Lauren Zahner

After a record-setting attendance at his Backstage Pizza performance in January, Sacramento musician Corey Nitschke will be filling the pizza parlor with music again today from 11 a.m. to noon.

“He’s got a great sound. He’s great on the guitar – a lot of the guitar skill that Jack Johnson has, at least in my opinion,” said Bryan Nay, a business senior who first met Nitschke in Chico. “His voice will just fill up a room and he’s got a great range. You can just tell when you’re at a show that he just loves what he’s doing.”

Nay said Nitschke’s music appeals to a wide range of audiences, especially the “coffee house crowds” and people who like acoustic.

“Anybody who enjoys a little more comedic type of music will appreciate his sound,” Nay said.

Nitschke is known for his upbeat original songs like “She Hates Me” and his deceivingly disguised cover songs.

“(The covers) really get people to laugh because they come out of left field,” said Nay, explaining that Nitschke’s cover of “Hit Me Baby One More Time” is unrecognizable until the chorus.

Another of Nitschke’s original comedic songs is “The Marriage Song.”

“It’s about my wife. I don’t know who she is yet because I’m not married,” Nitschke said.

Nitschke’s concerts are mostly impromptu start to finish. He recently did a show for a largely English audience. When he introduced himself, he told them he was originally from England and everyone believed him.

“During a show there’s a lot of humor, a lot of dry humor,” he said. “And I always think the jokes that not everyone gets are the best.”

During breaks at his shows, Nitschke likes to talk to people in the audience, to see how they are doing and try to “connect” with them. Sometimes he will purposely do a certain song based on how the audience is feeling.

“There’s a definite rush that you get onstage. I’m wired for an hour after I get off-stage,” he said. “You could say it’s like a drug.”

How did he get into the music business?

“I first got into music in general in the womb,” he said. “When the doctor slapped me, instead of screaming I just sang.”

It was not until high school, however, that Nitschke began writing music. He started by writing poetry for school, but found little encouragement.

“One of my biggest criticisms from my teachers was that I rhymed too much,” he said.

With that, Nitschke decided that instead of becoming a poet, he would be a songwriter. His experience writing lyrics for the group Deep Red inspired him to learn guitar as well.

“I don’t write songs from my personal experiences. I write them from other people’s experiences. It’s more fun that way,” he said.

His influences include John Mayer, The Who, Eric Clapton and The Beatles. He said he wants people to enjoy the happier aspect of his songs.

“We’re too serious,” he said. “In life, people get so caught up in all the trivial things that don’t matter and lightheartedness is not something that we really get into.”

Nitschke will also be performing downtown at Frog and Peach tonight starting at 10 p.m.

“I love his music,” Nay said. “It’s contagious. I get addicted all the time.”

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