Alex was born in new york city in 1954, and at a young age became
immersed in the city’s legacy of jazz. Studied with guitarist George Barnes and at Berklee College of Music in boston. Early exposure to BB King, James Cotton and the Butterfield Blues Band planted seeds of a lifelong love of blues music.
Schultz moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and established himself as both a bass player and guitarist on the roots music scene, working for two and a half years with rock and roll/rhythm and blues pioneer Hank Ballard. This provided some early road experience, including playing Antone’s in Austin, Texas in 1986 and sharing stages with Jerry Lee Lewis, Albert Collins and many other greats.
Beginning 1986 worked with L.A. harmonica master William Clarke: recorded the W.C. Handy award winning album “Blowing Like Hell”, played and recorded with Smokey Wilson, and made appearances on all 4 of Clarke’s releases on chicago’s Alligator label.
This period saw gigs with a who’s-who of the los angeles roots music scene, including Coco Montoya, Debbie Davies, Finis Tasby, Steve Samuels, Rob Rio, and countless others.
In 1988 began a seven year, five record association with Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers, touring Australia, Japan, Europe and Scandinavia. Recordings included two albums on the Black Top label and “Live at BB King’s” recorded in Memphis. During this time the Flyers backed Jimmy Rogers, Lowell Fulsom, Louis Myers, Pine Top Perkins, James Cotton, Robert Ward, Earl King, Snooks Eaglin, Albert Collins, Larry Davis, etc. and supported the likes of Albert King, BB King, Al Green, Robert Cray, Dr. John, The Neville Bros., The Allman Bros. and more. Schultz left the group in ‘95 to pursue other projects as a free agent.
The first of these was a three year collaboration with blues rebel Lester Butler (ex- ‘Red Devils’ harmonica and vocals ) which resulted in the HighTone album “13 Featuring Lester Butler” and 4 european tours.
At the same time, Schultz appeared on two Delmark releases with old new york friend Tad Robinson, a collaboration that continues to the present day: co-producing and playing on Tad’s 2005 Handy nominated “Did You Ever Wonder” on the Severn label, numerous festival appearances in the U.S. and Europe, and playing on Tad’s upcoming (2007) release “A New Point Of View”.
A wide variety of freelance work has resulted in many recordings and tours, with artists including Italian harmonica player Egidio ‘Juke’ Ingala, Washington DC jump blues masters Big Joe & the Dynaflows, nu-swing band Royal Crown Revue, ‘Sax’ Gordon, Sugar Ray Norcia, Jimmy Morello, keyboardist Benjie Porecki, Kirk ‘Eli’ Fletcher, Mickey Champion, Frank ‘Paris Slim’ Goldwasser, Germany’s BB & the Blues Shacks, Italian guitarist Enrico Crivellaro and Austria’s Raphael Wressnig.
Finally, in october 2004, after playing on over 40 discs, Schultz’s first solo CD, “Think About It”, was released on the Severn label, bringing it all back home.
“Robinson places near the top of the list of the finest living singers of soul blues. His upward-bound voice is of a genuinely handsome quality and he uses it with confidence.”
Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat
When Tad Robinson dies, he’s going to soul heaven . . .a place reserved for a very few people.”
Tad nominated for Blues Music Award, December 2008
Tad is nominated for a 2009 blues music award in the category of Soul/Blues Male Artist of the Year. This is Tad’s fifth nomination, but we haven’t won one yet, so, if you are a member of The Blues Foundation, don’t forget to vote for Tad!
Puremusic.com - April 2007:
Most of the current crop of plugged-in blues purveyors draw from a relatively narrow range of the tradition: either the small combo sound of Chicago, or the guitar trio format popularized by Stevie Ray Vaughn. This is a function of economics as much as anything else; the horn-section-enhanced sound of T-Bone walker, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland is prohibitively expensive to support in the low budget world of today's blues circuit, with only the established legends able to afford it. Thus it is all the more refreshing to hear Tad Robinson's brilliant take on this lushly arranged branch of the blues.
It is said that when radio programmers first met Tony Joe White they were astounded to discover that he was of the Caucasian persuasion; so too listeners who experience the huge, sandpaper and honey sound of Robinson's voice without seeing his sparkling blue eyes and shining, decidedly pink, shaved pate could be easily forgiven for assuming that the Indiana native is black. He is not someone trying to sound black mind you, but like Joss Stone, a case of the voice of one race being gifted to a member of another. I will go on record as saying that he is one of the greatest R&B singers around today--black or white.
