Guitarist Kris Schulz stops in Chilliwack on May 5 as he tours his debut solo album across Canada.
This Vancouver-based artist takes a virtuosic approach to composing, utilizing every aspect of the acoustic guitar to create a full-band sound with only one instrument and two hands.
Inspired by falling in love and traveling the world, yet challenged by the heartbreak of tragedy and loss, Schulz’ solo debut While The City Sleeps (2016) deeply reflects on his life over the last decade.
In the fall of 2012, the flame needed to ignite his vision was lit. The music that poured out required this incredible fingerstyle guitarist to develop a radically different approach to composing.
The result is a 13-track instrumental album where Schulz seamlessly integrates his background in metal, blues and flamenco on a single acoustic guitar, expertly incorporating hand percussion and polyphonic melody.
“It’s a real personal journey, with a lot of depth to it,” he said. It has a “meditative” effect in that it’s an instrumental album made for a solo-listener.
“But it kicks ass too,” he said. “A lot of the tracks, they really thump. There’s this rock, heavy-metal vibe lurking underneath.”
Back in May of 2015, Schulz had embarked on a 5,000 km journey across Canada to a small town north of Montreal to record with renowned producer and guitarist Antoine Dufour. It was a “tremendously inspiring experience,” including a stay in a haunted bed and breakfast that was built in the 1800s, once serving as the post office.
Peers and fans are regarding While The City Sleeps as a game-changer, and its success has resulted in Schulz being signed to the progressive guitar label FretMonkey Records.
His first single ‘Ferus Caballus’ made quite the statement on social media, generating over 30,000 views and 600 shares on Facebook in one month.
The music is bursting with energy, heart and soul, but Schulz never expected it to resonate so immediately and so deeply with its listeners.
“People are connecting with it on an emotional level. The songs are becoming part of their life,” he said with a humble awe.
Celebrating the album release, he’s following up back-to-back sold-out shows at the Vancouver Planetarium with a self-booked tour across Canada this May and June, hoping to spread his unique music to a wider audience.
While he’s been playing live since the beginning, as part of several bands and as a guitar instructor for more than 25 years, this will be his first time as the front-man.
“It’s exciting. I’m throwing myself into my dreams right now,” he said.
He’s ready to immerse himself in every second of this career-broadening journey, including the stresses and uncertainty that come with wearing your heart on your sleeve for the first time.
Kris Schulz performs at the Tractorgrease Cafe (48710 Chilliwack Lake Road) May 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at 604-858-3814.