JJ Schultz's new album Bustin' Outa Town is a great mix of american musical traditions. His song are written with the smoothness and clarity that reminds a listener of the great Townes Van Zant and his sad cowboy tunes of the sixties and seventies. And JJ sings with grit and tenacity that would make Willie Nelson proud, all the while playing and picking his nylon string Talyor in such a style that would make the country legend shed a smile I'm sure.
But while JJ may invoke memories of the great cowboy singer-songwriters, he certainly is his own man and his own voice. His songs tread through Americana, and the experiences of growing up in the midwest. They are mix of experiences on the personal, family, and K9 level.
Whether were ridin' with them across the Dakota Plains in the title track "Bustin' outa town," or sitting in a old hotel room with'm in the Great North Woods in "Need a pen," at everystep along the way we feel more and more connected to the characters of these ballads, and JJ is the one who puts us there. His music is sad at times and hilarious at others, often forcing up deep memories in our own lives.
I picked up this album a couple of days before driving from San Francisco to Austin, and their could not have been a better choice of music to coast me through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico and on into the Texas Hill Country. JJ Schultz is a force that will be heard, and his is a voice that certainly needs to be heard.
- Jesse Torgersen, July 2004