~The Elephant, the Owl, the Bear, the Hippo, and the Fish~
~The Change in Me is the Change in You~
Urbaniak’s experimental expressionism puts fire to the gasoline structure of folk music. As his songwriting began to develop and his content deepen, he began pursuing the absolute dynamics of the solo musician in real time and continually reinvested what was being learned into his artistry. His songwriting can be thought of as a quilting of life lived, lessons learned, humility sought, and understanding earned through the processes of becoming a steady and thoughtful man.
In support of that Mountain Folk music that Urbaniak plays, he has brought on some other stringed-talent to help develop the dynamic and the melodic themes for the stories that he delivers. After facing off with some heavy realities, Urbaniak took up finding and building up fire inside of himself. The message he brings with him is a simple one, but an important one: The change in me is the change in you. This single string of thought winds it’s way in and out of his latest sixth/seventh albums, Hippo + Crate / The Adelphos, and is primary to the work he is doing now, called The Long Walk.
Another way Urbaniak is tying knots on the fraying end sits within his approach to the image of self. “The work a person does, the way they live, the ideas they sew, all give way to what the person might look like on the inside as presented to the outside world. This is important; this lining up of what we say and what we do. It gives a truth to our journey….” When Urbaniak began building instruments, a common question arose in conversation – where does the wood come from? While trying to secure some materials, Urbaniak was confronted with a depleting supply of wood and a growing concern for harvest methods. Trees are being wiped out on a mass scale for the purpose of instruments – it is not good. Urbaniak began to experiment with alternatives like pallet wood, plywood scraps, old wood flooring, etcetera; and then something good happened. He was presented with the opportunity to scrap a defunct piano. What a beautiful resource. All those years of music being played on a piano that can now become bracing and occasionally a guitar soundboard, once again for the purpose of music.
Urbaniak’s guitars, and all the instruments he records his albums with, and several that his group play with, were built with a large amount of repurposed material by Urbaniak. They also have Urbaniak’s voice and are recognized as being as much art as function, each with its own distinct soul and spirit. Often enough, they even look like the person playing them. Out and in.