\ Two and half years after the release of his first record Sea Level, Wirtz’s follow-up set, Tourist, will be released nationally and internationally on April 16, 2013 via iTunes, Amazon, and many other digital outlet stores.
Wirtz's own style embodies a knowledge and respect for the masters who came before him, while simultaneously displaying his forward-thinking mentality. This ethos is evident on tracks like Politico," which combine jazz harmony with a progressive drum 'n' bass" style groove, before evolving into an orchestral second half of the song. On Camouflage For A Sunny Day and Watching The World Wake Up," Wirtz gives a nod to his generation's hip-hop/R&B swagger while still maintaining a conversation with the rhythm section. Jazz meets country on the Allman Brothers flavored track Country," which was selected among a national pool of songwriters by Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell to be included on a compilation CD for his Sing For The Trees foundation. As a whole, the record showcases Wirtz's strength a player and as a composer. The meditative In The Body emphasizes his spacious approach with solo piano, while the gospel-influenced Gratitude" highlights Wirtz's ability to arrange for a band and vocalists. The tasteful mix of approaches throughout Tourist result in an impressive sophomore effort.
“The initial inspiration for Tourist came 15 months before entering the studio, while sleeping,” says Wirtz. “I started having some vivid dreams, during which I heard or saw distinct phrases, some of which ultimately became song titles. So the album is framed with the opening track Slumber," and the final track ‘Awakening.’ I definitely wanted the album to have a flow and story-telling feel to it, as opposed to just being a collection of songs. From the time I started brainstorming about the record until its completion, I had various paradigm shifts in my life, which is partially why there are a variety of styles contained in the record; I wrote most of it over a 16-month period.
“As far as the players, I was thrilled to work with all of my ‘first-call’ musicians around the Denver scene. I've worked with these players throughout the years in various projects, genres and environments. Guitarist Dan Schwindt also plays in the Motet and Kyle Hollingsworth Band, while Stephen Malloy Brackett performs with Flobots. Pedal steel guitarist John Macy has also won a Grammy for his production work with other artists. Kyle Jones, who mixed and mastered this record, went platinum for his work in producing the Flobots record ‘Fight With Tools’ (the single, ‘Handlebars,’ went platinum for digital download sales).“