Localized Appreesh: Roem Baur

Wherever he may Roem.

Localized Appreesh is our thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com.

Roem Baur has been through some changes in the past few months. The classically trained singer-songwriter-guitarist inched away from his solo career and is now backed by a boisterous full band. Say that three times fast.

But it’s still Baur out front, those funky guitar skills, that soulful output, those bluesy vocals. He’s still here, but now he’s backed by drums, keys, trombone, and tuba. See? Much livelier.

This Saturday, the San Francisco band-leader and his new band will be hopping all over town, playing two shows in one day: first at Bazaar Stock at Bazaar Café, then at Yerba Buena Gardens Night. Then early next month, they hit Red Devil Lounge for their last show of 2012. 

Of course, before all that, Baur gave us the rundown on working with a full band, devil music, sexy packaging, and tuna tostadas. Plus, he was the first musician to crowd-source one of his answers for Localized Appreesh:  

Year and location of origin: 1977, Harlingen, TX.

Personal motto: Nothing really mottos. I kid. That just looked funny in type, to me.  Honestly, I don't think much about mottos, but do really believe in self-deprecation as therapy. Take the work seriously, but yourself, not so much. Admittedly, and to the chagrin of my friends, I tend to blur the lines between laughing at myself and my own jokes.  Whatever.  Artistic liberty, and shit.

Description of sound in 10 words or less: I'm terrible at this. I'm too close to it. This variety of question is better handled sby my fans, so I asked Facebook. Here's what they said:  "Old School funk with a touch of brass;” "Slutty;” "Funk/Rock with a songwriter twist;” "Mother of sexy." 

Probably not what I think of, but in reality, it's about what they hear. 

Instrumentation: Drum set, Hammond, piano, Tuba and Bass Trombone. I play an old hollowbody Gibson through a little amp turned to 11, and sing.

Most recent release: The Thief EP.  Recorded and co-wrote it with The Family Crest, an orchestral rock band.  It's a concept album about a person getting trapped in a church and airing their demons.  We recorded it over nine nights in the 100 year-old sanctuary of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.  No drums.  No pretty harmonies.  Simply raw emotion set to an orchestrated counterpart. It's not the kind of record a label would let a new artist make for a first record, being an obscure concept with a string quartet... but hey, no label, no problems.

Currently, my new band and I are recording the sounds described above.

Best part about life as a Bay Area musician: You never have a bad meal. And the myriad of sounds coming out of the Bay are always fresh, somehow. Innovation is a part of the culture.  It's a great place to create.

Worst part about life as a Bay Area musician: Rent. I make my living playing music, and even though I love my apartment, I would love it more if I could play less "Brown Eyed Girl" to pay for it.  I'm at about 7 BEG's a month currently and I'd like to be at about a 4. Dreams...

First album ever purchased: I have no idea. Something Christian rock. Probably a DC Talk cassette.  I grew up in a religious family (with no musicians) that didn't allow "that devil music" and if it hadn't been for my dad's hidden record collection "before Jesus", I probably wouldn't have become a musician.  Or an adult, for that matter.  "Thriller" and "Houses of the Holy" saved my life. 

Most recent album purchased/downloaded: The new Avett Brothers CD. I haven't listened to it yet, I bought it before I left town and forgot it, but the packaging is sexy. I love that they still give a fuck about the album art. Packaging is expensive.  It's on my desk waiting for me for when I return from tour. I prefer records of artists that put on a great show.

Favorite local eatery and dish: Tuna Tostada at Tacolicious. I've been all over Mexico City eating those things, and Tlish does it the best.

Live at KC Turner presents: Bazaar Stock

With Roem Baur
Sat/13, 2pm, free (tips go to Music in Schools Today)

Bazaar Café

5927 California, SF


Roem Baur (full band)
Sat/13, 9pm, free

Yerba Buena Gardens Night
Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets, SF
(415) 820-3550

Roem Baur (full band)
With Little Brave

Nov. 7, 6pm, $8
Red Devil Lounge
1695 Polk, SF
(415) 921-1695



Also from this author

  • Love rumbles

    Who is Charlie Megira? A Berlin rebel with a Bay Area connection

  • Down at the Rickshaw

    One of our favorite independent music venues celebrates 10 years of rockin' -- with a week of great shows

  • Rockin' New Year's Eve

    Let 2013 all hang out at these musical blasts