When Bob Schneider takes the stage, he wants you to pay attention.
"Trust me when I say this," he said during a recent interview, "I'm really good."
The Austin, Texas-based musician describes himself as a perfectionist - so when he sees someone who doesn't appear to be enjoying the show, he said, he can take it personally.
"I'm a sensitive flower," he said in a deadpan voice that was impossible to distinguish between sarcasm and seriousness.
That sort of mysteriousness is reflected in Schneider's music as well. Schneider said the tension of not knowing keeps his music interesting.
"You might think this song is about one thing, and it's kind of funny, you know, and then you listen to it again and maybe you find something more there," he said. "That's the way I like to make music."
SXSW: The singer-songwriter has been performing for more than 15 years and is a fixture in the Austin music culture. Schneider recently played at the 2014 South by Southwest Music Festival, where he won several Austin Chronicle Music Awards, including Best Album, Austin Musician of the Year and Best Songwriter.
Tour: Schneider and Hayes Carll's "World's Greatest Living Songwriters of All Time Tour" kicked off Thursday, and will be at the Strand-Captiol at 8 p.m. Friday. For Schneider, shifting from a festival like SXSW to touring and being on the road is a familiar routine.
"When you play as much as I've played, it's part of the job," he said. "I'm ready."
Schneider said he never knows exactly what each show will bring - he doesn't perform a standard set-list, opting instead to feed on the energy of the audience and to go on, what he said, is a guided adventure together.
"You know, each show is really different, and I just would hate to do the same thing. That's not interesting," he said.
New album: His latest album, "Burden of Proof," he said is named as a nod to the personal challenges he finds as an artist.
"In my head, I'm really good," Schneider said. "And this album, the music, it's the burden of proof for me to show that."
Described as a solo-acoustic folk musician, Schneider says he often tells people his music sounds like Paul Simon.
"That seems to make them happy," he said.
Yet, as he describes his music, his smooth, melodic voice belies the expletives he subtley peppers his narrative with. Like so many of the songs he describes, it's hard to tell if Schneider is serious or not - listening to him, however, makes you realize it doesn't really matter.
- Reach Amy Peiffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the show
Hayes Carll and Bob Schneider will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Capitol Theatre, 50 N. George St., York.
Tickets: $23. Information: 717-846-1111 or www.mystrandcapitol.org.