Haunting, Western-tinged Americana.Discography to date includes Busting Outta Town (2004), Something To Me (2005), Travelling Songs (2007) and Carolina (2012).
If you’re even vaguely involved with songwriting and performing in San Franscisco, then chances are you’ll already be familiar with JJ Schultz, who for a long time was the overseer at the ‘Hotel Utah’, a hugely popular performance night which gave priceless encouragement and exposure to lots of up-and-coming artists. As well as that though, JJ is also an impressive singer-songwriter in his own right, filtering the haunted Americana of ‘Nebraska’-era Springsteen into a modern age. He names Phil Lang as one of his songwriting contemporaries, alongside Terese Taylor and Neil Howard.
Describing his primary influences as “Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt”, JJ strives to produce a sound which he labels as “sad waltzes picked sparsely on the guitar with lyrics that tell stories.” This slow-burning narrative approach is a far-cry from JJs’ early days, however. “When I first started writing songs,” he reveals, “I wrote funny songs exclusively. I've come full circle on this one.”
It’s a circle that’s brimming with memories. As well as his time at the Hotel Utah, one of JJ’s proudest accomplishments to date is having his “second album chart ahead Steve Earle's in the Netherlands.” That’s got to infinitely more satisfying than a few of the grinding gigs he’s had to play over the years, which encompasses his pet hate: “any coffee shop gig where people seem annoyed that you're disrupting their computer time.” Maybe they were too busy watching one of JJ’s taped performances?