to shed new light on them.”– Laura DeFazio, OffBeat Magazine
“What a songwriter – the first thing to make itself apparent when listening to this release…Greg Schatz knows how to write songs, and the great thing about this album is that it also underlines how very much he loves to do so.” – Rebecca Cullen, Stereo Stickman, December 2017
“Cleverly humorous, accessible lyrics unite with a host of instrumental breaks and showmanship in order to create an entertaining 12-track collection in Greg Schatz’s third solo album, Small Peace Of Mind. With the vocal candor of Dylan, and the rustic musicianship of The Kinks, these songs are—at the very least—entertaining; and at the very best, something about which one could become fanatic.” – The Arc of Music, December 2017
“Schatz combines New Orleans blues roots, Nashville Honky Tonk, and his Bob Dylan-esque song writing to create tracks representative of his life.” – Emily Blankenhorn, Indie Band Guru, December 2017
“It’s apparent that Schatz has been inoculated with the New Orleans version of boogie-woogie flu as his keyboard lines roll and chuckle with the easy dance step of classic J&M studio R&B.” –John Swenson, OffBeat, October 2012
“Schatzy has a gift for the unexpected rhyme.”—Tom McDermott, Gambit Weekly
“With Lively Music and humorous, whimsically philosophical lyrics, Greg Schatz makes the mundane seems magical.” –Kathryn Hobgood, Neon Bridge
“Throughout the dozen original compositions, Schatz shows off his sense of humor and a pop sense informed by his Big Easy potpourri.” – Keith Spera, Times Picayune
“Roots music fans can find plenty to love here.” –OffBeat