CHICAGO - APRIL 13, 2016 - Dimension One Records announces the official release of "Just Another Piano Man," the new single by Robert Kramer, from the upcoming album Shadow Logic. The song was penned by Kramer as a tip-of-the-hat to Billy Joel's iconic hit, "Piano Man;" an homage to the song being recently inducted into the Library of Congress.
"Just Another Piano Man," echoes Kramer’s personal sentiment of working the piano-bar circuit as a struggling musician. The Library’s National Recording Board (NRPB) chooses 25 recordings that are deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," every year, and graciously, Kramer’s enticing piece has made the cut for 2016.
"Every musician who has ever experienced what its like to be a "Piano Man" owes a vote of thanks to Billy Joel for that song," comments Kramer, who knows first-hand the challenges and often thankless job of playing for inattentive bar patrons.
"Playing in a piano bar can be frustrating; it teaches you humility, endurance and patience," he quips. "But it can also be incredibly rewarding as well...it gives you the chance to make a difference up-close and personal. It made me a better musician and performer, not to mention getting repeated requests for that song in one night," Kramer laughs. "Every musician who’s been a piano man has their own story to tell about it; "Just Another Piano Man" was mine."Kramer, who also writes music for film and television, has worked the piano bar circuit in between recording and producing a number of albums and music videos. The energetic and passionate tune shares the frustration and pitfalls of being a piano man on the lounge circuit; a theme many musicians can relate to. The track gracefully shows Kramer’s skills as a musician, lyricist and songwriter; the ultimate triple threat.
The lyrics of the piece contain a name-dropping litany of artists Kramer has received requests for night after night. "They're all there, from Sinatra to Gaga, and everything in between...I've even had requests for opera," Kramer states.
He nervously adds, "I just hope Billy approves..." It’s pretty certain that Joel will....
ROBERT KRAMER TO ATTEND "ZMR NEW AGE MUSIC AWARDS" IN NEW ORLEANS
Robert Kramer will be headed south this year to help celebrate The 12th Annual ZMR Music Awards, held this year at the historic Joy Theatre in New Orleans, LA.
Hosted each year by the Zone Music Reporter, the festivities will include performances by new age musical luminaries Darlene Koldenhoven, Eric Scott, Paul Avgerinos, Robin Spielberg, and Louis Colaiannia.
Last years awards included industry attendees from all across America, Canada, Australia to India.The Joy Theater is a historic landmark built in 1947 on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans, Louisiana. The event, honoring the best in the new age music genre, will be held on May 7th. For further info see the Zone Music Reporter website.
SHADOW LOGIC RECORDING SESSIONS CONTINUE AT SKYBLYNDE STUDIOS
The next grouping of songs will include an easy feeling "country punk" tune titled "LIES, LIES, LIES", and "THESE ARE THE TIMES", reportedly a Sarah McLaughlin/Pink Floyd-ish mash-up. Also planned for tracking is the controversial follow-up to Billy Joels' "Piano Man", appropriately titled "JUST ANOTHER PIANO MAN", Kramers' personal tribute to Joels' song being selected as one of 25 sound recordings this year to be preserved by the Library of Congress National Recording Registry.
"Working at piano bars myself, " comments RK, "I realized that everybody whos ever worked in the piano bar circuit owes Billy Joel a thankful nod for writing that song. Every piano player has their own unique story about the experiences pounding the keyboards night after night to entertain the masses just waiting to be written. "Just Another Piano Man" was my story. Kramer adds with a nervous smile, "....I just hope Billy likes it....."
The ongoing project is being engineered by Gregory Hyde, who also contributes drumming and guitar on various tracks. Also featured at strategic sections of the album is Flyin Ryan Bros master guitarist Jimmy Ryan.
Q: When did you first start working with Robert Kramer?
I met Robert a couple of years ago and we dabbled on a few ideas here and there. We got along quite well and shared an appreciation for many of the same artists and styles of music. Those initial meetings didn't result in a recording, but Robert reached out to me a short while later to mix "Strange Times". It was a fantastic experience, and a ridiculously fun song to work on. Glad to say we've been working on many songs since!
Q: How is his music different from other artists you've engineered?
Well first off, Bob has a great ear and a strong working knowledge of the engineering process. That informs his arrangement, and the songs are stronger for it, I think. My other studio clients come from all levels of expertise, but the vision and passion that Robert brings with his songs is unmatched. Also, he has a unique knack for paying homage to his heroes and influences without copying them. He seems to effortlessly tap into the artistic DNA of anyone he chooses and write a song AS THEY WOULD. Its fascinating. I like to say some of my favorite Police and Bruce Springsteen songs are actually Robert Kramer songs.
Q: You're a musician/recording artist in your own right. Does he allow you to bring your own musical sensibilities into the mixing process?
Absolutely. Robert doesn't just appreciate music, I think he truly appreciates artistry in general, so he's open to input. It's easier with our working relationship since we are inspired by many of the same writers and performers, so there's never really a clash of ideas. In the event I suggest something that isn't vibing with his vision, there's always a mutual respect, so I can see what spaghetti ain't sticking to the wall and try something else.
Q: Have there been any technical challenges or limitations working with some of the tracks?
Not many! Though Robert's songs usually have the main tracks recorded on his Korg Workstation. The intricacy and feel he can accomplish with those demos is awe-inspiring, but we've had some challenges in the past with getting those sounds over into my computer for mixing the final project. Occasionally, we'll have the drum loop and piano on one track, without the ability to separate them, which can be a little challenging. Fortunately, Robert's ear and knowledge of engineering means those levels are set pretty well, so it isn't a deal-breaker. By the time it's all mixed, it blends seamlessly.
Q: Any future projects of your own you have lined up?
I'm currently working on The Bellevue Sessions, Vol. 02, which is a follow-up to the first in a series of concept EPs of my own original music. I'm hoping to have it completed Summer of 2016.