His big voice would be for naught if the music were lame but far from it. The core rhythm section is kicking, and former Rod Piazza guitarist Alex Schultz covers the requisite blues and soul licks with panache while not being afraid to introduce some new twists. If you are going to add horns and strings to this roadhouse music, the arrangements better be right. Employing Willie Henderson, who made classic records with Tyrone Davis and the Chi-Lites, ensures that this is the case--the man is brilliant at adding sophistication without diluting the grit.
The final ingredient to a classic record must of course be the material and here too ANPOV measures up. From a cover of "Up and Down World" that stands proudly against both the Bland and Johnny Adams versions, to new tunes like the Tyrone Davis-like "You Get To Keep The Love," and the deceptively-hard-to-write, slow blues "Broken-Hearted Man" (where Shultz demonstrates that he has listened long and well to the blues guitar masters), Robinson's material holds up its end.
A New Point Of View revives the orchestrated soul/blues that was originated by the aforementioned artists and kept alive on labels like Malaco records, with their artists ZZ Hill, Denise LaSalle, and Latimore. If this last trio of performers is less familiar than King, Bland, et al, it is because in recent years this style of R&B has been the exclusive province of the black "chitlin' circuit." Hopefully A New Point Of View will change that and expose a wider audience to the thrill of this sexy, soulful version of the blues, and to Tad Robinson.
A first-class bluesman with more natural soul in reserve than many singers can summon up at the peak of their powers, Darrell Nulisch testifies with stirring authority on I Like It That Way, his second Severn Records release.
Following up 1998's The Whole Truth, this strong release presents the big-voiced Dallas native dipping into a varied soul-streaked R&B bag. From the infectious opener, "You Tore My Playhouse Down"--which he adapted from the Ann Peebles' classic "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down"--to ebullient offerings like "Getaway Place" and "Love Changes Things", he mines a motherlode of deep-blue feeling on B.B. King's "Worried Blues" and goes to church on the gospel-flavored original "Where My Baby Is."
Elsewhere, Nulisch wraps his distinctive pipes around faithful covers of Lee Shot Williams' "I Like Your Style" and Otis Redding's "Trick Or Treat." He grooves on a jazzy, organ-fueled interpretation of Otis Rush's "Mean Old World," reinterprets his own "After All," which he had recorded 10 years ago with guitarist Ronnie Earl, and showcases his blues harp chops on the rootsy shuffle, "Once in a Lifetime."
"I've tried to show progression on all my records," says Nulisch. "And I think this one shows growth in my writing style." On this release, he is again working in tandem with longtime writing partner Steve Gomes. "Steve and I both lean toward this soul kind of thing. Also over the last few years I've gotten into listening to more gospel and jazz, and I think that's reflected in some of the music on this album."
Recorded near his home in Somerville, Massachusetts, "I Like It That Way" features Darrell along with Gomes on bass, Jon Moeller on guitar, Robb Stupka on drums, and Benjie Porecki on piano and organ. Given their natural chemistry in the studio, it's no wonder that Nulisch's fourth release as a leader is his strongest and most satisfying recording to date.
Growing up in Dallas, Darrell was surrounded by blues and soul music at an early age. "My Dad and Mom used to take me to these honky tonks sometimes when there would be live bands on Sunday afternoons," he recalls. Jimmy McCracklin and Freddie King were early favorites, along with a kid in the neighborhood named Jimmie Vaughan. "One of his first bands, the Chessmen, used to practice down in the park about three blocks from my house," says Nulisch. "I would ride my bicycle down and watch those guys play."
From the beginning, Darrell exhibited a natural flair for phrasing a lyric, a quality that underscores his relaxed, soulful performances today. He began singing full-time in 1978 as one of the founding members of Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. Their 1981 recording, Talk to You by Hand, was the first album in the catalog of New Orleans-based Black Top Records. After spending seven years as front man for the Rockets (also appearing on 1985's She Knocks Me Out!), Nulisch put in a year with Dallas-based Mike Morgan and the Crawl before joining forces in 1987 with Boston-based Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters. He cut two albums as their front man (Soul Searchin' and Peace Of Mind) before leaving in 1990 to form his own band, Texas Heat (Business as Usual).
Nulisch continued to mix blues and soul on aptly named Bluesoul, a 1996 release, and on The Whole Truth, his debut for Severn Records in 1998. He takes that earthy formula to a new level on I Like It That Way, delivering bluesy and sweet soul music with an authoritative and refreshingly unaffected voice.
"I never tried to beat anybody over the head with my stuff," says Nulisch of his relaxed, emotionally rich style. "I've tried at times to push a little bit harder, but it doesn't work for me. I don't feel comfortable doing it and I don't think it's a true representation of my style or what I am. You have to be who you are and just hope that people catch on to what it is. And the people who get it really dig it." Blues and soul fans will have lots to dig on I Like It That Way.