Sunday, December 27, 2009

Favorite Albums?

As the band was gearing up to perform last night for the Cleveland Independent Christmas Bash, we got to chatting about our favourite albums. It was an interesting and fun conversation with a few surprises all over!

So Im posing the question to you. What are your favourite 8 albums? (And itd be great if you could say a little something as to why you've chosen what you've chosen).

Im not sure I can put mine in a numerical order, but I can list 8 for sure.

1. The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight
This record leads off with "Communication" my theme song, and i think one of the very best songs ever written. There is a lot of emotion and beauty in this record. I listen to it often, and have it on me at most times.

2. Trevor Hall- Trevor Hall
Trevor is one of the best lyricists today. His spiritual lyrics and insights are enlightened and deeply moving. This record takes the best of what he does and is well-produced as well. One of the best records of the decade.

3. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
This record really turned a new passion on in me. The first time I heard "Beautiful Day" i was hooked. It was different and big. Moving from there to "Walk On." The whole record has a beautiful intimacy to it even with the huge anthems on it. This is the record that made me want to be Bono :)

4. Jewel - Pieces of You
This record is the reason I am singing today. I still have yet to hear a record with such honesty and emotion in every song. She flat out cries on "Painters." I found this record in high school when it first came out and i listened to it for about 3 years straight. I wanted to do that - convey that kind of emotion thru music. And Im still trying.

5. Tom Petty - Into the Great Wide Open
Tom Petty was a huge influence on me as a kid and as a budding singer/songwriter. Of course Mary Jane's Last Dance and Dont Come Around Here No More made me a life-long fan, but this record really speaks to me. Im not really sure why. It has the hits "Into the Great Wide Open" and "Learning to Fly" but the rest of the record is really well written and classic Tom Petty.

6. Michael Jackson - Thriller
I grew up on this record.

7. Speaking in Tongues - Talking Heads
David Byrne's brilliant. "Naive Melody" is one of my favourite songs of all time. His quirky style and lyrics have always been a huge inspiration to me.

8. Prince - Purple Rain
The best and possibly only Prince record good all the way through. Every song is great. And "Purple Rain" is the best song written. Ever. I also grew up on this record. And will be trying to write a Purple Rain my whole life im sure.

9. John Lennon - Walls and Bridges
This isnt the activist John or the lover John. Its a bit more introspective for Lennon and though it was his only solo No. 1 record, it isnt filled with a lot of hits. But songs like "Old Dirt Road," "Steel and Glass," "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)" are some of my favourite Lennon tunes. I have always been a Lennon fan, even before I realized it.

10. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
This record really moved me. It got me thinking in a new way about music, recording, and conveying emotion. "Skinny Love" would be on my top songs of all time list as well. I love records that can transport you to another time and place, and this is a quintessential example of that.

My best of 2009 (again in no particular order):
1. Trevor Hall - Trevor Hall
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
3. David Byrne/ Brian Eno - All That Happens Happens Today
4. Fun - Aim and Ignite
5. Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
6. Bell XI - Blue Lights on the Runway
7. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Up From Below
8. What I Meant to Say - Zach (a little biased here)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Love Initiative

The Love Initiative.

Feb 25, 2010.
Akron Civic Theater.
$25. Tickets on sale now, but going quickly. for tickets. THEY WILL BE SOLD OUT BY CHRISTMAS so get yours now!

Friday, December 4, 2009

... That Being Said ...

Liner Notes for the 10th Zach release - the EP entitled "... That Being Said ..."

1. This Is What It Is (To Be Loved)
2. Bobby
3. Violet
4. Ever After (Live in Cuyahoaga Falls)
5. Life Reprise (Live in Cuyahaga Falls)

All songs written by Zach Friedhof 2008/2009 ZEF Music/ BMI.
(c) (P) 2009 Buffalo ZEF Records.

