Conrad Walz & the Wrecking Ball
Conrad Walz is an accomplished singer/ songwriter/ musician from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Though his style could be described as rootsy, sometimes bluesy, alternative country tinged, pop rock music, he prefers to just call it rock n roll. Suffice to say the song is king in Conrad's world. Melodic and lyrical hooks ride atop rough edged riffs and grooves while engaging the listener with heartfelt emotion, humor and a touch of attitude. Always a prolific songwriter and intuitive musician, Conrad has undertaken many a musical endeavor over the years for the sheer pleasure of it more often than not. From campfire jams in Big Valley, Alberta to festival stages in Norway, Conrad's passion for music has fueled the fire. In 2007, the compilation album, "Rivers and Rails, a tribute to Alberta" was released including the Walz track "Vulcan Girl". A simple but infectious acoustic song, it garnered radio play and rave reviews from the people of Vulcan, Alberta and trekkies everywhere! In addition to his own album, 2008 will see the release of full length recordings by Swamp Donkey and WaxPoets, both of which Conrad is a member - (so much music, so little time!). Conrad's musical adventures began in the mid 1990's (we'll skip the childhood piano lessons and school choir), with a rough and tumble band called "The Straw Dogs". Maybe more of a gang than a band, though they could certainly play, Conrad assembled a cast of characters who could deliver his guitar driven rock songs and have a bit of fun in the process. Releasing their one and only album, "Hazy Places" in 1995, the group enjoyed some local success but ultimately self destructed, leaving behind a sizable pile of beer cans and bass players. Between then and now Conrad has been involved in numerous projects which have incorporated a broad range of musical styles. From the improvisational funk/jazz/rock of Big Bad Monkey, to the whiskey soaked midnight ramblings of country/punk rockers Swamp Donkey, Conrad has produced a wealth of quality material and has broadened his creative palette (not to mention cornering the market on animal band names!). His brief tenure with the soul/pop/rock combo, Honeygun, produced a four song demo and a flurry of record company interest in 1999, but the "musical differences" within the band proved too divergent to keep together. A Walz penned tune from that project, "Gimme a Little Sunshine" was the winner for Calgary and first runner up in Canada in the National Songwriting Competition. A few years of soul searching and songwriting culminated in Conrad's first solo record, "Millionaires Blues" in 2006. Though he had recorded another album almost a decade prior, hassles with the producer/ record company at the time meant it was never released. Blending his classic rock and roll influences with rootsy textures and pop sensibilities, "Millionaires Blues" is a unique but accessible charmer. Having played most of the instruments on the album himself, Conrad needed to find a live band. His search yielded the combination now known as The Wrecking Ball. Jim Kukko (guitar) and Brian Sovereign (bass), had played together for years, and immediately took to Walz' material. Drummer Stacey Petersen had played with Conrad previously as a member of the Straw Dogs and provides a rock solid foundation. The band honed it's live act before going into the studio to record in 2007. "Conrad Walz and the Wrecking Ball" is the new album to be released early in 2008. Irresistably well crafted songs, many of which were written during the course of a relationship breakup, are delivered with power and grace by Conrad and the band. The album rocks in spots and rolls in others and is engaging from start to finish, much like a live performance. Whether it's a snarling riff or a gentle melody, Conrad Walz delivers it with passion and makes it hit home!