If Fairfield students do not know Howie Day yet, they soon will.

This Saturday the 22-year-old musician will play Alumni Hall and show Fairfield exactly why Rolling Stone called his music “evolved, sophisticated pop.”

In concert, Day takes that pop and turns it into a virtual one man circus, using multiple pedals and distortions to evoke beats, bass and melody with just his guitar. The result? The rich sounds of a full band using just a little fancy footwork and a lot of creativity.

“I love the way musical tastes are changing and expanding, and samples keep it fresh,” Day told Rolling Stone. The songs on Australia I’ve been playing live for two and a half years, and loops keep it interesting. I love playing solo, but it’s hard when it’s just you and a guitar.”

Day, a Bangor, Maine native continues to ride the success of his 1999 debut album “Australia,” which sold almost 30,000 copies after he self-released it on Daze Records.

The album received acclaim, winning “Best Debut Album by a Singer-Songwriter” at the 2001 Boston Music Awards, earning him the attention of record labels.

In 2002, after a long period of being courted by record labels, he signed to Epic, which re-released “Australia” last summer. The support of a major label has certainly been a new experience for Day. “I like going out to the store and seeing myself on the shelves, because that’s new. I never had that before,” he told AroundMaine.com.

Day began his career as a musician when at 14, he was inspired to pick up the guitar. With influences such as Dave Matthews, Sting and the late Jeff Buckley in mind, Day set out to create a new blend of pop using pedals and distortion to bring his solo guitar playing to life.

After recording his album, he embarked on almost three years of incessant touring of college campuses throughout the country. In addition, he supported well known acts as John Mayer, Sting, Dave Matthews, Jewel and Jack Johnson.

Most recently, Day toured the U.S. and Europe opening for Tori Amos and Heather Nova. Shortly after returning home, the video for Day’s single “Sorry, So Sorry” was voted “Viewers Choice” on MTV.com.

Day also appeared on the soundtrack for the movie “I Am Sam,” on which he performed a cover of “Help!” by The Beatles.

Later this month Day will release “The Madrigals EP.” The live CD and DVD serves as a precursor to Day’s highly anticipated sophomore release.

After several other college shows in April, as well as a performance on “Last Call with Carson Daly,” Day will head to London to work on his new CD with producer Youth (Dido, The Verve).

Day admits that the new album will include songs that are “more personal and intense than before.” But don’t think that will stop him from pushing the boundaries.

“There’s not any true turning point in which I think, ‘Ah, this is it. I’m on my way’,” Day told MTV. “I think being an artist, you just evolve on your own, and hopefully you don’t ever stop evolving. If you do, then, you know, you might as well quit.”

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