Love and Music Bring Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield to Pump House
Photo: Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield
By the time Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield met for their second date, it had become abundantly clear that love, as well as music, was in the air.
A mutual affinity for the Grateful Dead helped, too.
Now the couple tours the country as musical and life partners performing their blend of self-described “Blue-Twanged Folk n’ Roll.”
Schneider and Mayfield will perform at the Orchard Street Pump House Saturday, October 13th at 7:00 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30.
“On our second date in 2003, we played some music,” Schneider said. “Kim played piano, and I improvised on flute. She knew some guitar chords and mentioned an interest in the violin, so I immediately tossed her a mandolin and we were off. It has been a long and educational road, we’re loving life, though we hang on to it by a string a lot of the time. We’re never bored!”
Schneider was once a syndicated cartoonist widely known for his cartoon strip, The Humble Stumble. He gave it up to pursue music full-time, and has yet to look back. Soon, the duo will officially release their first album together entitled, “Reckless Saints.”
“We named ourselves ‘Reckless Saints’ when we put together a four-piece band for a festival a while back, and kind of got attached to it and just started using it,” Schneider said. “We toured as ‘The Reckless Saints’ for well over a year, but with the new album coming out – and years of work getting on certain radio stations’ radar – we decided to use our proper names on the record, and use ‘Reckless Saints’ as the title.”
The record is currently being crowd-funded by fans through Indiegogo, and is slated to hit the streets on November 2. While many of the songs on the album are credited to Schneider, Mayfield also took a turn at writing some of her own songs. The Southern-influenced, bluesy folk-boogie is still what Schneider and Mayfield are best known for.
“I would call it a new step,” Schneider said. “The latest step on our musical path. The notable
difference is that Kim has taken to songwriting these last couple of years, so we’ve got a couple of her songs on there, and she sings one I wrote. I love being a side guy as much as I like being a front man, so it’s great fun being able to back Kim up on her material.”
For Pump House Concerts promoter Dudley “Smitty” Smith, bringing the duo to the mid-Michigan area has been a goal for some time now.
“Roy and Kim and I have been in touch for a few years, and trying to work out a date to bring them to East Lansing,” Smith said. “When I saw them perform a year ago, I was reminded what a dynamic force they are. We're excited for our audience to experience Roy and Kim's 'blue twanged folk and roll.’”
As far as shows are concerned, the size of the audience doesn’t matter to the duo anymore. Every show is the unique in their eyes, whether it be a festival, or someone’s house.
“In the beginning, it was tough playing to near-empty rooms,” Schneider said. “Six people, two people, it was just agonizing. But, we have learned over time to approach every show as though there are a thousand people, and I’m glad to say we’ve received that feedback after small shows. Sometimes, we’ll play one city that knows us, have a packed room with great energy and make a satisfying paycheck, and the next night we’ll be four hours down the road and you can hear the crickets. We love the huge crowd of a festival-type setting for the energy that comes back, but we also feel we have an obligation to make those three people who did come to the under-promoted club show feel good that they came out.”
Attendees of a Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield show can expect to hear a wide-range of influences in their music -- mostly singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s, with a few contemporaries thrown in.
“We have so many influences, which is why I suppose we fly under the ‘Americana’ umbrella,” Schneider said. “Kim’s main influences are Lucinda Williams, Jolie Holland, and Gillian Welch… I cut my teeth on Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, while later delving into songwriters like Guy Clark, Darrell Scott, and Steve Earle. And the Grateful Dead have always had a special place for both of us.”
The Orchard Street Pump House is located at 368 Orchard Street.