The world is watching Adrian Bourgeois! Okay maybe not the whole world (that’d be kind of creepy), but probably Big Brother and at very least a good handful of local entertainment rags, powerpop blogspots, and online independent music reviewers; in...
The world is watching Adrian Bourgeois! Okay maybe not the whole world (that’d be kind of creepy), but probably Big Brother and at very least a good handful of local entertainment rags, powerpop blogspots, and online independent music reviewers; in short, that small elusive world in which buzzes are born. And they all seem to be saying the same thing. “There’s no doubt he’s a young artist poised for pop greatness,” reads this year’s International Pop Overthrow West Coast Guide, “Definitely one to watch!” “I can’t wait to see what’s next,” gushes an album review on the blog Powerpopaholic and Sacramento music magazine Submerge agrees that, “The future is bright indeed for this pop star in waiting.” Jackson Griffith of the Sacramento News and Review even makes the prediction that “One day in the not-too-distant future, Adrian Bourgeois will be an influential force in pop music.” The common message: The whole world is not watching Adrian Bourgeois….but maybe they should be! Perhaps this is all boilerplate talk, the type of thing that is written about an artist that is superfluous enough to make him sound good but not specific enough to commit to any type of serious interest. Not so in the case of Adrian Bourgeois who may not be old enough to remember when Ronald Regan was president but takes his main musical inspiration from the era of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon and who recently finished his first year of college with the news of being crowned California’s capitol’s best songwriter and winning first place in the nationally popular OurStage competition. “He’s a wide-eyed six-year-old boy trapped inside a twenty-something pop-genius’s body,” writes Jon Meyer of the Boston radio station WERS dubbing Bourgeois’s songs “musical finger paintings” and concluding that “There’s as much C.S. Lewis as there is Simon and Garfunkel in this Californian’s airy, dreamy folk-laced sound.” Jackson Griffith is almost poetic when describing Bourgeois’s songs as possessing “a remarkable melodic confidence—just when a tune has ingratiated itself into your memory, in the way the kind of pop music does that inspires one to whistle, the melody sweeps upward, turning and dancing in that unpredictable way that a flock of birds does when it moves toward the sun,” and more succinctly as “among the finest post-Beatles pop tunes I’ve ever heard.” And Not Lame Recordings had this to say about Bourgeois’s mostly self arranged and self performed and completely self written debut album: “His plaintive, inviting voice intoxicates, filling the listener with the beautiful arrangements and Bourgeois’s easy cadence makes for an inviting introduction on this debut---yet it’s the slow, urgent, unfolding melodies that shine, shine, shine and are impossible to miss.” The future indeed does look bright for Adrian Bourgeois who is busy rehearsing his new band, a small ensemble of multi-instrumentalists called the Coincidence, for west coast dates throughout the remainder of the year, but the present doesn’t look so bad either. According to the Sacramento News and Review, “It’s becoming silly to say, “Watch this guy; he’s going places.” The fact is he’s already there.” Why believe in Adrian Bourgeois? Adrian Bourgeois believes in you. He is an old fashioned sort of artist in that the songs he writes are inspired by moss-covered monuments, soldiers with umbrellas, merry-go-rounds that come to life, and reading other peoples’ minds. He believes that music itself as a sound and an essence cannot change the world but music that is written about love and magic, water and fiction, war and childhood, can indeed change the world, as well as the ocean that moves the world and the tiny drops of water that create the ocean. This is why he believes in you. You are the ocean. Adrian Bourgeois believes in creating drops of water because even the ocean gets thirsty sometimes.
Pop Life: On strings and a prayer by Sacramento Bee Like father, like son, Adrian Bourgeois is a musician.In 1987, the singer's father, Brent, and his band Bourgeois Tagg scored a Top 40 pop hit with the song "I Don't Mind at All." Twenty-two years...
Adrian Bourgeois- s/t by Not Lame Those old sayings have not only relevance but important hints at ‘inner truth’. Here, it’s ‘the apple does not far from the tree’. Adrian Bourgeios is the son of Brent Bourgeois, whose band...
Pop Life: On strings and a prayer by Sacramento Bee Like father, like son, Adrian Bourgeois is a musician.
In 1987, the singer's father, Brent, and his band Bourgeois Tagg scored a Top 40 pop hit with the song "I Don't Mind at All." Twenty-two years later, Adrian, 21, is trying to make a name for himself.
It's a journey taking the Elk Grove-raised singer-songwriter on a path paved by his father's experiences, myriad musical influences and Adrian Bourgeois' own deep, personal sense of religious faith.
Adrian Bourgeois & the Coincidence will perform Saturday at the Vox Cafe in West Sacramento.
Bourgeois sat behind his first drum kit when he was 2, started writing songs at 10 and picked up his first guitar when he was 12. At 19, Bourgeois' song "Mr. Imaginary Friend" won top honors in the national OurStage.com monthly songwriting contest.
My dad's a musician; my mom has a good love of music," he says. "I feel like I was born with the desire to make music.
