Songwriter Chris Dreyer and guitarist Scott Taylor formed Goodbye Picasso in New York City in 2007 after making a move from Nashville and instantly made a splash in the city's vibrant music scene. They are regulars at songwriters-haven Rockwood Music Hall and won the Audience Award at the 2008 A.N.T. Festival at Ars Nova for Chris Dreyer's magnum opus, The Book of Aylene. The band has performed each year at the CMJ Music Marathon and in 2010 are releasing The Book of Aylene as a full-length recording.
"Nashville was great, but everyone we spoke with in the industry really thought New York was the place for us," explains Chris. "If you are working towards a career in Country or Christian, there is no better place than Nashville, but they were right: NYC has been a great launching pad for our music and the audiences have responded in the way we always hoped they would."
Chris and Scott met in London while studying abroad as students at Florida State University. Their musical chemistry was so immediate, they played 3 standing-room-only shows in London and recorded an EP within a month of meeting one another. Back in the states, they performed over 350 shows in the Southeast music scene and on trips up and down the East Coast with bands formed while in school and with sidemen afterward. In 2006, the year they lived in Nashville, they played 80 shows in 6 months, culminating with their first appearance at the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC, a show that made them realize they could thrive in the city's crowded musical ecosystem.
"When we look back, it's really amazing how many shows we managed to play when we were in school and the few years after," recalls Scott. "I was such a big fan of Chris's writing from the beginning, and we were so excited to perform, playing all those shows really helped us cut our teeth and figure out how a build a show that audiences really enjoyed."
Goodbye Picasso's latest undertaking is the first full-length album of Chris's songs, the recording of his massive and beautiful work, The Book of Aylene. The group premiered the work originally in performances as part of an arts festival in the city and spent much of 2009 on the recording, mixing, and post-production of it.
Chris's songs bear the influence of some of the other great songwriters who made a name for themselves in the late '90s and the early part of this century. He doesn't crib the tunes of Conor Oberst, Ryan Adams, or Jeff Tweedy, but his songs seem to come from the same vocabularly: more alt than country, more earnest than insincere, and more world-weary than naive.
Goodbye Picasso maintain an active performance schedule and will spend a majority of 2010 on the road or at home promoting their latest work.