Zach is:
Zach - vocals, electric guitars
Charlie Trenta - electric guitars, backing vocals
Neil Keating - bass, backing vocals on Ever After
Michael Marotta - keys, organ, noises
Brandon Austin - drums on Violet

with guests:
Dominic Tancredi - drums on songs 1,2,4,5
Nolan and the Plunketts - horns on 4,5
Cameron Jones - beat box on Life Reprise

Songs 1-2 recorded at Lava Room Studios in Cleveland. Engineered by Thom Pope. Mixed by Thom Pope and Mike Brown. Mastered by Mike Brown/ Michael Marotta.

Violet was recorded at UHF Studios in Cleveland. Mixed by Chris Maneri. Mastered by Michael Marotta.

Songs 4-5 recorded live at Cuyahoga Falls High School Auditorium April 25, 2009. Recorded by Chris Pepe w/ Clean Gold Audio. Front of house engineer was Charles Korecki. Mixed by Chris Pepe and Zach. Mastered by Michael Marotta.

This Is what It Is:
I wrote this song during a summer whilst in love. What more can one hope for than to be someone else's highlight? Anyway, being love is all about giving love.

I became deeply inspired by Bobby Kennedy's life, words, and dreams. He was a brilliant man really making a difference on so many levels. I think this world would be a at least a slightly better place if he were still with us. I also got very interested in the Obama campaign and noticed a lot of similarities between the two men, their thoughts, and campaigns. This song was actually written the morning Obama won the election, after celebrating for several hours in Akron with a diverse and all equally emotional crowd of folks.

I nearly died writing this song. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Cory Farinacci had a daughter in May. She was the first of my really close circle of friends to have a child, and I wrote this song for her and her daughter, Violet. I'd like to mention that I also dedicated this song to my keyboardist, Michael, who had a son, Oliver, last Chirstmas. I was really nervous to write a song like this - the chances of it being cheesey were so high! But during my summer Western tour, while driving through the Nevada dessert, this song came to me. I sang and hummed as I drove, realizing that I'd need to pull over to finish this song. I waited patiently for the next rest stop, which wasn't coming. In a panic, after nearly an hour, i finally reached an exit. Pulling off, i got out my guitar and went to work flushing out the rest of the song. It was 107 degrees in the shade, and I'm sure warmer inside my stopped van. I knew I didn't have much time. Luckily inspiration hit and the muses guided me through it quickly. Dripping with sweat and nearly passing out, i finished the song. Im very happy with how this song came out. The first rehearsal with the band for this song produced nearly the end result. Charlie found that beautiful soaring line, Brandon found the power of the beat and the samba-like ending, and the rest is a sort of history.

4. Ever After (Live in Cuyahoga Falls):
All I can say about this is "Horns." Thanks Nolan and the Plunketts!

5. Life Reprise (Live in Cuyahoag Falls):
Our good friend Cameron comes up from time to time and dazzles with his beat boxing. This section of the song was a free-for-all party. A good thrid of the audience had danced up onstage and were packed around us, and the mood was soaring. This is, for me, a little taste of the atmosphere and unpredictability of our live shows.

Tha band. First and foremost. Charlie, Neil, Michael, Brandon, and Dom. Y'all put some time in over the last few months making this happen. UHF studios for really working with us to record Violet. Thom Pope for doing a fine job with us on This is What It Is and Bobby (plus he orchestrated the strings for that tune). Chris Pepe for recording the live material and the time spent mixing them down. All the fans. You make it possible. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, and Gorrunga. Aum.

Let's all go where there's no more you and me. No they and we. Only unity.

Let's manifest ourselves in exquisitness every chance we get.

We always have a chance.


A New EP and More!!

We have released for the Holidays a few new exciting items!!

1. A brand new EP! Called ... That Being Said ... it features 5 unreleased songs both studio and live, and a must-have for your ultimate Zach collection! It's only $5! Track list is This is What it Is (To Be Loved), Bobby, Violet, Ever After (live), Life Reprise (Live).

2. A beautiful green hoodie! It's soft and comfortable and has a gorgeous deisgn on it. I'm not good brag, but it's pretty awesome indeed! And it's only $15!

