Blog:Funk and Roll Diaries
Southeast Performer Summary
|URL of review:
Southeast Performer is a great regional publication, based out
of Atlanta. Sometimes, it's a bit hard to find in the Charlotte
area...but it's worth the hunt!
Southeast Performer Article
Words by Keith Mikkelson
Brian Hartzog would like to be known as the inventor of funk and roll.
Combining indie-folk, rock, and the throbbing textures of Prince and P-Funk,
Hartzog creates a blend that is unlike any other. Five years after his
debut full-length, The Smashing of Pictures Hartzog has returned with
One Way Ticket, an album that finds the artist with far more resources
to refine his work.
"My first recording, I did partly at home and partly at a project
studio, and between that recording and One Way Ticket, I felt like instead
of paying for somebody else's recording gear that I would save up and
buy my own," explains Hartzog. "And so, I recorded all of One
Way Ticket in my home studio. I played all of the instruments on The Smashing
of Pictures, but on One Way Ticket I brought in other musicians from around
town. This time, I wrote most of the songs on acoustic guitar. I also
worked on the melodies a little more."
Hartzog still has to do most of his own promotion. "I found about
fifteen radio stations that might play my music and did some research
on how this sort of thing runs itself," he says. "Basically,
you send out packages and call back and make sure they got them and took
them to meetings. I'm kind of running that end of it myself. Like, major
labels will usually hire radio promoters to do that sort of thing. So,
I'm still grass roots-ing it."
Settling on his current sound was a natural progression for Hartzog,
who grew up on equal parts funk and rock. "Growing up, we got the
Raleigh radio stations, and in that part of the state, it was almost all
classic radio. So I listened to Bob Dylan, the Doors, and the Beatles,
and that's what a lot of my friends listened to. Then there was R.E.M.
and other bands like them. And my school was about 80% black, so there
was a lot of rap influence and I got into Prince early on."
Hartzog isn't likely to slow down anytime soon, and he remains dedicated
to his craft, always coming up with new concepts to explore musically.
"Whenever I get an idea, I'm pretty fanatical about carrying notebooks
around," he says. "I have a tape recorder I take with me all
the time. So I capture all these ideas right away."
Artists website: http://www.brianhartzog.com
Listen to Brian's