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Stephen Ulrich

Artist Bio

Stephen Ulrich studied music with Jazz legend Sal Salvador at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City. He also attended New York’s Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies. After graduating in 1981 he took his Art-Rock band Skunkadelique (Virgin Records) on a year-long sojourn in Paris. Returning to New York, he formed Big Lazy and pursued a musical career with his band, working alternately as a billboard painter in Times Square, a session musician, and in a Broadway pit orchestra. Ulrich is the composer for the HBO series Bored to Death and the art forgery documentary Art and Craft.

Big Lazy. Photo by Marco North.

Big Lazy dwells in the unmistakable landscape of gritty, yet gracefully-crafted American music. The trio (Yuval Lion–drums, Andrew Hall–bass) has flourished for over two decades in New York’s downtown music scene, playing their singular brand of noir and twang from The Whitney Museum of American Art to the Opéra de Lyon. Simultaneously noir and pastoral, gothic and modern, Big Lazy’s music conjures images from big sky country to seedy back rooms with deftness and a cinematic clarity. With sparse instrumentation–electric guitar, acoustic bass and drums–the trio forges a new American music from archetypes in Blues, Jazz, Surf, and Rockabilly.

Stephen Ulrich. Photo by Tomasz Jakubowicz

Their new album Dear Trouble features NYC luminaries Marc Ribot, Steven Bernstein, Peter Hess (Philip Glass ensemble), and Marlysse Rose Simmons (Miramar). With a nod toward classic guitar instrumentals­, the new album captures the essence of the trio’s legendary live shows.

“The Big Apple Crème de la Crème.” – Robert Christgau, dean of American rock critics

“Big Lazy, the elegantly gritty instrumental trio led by the extraordinary guitarist Stephen Ulrich, plays stunningly beautiful music that evokes everything from truckers’ romps to the haunting film scores of Bernard Herrmann.” – The New Yorker

“Old-school Twang meets gritty Hollywood-soundtrackevery Big Lazy song seems to be its own movie soundtrack. Ulrich’s blend of mid-century Americana, cinematic sweep, and a dash of the experimental is exciting and refreshing.” – Vintage Guitar Magazine


Big Lazy (Stephen Ulrich, Andrew Hall, and Yuval Lion.)

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