Bard Meier has had an unusual career path.
He landed his current job as an educator at Hunger Task Force, informing the public about hunger issues plaguing people in the Milwaukee area – something he cares deeply about – after being asked to play Santa Claus at a holiday event put on by the organization.
[caption id="attachment_149208" align="alignnone" width="770"]
Bard Meier (right) plays with American Paint bandmate David Schultz (left) at South by Southwest.[/caption]
But for years before that, Meier toured across the country – to events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City – playing gigs with different bands and laying down tracks as a studio musician.
Meier plays guitar and piano. He also sings. You may have heard his voice singing backup on the Minneapolis-based alternative rock band Soul Asylum’s 2006 album “The Silver Lining.”
In 1999, he and his band at the time, American Paint, released an album called “Eggshells for Paperbacks.” If you want to catch up on some of his latest tracks, you can find a digital album he put together at bardmeier.bandcamp.com with recordings he made over 14 years at different studios with his musician friends, including bass player Marc Perlman, a member of the Twin Cities-based alt country band The Jayhawks.
Though he spent many years in Minneapolis, Meier recently moved to Milwaukee to be closer to family.
“I think it keeps you sane,” he said about staying involved with hobbies you’re passionate about. “Life is short. If you’re still capable of doing these things you love, I think you have to. With music, or anything with the arts, it's such a cathartic thing. I don’t play out that often now, but there are guitars around the house and a grand piano in its own room, and I’m always playing.”