Zak Trojano Album Release Show!

Zak Trojano Album Release Show!

Julia Mark

Thu · September 13, 2018

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

The Parlor Room

$10/Adv, $13/Door

This event is all ages

Zak Trojano
Zak Trojano
Zak Trojano is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, a finger-
style guitar player, a fly-fisherman, and a beer drinker. He
watches more than he talks, the guy at the end of the bar nursing
a drink while the afternoon light angles in, letting the conversation
pile up around him like snowfall. He grew up in New Hampshire,
outside of town in a cabin built by his parents.
His father was a drummer who held down a regular country gig,
and nights after work he would loosen his tie and show his son
the finer points of Ginger Baker and Elvin Jones. In New
Hampshire they drove around in trucks, and Prine and Dylan
cassettes showed up in most of those trucks. Zak made Eagle
Scout, got his knots down. Then it was college and out,
wandering the country from the desert Southwest to Great Plains
until he ran out of money, washing windows to work up the bus
fare home. After a while it seemed like he ought to write some
songs, and he did: heavy songs with a light touch; an AM radio
throwback voice and an intricate finger-style technique framed by
a drummer’s rhythm.
Since then, Trojano has found a variety of outlets for his diverse
musical interests: co-founding the much acclaimed folk trio Rusty
Belle in 2006, appearing on records by Chris Smither (Time
Stands Still, Still on the Levee), Jeffrey Foucault (Shoot the
Moon Right Between the Eyes), Peter Mulvey (Letters From a
Flying Machine) and Chris Pureka (How I Learned to See in the
Dark). All while touring and releasing his solo records (Two Lines,
Yesterday’s Sun, I Took Molly to See the Butterflies).
In recent years, Trojano’s solo work has found the spotlight with
discerning listeners everywhere. Stage by stage, in clubs, music
halls, bars, and coffeehouses across the country, he has honed a
live show that keeps audiences glued to the stage, like a rare
conversation with an old friend who doesn’t usually say much, but
plays a mean guitar.
Wolf Trees is a record with live performance at its heart. The
songs were written as movements in a larger piece, with textures
and themes resurfacing in longer arcs to bind the whole together.
A wolf tree is a stoic figure, a passed over remnant of a distant,
wilder world, where there was more space between things.
The third album from Zak Trojano, Wolf Trees is a move towards
high definition from a songwriter whose pictorial lyrics are lauded
by many for their vivid and cinematic imagery. While recently
gaining wider recognition from audiences across the country,
Trojano has been known for some time by the best in the
business as a writer who, “...lights up the darkness and gives it
definition.” (Chris Smither). From the very first driving notes of
“Kid’s Got Heart” and early scene setting lines (the poets take it
on the chin for the bells that ring right through you), Trojano draws
the curtain, with able hands, on a production that provides shape
and a deeper motion to the screenshot temperament of life in the
modern world.
In over a decade writing, recording, and performing music
professionally and sharing studios and stages with his band Rusty
Belle, or supporting touring acts like Chris Smither, Kris
Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault, and Peter Mulvey, Zak Trojano has
evolved his own thing: A warm baritone supported by an old
Martin guitar and low tuned Weissenborn lap steel. His complex
finger style technique was born out of the country blues tradition
through years of immersion in the work of players as diverse as
John Fahey, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis.
The guitar shares the spotlight on Wolf Trees, shining through
simple arrangements that coalesce around Trojano’s lyrics for
music that, “is made from a whole cloth, it’s from a long time ago
that feels like yesterday” (Peter Mulvey). From listening to old
records and the trading stories over many miles and sequestered
greenrooms with greats like Smither and Foucault, Trojano has
found that illusive voice that can produce a record that looks
forward as much as it looks back.
It was the exploration of solo performance that led to the guiding
aesthetic of Wolf Trees. Trojano opted to leave behind the lush
string and horn arrangements of his last record (Yesterday’s Sun)
in favor of a true solo album on which he plays and sings every
note. All guitars were tuned to a low C modal tuning, and sent
through various amplifiers to combine their acoustic and electric
properties into a large, dark, and open sound. With the help of
longtime friend and producer David Goodrich (Chris Smither,
Jeffrey Foucault), and engineer Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur
Jr., Sonic Youth) they captured a record delicately balanced
between the acoustic intimacy of a coffeehouse and the wild
volume of a midnight rock club.
“Nowhere Shuffle” is a dark, minor, ballad with a halftime
groove reminiscent of some lost 70’s acoustic Pink Floyd album;
an oblique commentary on the modern addiction to electronic
devices (Bowed heads and praying hands/nowhere with everyone
at once) through the eyes of someone witnessing a Zombie
apocalypse. The playful introspection of “My Room” deals with
the ups and downs of solitude, the vacillation of the hermitic spirit
between feeling safe and feeling alone (I’ll be fine here in my
room while the roses bloom outside/how come they never come
to me unless they’re cut down in their prime? I’ll bide my time).
“Everyone Knows You” is epic by nature. A telescopic view of a
world where everybody is famous and the worst among us have
risen to the top. It’s a rock anthem with an unusual form propelled
by a rising vibrato and half-smiling social commentary (It’s the
march of the egg man/boiled and white/pale as a junkie at noon
watch him roll). The title track is a reconciliation of dreams with
reality; an adventurous melody that holds the listener through the
trials of finding an anchor in the world (How could I begin to tell
you how/easy it would be to find a place for now/in the soft light of
the almost dark/where the wolf trees howl through the park for
On Wolf Trees, Trojano has woven nine songs into an album
that’s very form calls attention to the thin rapidity of modern life.
Like admiring the forest view from atop a white pine cell tower, or
losing yourself in the colors of a flat-screen sunset, Wolf
Trees dares us to hold tight to current beauty while we remember
a different time.
Julia Mark
Julia Mark
The endearing warmth and charm of Julia Mark's music and voice has quickly made her a favorite in the Boston music scene and beyond. As a singer-songwriter and pianist, she creates lyric-driven, optimistically dissonant songs about life on the moon, loss of memory, shifting homes, and palindromes. With the songwriting penchant of Carole King and the soft-easy vocal of Suzanne Vega, Julia is for the listener who likes to transcend into a musical and visual scene. She released her first full-length album, “Gemini” in January 2018 and is a 2018 New England Music Award nominee for Songwriter of the Year.
Venue Information:
The Parlor Room
32 Masonic Street
Northampton, MA, 01060