3. Tickets for the Civic Theater. These are going fast, but still on sale! $25. This get you:
- A mind-blowing, soul-expanding show
- Open bar all night
- Tour of the Civic
- A limited edition CD only available to the folks that buy these tickets
- Light appetizers
- And possibly a dish home made by me for all the folks that buy tickets!
That's quite a deal! And they will be sold out by Christmas, so you need to get them now!! They're at all my shows, and online at:

By the way, all these items, along with my 2 CDs (What I Meant to Say and Lost + Found) make wonderful holiday gifts!!

See you soon!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December News and Shows

Printable Version of Tour Dates

*** The Zach Pack Newsletter ***
December 2009 Edition


Another year is drawing to a close. As we come to this season of
reflecting upon the year, ourselves, and giving thanks for the many
blessings around us, I'd like to share some thanks as I realize so many
people I take for granted daily.

Firstly, a friend of mine, Walt English died tragically this past week. He
was a friend, a good man, and a good, different kind of booking agent. I
am glad I knew Walt, and will miss him. All of my deepest thoughts and
sympathies go to his wonderful wife, Becky, and their children.

I have a wonderful band - good friends first, and then great musicians.
They've been there for me when no one else has been. I appreciate then
greatly. There is also a wonderful community of artists in the Akron area
that make up a lot of my friends. It's a privilege to write and perform
with, and have them for friends. They enrich all of our lives!

Lastly, and not least - all the fans who have become my friends. You come
to many of my shows and support me every chance to you can. All that is
never overlooked, and always appreciated from the deepest parts of my
heart and soul.

If I ever take you for granted, forgive me, for you are definitely
appreciated and loved.

See you soon.

* BIG SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT: I will be performing a show called the "Love
Initiative" @ the Akron Civic Theater on Feb. 25th @ 8pm. Tickets are
onsale NOW and are $25. For this price you get: an amazing one-of-a-kind
special show, an open bar, a tour of the Civic, a FREE limited edition CD
that only the 110 people in attendance will get, some light appetizers,
and possibly food made by me for each person! What a deal! I know! There
is a catch: these tickets are going fast and will be sold out by
Christmas, so please order them NOW. Buy tickets at any of my shows, at
the Civic, or online @

* The Official Zach Holiday Bash is @ Northside on Dec 3rd @ 8pm! It's
free, and there will be special guests David Ullman and Courtney Cable! Oh
yeah. Plus, FREE vegan pizza, desserts, and other appetizers!

* The Huffington Post just reviewed our record. And not only that, it was
written by the legendary Phil Ramone.

* You can buy the new CD, What I Meant to Say, online at . Or you can get it at Itunes or off of Or you can come out to a show, pick it up as well as one
of the 3 limited edition T-shirts, DVDs, buttons, and more!

* You really should check out and sign up to
follow the daily band blog! Yes, daily! The whole band will be adding
their thoughts and insights in daily doses! (Also, look for a monthly
podcast to start soon!). Plus, this is the exclusive place for my blogs,
pics, and thoughts while on the West Coast tours.

* Let's talk briefly about House Concerts. Yes, you can have me (and/or my
band) perform in your house for your friends! Sound like fun? It is! It is
an intimate experience that you will not soon forget! And it's really
pretty easy, too! We can even do some full band house concerts for anyone
interested in that experience! Email me at, and we can
make it happen! There are even some availabilities this holiday season!
What better Christmas (or other holiday/ birthday) gift!!! You can also
check out this video for a little helping hand and/or some ideas!
As always, all Breaking News is at, where you can also
download past CDs, various songs not available anywhere else, ringtones,
pictures, videos, and much more!

2 • Enjoy the Full Moon!

3 • Zach Holiday Hullabaloo @ Northside • (111 N. Main St, Akron) •
7:00pm. This is a holiday celebration and thanks to you for being
wonderful fans and people! My friends David Ullman, Courtney Cable, and
more will also be performing. And the band will be headlining. There will
be some vegan appetizers and desserts, and some prizes too! And it's FREE!

4 • New Orleans Showboat • (10310 Cascade Xing, Brooklyn, OH) • 9:00pm.
The Showboat is a unique and ambitious new restaurant and performance
space. I love new places!

