Richard Julian is cleverly disguised as a sensitive singer-songwriter: He's a white guy with an acoustic guitar. In fact, he's a stealth soul singer and an astonishing storyteller in the vein of Randy Newman or Paul Simon. Each song is like a snapshot — often wry, rarely snarky, always finding the deeper truth of the tale.
His own story strains credulity. Julian grew up in Delaware and headed west to find fame and fortune, landing in Las Vegas and finding work playing piano in some lounge. Eventually, he made it back east and settled in New York. He drinks deeply from the city's sights and sounds so that they all ooze from his records.
Julian's guitar playing is athletic but subtle, and his secret weapon is his voice — not a croon so much as a plaintive wail that serves his songs well. He's my favorite New York singer-songwriter, period.
Originally recorded March 7, 2008, for Words & Music from Studio-A.
Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.