"Schneiderman's exceptional song writing talent and radiating
charm are a winning combination. Her
honest, earthy presence and rich, serene vocals separate
Stephanie from the hordes of "girls with
guitars." She shows all the potential of becoming a world class,
world renowned artist."
Adam Zacks, Talent Buyer ~ House of Blues
In 1999 Stephanie Schneiderman began her solo career by beating
out hundreds of aspiring singer/songwriters to win a slot on
Lilith Fair. Since then the Portland, Oregon native has released
two critically received full-length albums and has developed a
riveting band presentation that continues to evolve and bring
her national attention.
Schneiderman's 2001 release, "Unbelievably Unbroken," drew major
label attention for her versatility and chameleon-like voice (with comparisons ranging Sheryl Crow, to Jeff Buckley to Patti Griffin). The first single, "New Skin Completed," was in regular rotation on KINK (Portland's leading Triple A station) and was featured on the WB's prime time show "Jack & Jill," and was the title track for the movie "Kat and Allison." Since then Schneiderman has released a 7-song EP and is set to release a brand new record, entitled Touch Down.
Touch Down exudes an artful maturity and is indeed her most prolific release to date. She purposefully intermingles her roots in jazz, soul, pop and classical music with her own intricate songwriting. Her song and stylistic choices are diverse, unified by a subtle, yet clear knowledge of self. "I knew what I wanted to do on this record. What I wanted to sound like, not what someone else was telling me I needed to be."
Her resolve is most evident in her vocal performances throughout the record. Recalling contemporary artists like Tori Amos and Susan Tedeschi, her voice also evokes hints of jazz singers like Billie Holiday or Sarah Vaughn -understated, sultry, and laced with delicate vocal precision while maintaining a powerful presence and depth that is expressive and emotionally forthright. And though each song is wrapped individually by a unique style, melody, or story, this prevailing vocal thread ties the album together.
Stephanie's songwriting also reflects a newfound vulnerability as well. The song-poems evoke a sense of longing and bittersweet bafflement while moving from dark places of despair to light-filled whimsy. "These new songs are about courage," explains Schneiderman, "not about the absence of fear, but the strength to move through it."
Capturing it all, producer Tim Ellis and engineers Bob Stark and Dave Friedlander at Kung Fu Bakery worked behind the scenes helping to shape the album, while a legion of musical guests contributed their talents as well. The rhythm section is comprised of drummer/producer Greg Williams (Dandy Warhols, Sheryl Crow, Pete Droge) and standout bassist Phil Baker (Pink Martini, Diana Ross). Jean Pierre Garau lends his outstanding talent on keys. Inspired guest performances from Dan Gildea, Paul Brainard, Tony Furtado, Linda Hornbuckle, Lara Michell, McKinley, Targheen Dougherty, and Michael Baker give the record depth and a caliber of musicianship that shines through on every track. A particularly keen album note is the string arrangements written by veteran composer and arranger Dave Mills. Played by the Thirdd Angle String Ensemble the strings bring added warmth and character to several of the album's 13 tracks.
Dedicated to the memory of three remarkable women- her two grandmothers and great aunt, Touch Down ties together music's past and present into a progressive roots framework that is at once emotive and engaging. A breakout album for a songwriter that has paid her dues and found her voice, Stephanie Schneiderman is indeed one of the Northwest's most precious gems.
Schneiderman's entertainment career began in high school where
she merged an interest in singing
and theater, which included lead roles in musicals and plays, as
well as mastering piano, guitar
and french horn. By age 18 she was fronting a cover band
and went on to perform with Body
and Soul, the region's top Motown/old school funk act. Despite
performing for crowds of up to 15,000,
Schneiderman was dreaming about starting a solo career and in
1999 left to become a full-time
During that first year Schneiderman won the grand prize in The
Lilith Fair competition and released
her self-titled acoustic debut to ecstatic reviews. The album
remained on the Top Selling Northwest
Bands Chart for over a year. She showcased at NACA and toured
throughout Wyoming, Montana,
Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Utah, and Oregon. By the end or 2000
she was ready to go into the studio
to record "Unbelievably Unbroken."
The breadth of Schneiderman's talent was made abundantly clear
UNBROKEN, her twelve-song fully orchestrated sophomore release.
Various reviewers opined: "A stunning work...."Unbelievably
Unbroken" is unbelievably good," "The
best CD I've reviewed this past year," "This is a great record,
full of musicality and intelligence."
Producer Martin Feveyer (Screaming Trees, Presidents of the
United Stated, Alejandro Escovedo)
helped Schneiderman shape a varied and richly textured sonic
landscape. Schneiderman's uncanny
stylistic versatility at once completes the songs and secures
the continuity of the album. From the
sparse, country-twang of "Anyway" to the multi-layered, sexy
symphonic trance of "Marmalade," to the
drunken, straight-ahead rock of "Betty", to the dark, moody pop
of "Deep End" (co-written with Jeff Trott,
Sheryl Crow's Grammy- winning songwriting partner), each song is
imbued with a distinct emotional
character. JAM Magazine wrote: "There are people you run across
in your life's journey whose stories,
images, emotions and abilities trigger an unexpected and
inexplicable influence. For many people,
Stephanie Schneiderman and the music she produces, is just