5 • Doogan's • (55 Barrington Town Sq, Aurora, OH) • 7:00pm. A fun time

7 • Poppin the Blues @ Great Lakes Brewery • (2516 Market Ave, Cleveland,
OH) • 6:00pm. You know this is going to be a great show! Kristine Jackson
and I will be performing, and I always have a blast when we're on a bill

2 • Enjoy the Full Moon!

3 • Zach Holiday Hullabaloo @ Northside • (111 N. Main St, Akron) •
7:00pm. This is a holiday celebration and thanks to you for being
wonderful fans and people! My friends David Ullman, Courtney Cable, and
more will also be performing. And the band will be headlining. There will
be some vegan appetizers and desserts, and some prizes too! And it's FREE!

4 • New Orleans Showboat • (10310 Cascade Xing, Brooklyn, OH) • 9:00pm.
The Showboat is a unique and ambitious new restaurant and performance
space. I love new places!

5 • Doogan's • (55 Barrington Town Sq, Aurora, OH) • 7:00pm. A fun time

7 • Poppin the Blues @ Great Lakes Brewery • (2516 Market Ave, Cleveland,
OH) • 6:00pm. You know this is going to be a great show! Kristine Jackson
and I will be performing, and I always have a blast when we're on a bill

9 • Fat Fish Blue • (21 Prospect Ave E, Cleveland, OH) • 8:00pm. Another
show with Kristine Jackson!

10 • Zach Unplugged at Uncorked Wine Bar • (High St near corner of Market
St, Akron, OH) • 6:30pm. I can't tell you how fun this show will be! Great
wines, and a completely unplugged set. These have become my favorite shows
EVER! And you never know what'll happen!

11 • Happy Hanukkah!

11 • Barley House • (222 S. Main St, Akron, OH) • 9:00pm. Full band
soul-pop extravaganza! There's no reason to not be here at the party with

12 • Thorncreek Winery • (155 Treet Ave, Aurora, OH) • 7:00pm. Another
beautiful winery in a lovely setting! A wonderful setting for the holiday

15 • City|Art Indie BOX • (Front St, Cuyahoga Falls, OH) • 7:00pm. I LOVE
this new black-box theater-style venue! It is hip and exciting and a
wonderful place to catch any sort of show, especially a songwriter's
night! w/ Kristine Jackson!

16 • Hospice Care Center • (3358 Ridgewood Rd, Akron, OH) • 1:45pm.
Hospice is a beautiful organization. My father's stay there really helped
me to cope and accept his passing. So I like giving back to them.

17 • Zach Unplugged at Uncorked Wine Bar • (High St near corner of Market
St, Akron, OH) • 6:30pm. I can't tell you how fun this show will be! Great
wines, and a completely unplugged set. These have become my favorite shows
EVER! And you never know what'll happen!

19 • Hermes Winery • (6413 Hayes Ave, Sandusky, OH) • 8:30pm. A beautiful
setting for the holidays! And a great place to come out and celebrate with

20 • Power of Oneness Spiritual Center • (Chicago, IL) • 3:00pm. My music
is part of the service today.

20 • Uncommon Ground • (3800 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL) • 7:00pm. w/
Heather Styka and Allison Weiss. Hello Chicago!! I miss you! Come out and
rock with me!

21 • Welcome to the Winter Solstice!

21 • Wolf Creek Winery • (2637 S Cleveland - Massillon Rd, Norton) •
7:00pm.A wonderful setting with great wines and good people!

23 • Akron Zoo • (500 Edgewood Ave, Akron, OH) • 5:00pm. This is a
benefit for the Zoo. Maybe we can get a bear to dance along to Life with

23 • Christmas Rock Show -12 Bands of Christmas • (Jammin Java Place,
7007 W. Pleasant Valley Rd, Parma, OH) • 9:00pm. A holiday rock festival
at this cozy cafe. Looking forward to rocking you again, Parma!

25 • Merry Christmas! On Christmas morning may we wake to find that
Christmas feeling and peace of mind!

26 • Happy Boxing Day! Don't hit too hard, though!

26 • Merry Kwanza!

26 • The Independent's Christmas Crash Soiree • (Roc Bar, The Flats,
Cleveland, OH) • 7:00pm. The Cleveland Independent is a cool new
Entertainment Magazine in town!