The contest's $5,000 prize was more than a cash infusion. It gave the budding musician exposure on a few nationally distributed CD compilations and an invaluable sense of confidence that, hey, maybe he could really do this. That was summer 2007, and in the 18 months since, Bourgeois, who now lives in San Francisco, has quit school for a job leading the music worship group at a Fairfield church and pursuing his art full time.
The decision to put academics on hold – Bourgeois was attending community college in San Francisco – wasn't easy.
I really enjoy school, but my interests have been so split between school, music and work, it just felt like something had to give.
And so, armed with his love for the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Rufus Wainwright, Arcade Fire and, yes, Jesus Christ, Bourgeois is trying to make a living making music (with a little help from a part-time job at Trader Joe's in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood).
He knows, he says, that it's not exactly what his parents, Brent and Mary Ann, had in mind for him.
It was hard for them to accept," Bourgeois says.
They're a little concerned, but I think they're learning to live with the decision.
Brent Bourgeois is trying to do just that.
Because of my own (background), I have very mixed feelings about Adrian's decision," the elder Bourgeois admits.
For Brent and his wife, it's difficult to watch Adrian pursue a career in music.
On the one hand, I know what he's going through, what he wants to do," says Brent Bourgeois, whose own ambitions saw him through Bourgeois Tagg, working with legendary producer Todd Rundgren, solo albums and later as an A&R rep for Nashville's Word Records label.
But I also know what he's getting himself into. (The music industry) is not a pretty picture – especially today; it's harder to break in.
These days, 50-year-old Brent Bourgeois leads a music worship group at St. Mark's United Methodist Church and is studying journalism and history at Sacramento State.
He says he and his wife wish Adrian would finish school to expand his career options.
But, he adds with a laugh, it's a funny thing.
I was the same way (as Adrian), and my parents never said that to me.
And so, the elder Bourgeois says, he gives his son advice now and again – "sometimes I'll pass it along through friends because I think it actually gets to him then" – and watches and listens with more than a little fatherly pride.
I think he's incredible – a very gifted songwriter.
The younger Bourgeois credits his dad for plenty of inspiration and support.
The two have played together and have co-written songs. Adrian has even worked with many of his father's friends and colleagues.
Bourgeois Tagg co-founder Larry Tagg and longtime Brent Bourgeois friend Mike Roe even appear on Adrian Bourgeois' self-titled debut album (available on Amazon.com and via www.adrianbourgeois.com).
We like the same music, (and) in some ways I think I get on better with them than I do most people my age," Adrian Bourgeois says.
Indeed, his music speaks to another time in pop songwriting. Lush with strings, angelic harmonies and melodies that swoop and soar like a hook-laden roller coaster, this is classic Beatles pop with a modern edge.
That's what persuaded Heath Dalrymple to book Bourgeois at the Vox Cafe, a small nonprofit that highlights local arts and culture.
I'm amazed that (here is an) artist who writes classic pop material – but it still sounds new and refreshing," says Dalrymple.
It's not that he just went and listened to a bunch of Beatles and Brian Wilson records – his music is not derivative.
A delicate thread of faith also runs through Adrian Bourgeois' music with songs such as "Jesus" and "To Be (The First Man on Earth)" touching on the singer's spirituality.
Although Bourgeois doesn't go as far as to call himself a "Christian rock" singer, religion plays a "very large" part in every part of his life.
It's very much a day-to-day thing. It's something I just want to attempt to give my life to," he says. "In some ways, I think it's a motivation to write music.
Surely, Bourgeois adds, his faith has helped as he embarks on this uncertain journey.
The hardest thing for me is that I have this very definite idea of what I want my life to look like, and the fact of the matter is that making music may not be part of God's plan," he says.
I'm just learning to give myself up to (God) and saying, 'Wherever you may lead me, I'll follow.'
Adrian Bourgeois- s/t by Not Lame Those old sayings have not only relevance but important hints at ‘inner truth’. Here, it’s ‘the apple does not far from the tree’. Adrian Bourgeios is the son of Brent Bourgeois, whose band Bourgeois/Tagg released two albums in the mid 80s, the second of which is a bonadfide lost classic. Strong as that album was "Yo Yo", his son Adrian launches way ahead for these ears in terms of his intense focus on crafting melodies that linger, swell in the ear and, importantly, leaving the impression of an album that will get pulled off the shelf in the coming years after its initial charms may wear off. Fans of Michael Penn, Jesse Sprinkle, Wisely, Chris Brown, Elliot Smith, Ben Folds and Josh Clayton-Felt. This is high-quality material, beginning to end. His plaintive, inviting voice intoxicates, filling the listener with the beautiful arrangements and Bourgeois’s easy cadence makes for an inviting introduction on this debut --- yet it`s the slow, urgent, unfolding melodies that shine, shine, shine and are impossible to miss. Bourgeois played and sang most of the parts on the album himself, with a little help from some notable friends such as 77's and Lost Dogs front man and lead guitarist Mike Roe, who is known to many on this site. If you miss out on this one, it’s just your loss. There’s enough here to sample and hear if it’s yr cup of tea. If you dig what you hear(and have read) here, it’s safe as milk. Righteously Not Lame-ish, Big Time Extremely Highly Recommended!