27 • Cleveland Browns Stadium • (Cleveland, OH) • 10:30am. Come early to
the game for the pre-show -my full band! It may well be the highlight of
the game!

31 • First Night Akron • (John S. Knight Center, Goodyear Ballroom, 77 E.
Mill St, Akron, OH) • 5:00pm. Full band! Ring in the New Year with this
wonderful celebration of music and arts!

31 • Happy New Year's Eve!

31 • Enjoy the Blue Moon!

1 • Happy New Year's!

III. What's ahead?
January Tour: 1/8 -Columbus, 1/9 Louisville, 1/10 - Nashville, 1/11 -
Nashville, 1/12 - Chatanooga, 1/13 - Atlanta, 1/14 - Atlanta, 1/15 -
Tallahassee, 1/16 - Seaside, Fla.

Feb 25 - Akron Civic Theater! Get your tickets now!! These tickets are
going fast and will be sold out by Christmas, so please order them NOW.
Buy tickets at any of my shows, at the Civic, or online @

As always, the dates and times are subject to change, and new dates are
constantly added, so check the website often, and always call the club to
make sure of the details!

IV. Recent NEWS
* Akron Life and Leisure Magazine and their 45,000 readers named us as the
Best Local Band (behind the Black Keys)! We are thrilled with this kind

For more recent news, visit the "News" page of!

I hope to see you all in December! And keep checking out the website, for updates, breaking news, and info! Tell all your
friends about it! Please pass on the love of my music to all your friends
and family, and bring out someone to the next show of mine you come to
that will get as much out of my music as you do!!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

The best thing to be is inspiration.
We should manifest ourselves in exquisitness.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Paper Dreams

As I've been doing loads of computer and business work today, I put on Lost + Found since I haven't actually listened to it in a long time.

And Paper Dreams came on.

It always hits me. Listening, performing, both.

Charlie's piano on that song makes me want to be a better person.

I think that's my favorite thing I've ever recorded.

What do you think? What if I did a whole record of that kind fo thing?

Every time i listen to that song i fall in love.

What better reaction could you hope for in a piece of art?

New Online Store!

You can purchase several of my records, tickets, videos, and more here:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great Blog

My friend and head chef of Blue Canyon in Twisnburg, Ohio has a wonderful blog. He touches on the theme I just wrote about in my last post. And i think it's something that a lot of us feel.

Please check it out:

And then check out Blue Canyon! It is very tasty, AND he will make Vegan dishes if you ask!



I have a question.

Where is your passion?


Passion - (noun) 1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
2. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music. 3. the object of such a fondness or desire: Accuracy became a passion with him. 4. an outburst of strong emotion or feeling: He suddenly broke into a passion of bitter words.

Where is it?

I can somewhat understand some of the feelings of smallness in national politics. But i cannot in local politics. You can actually physically meet every candidate on the ballot for your local elections and school boards. And local issues actually immediately effect us. So why the indifference?

Let's make a few new laws:
1. You cannot critisize something without offering an serious alternative solution.
2. Treat all people and animals and things with dignity and respect.
3. "Listening" and "debate' will be taught in every grade in every school.
4. Empathy must be viewed as vitally important.

Let us wake up to reality. Really open our eyes to this illusion we have pulled over us - this maya of falsity and deception.

There is no you and me, no they and we - just unity.

Just unity.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Vote No on Issue 2!

Tomorrow's the day! Vote NO on Issue 2!

Find your polling place here:

And if you have any issues, call for election protection:

Six Reasons to Vote NO on Ohio's Issue 2

1. Issue 2 seeks to stop animal welfare improvements. Agribusiness interests are trying to change the Ohio constitution so they can continue cruel and inhumane practices on factory farms—confining animals in tiny cages and crates so small they can’t even turn around. Issue 2 proposes an industry-dominated power grab to protect the status quo: hens crammed into cages so tightly they can’t even spread their wings, breeding pigs confined in tiny barren crates and calves chained by their necks inside veal crates. We wouldn’t force our pets to live in filthy, cramped cages for their whole lives, and we shouldn’t force farm animals to either. All animals, including those raised for food, deserve humane treatment.

2. Issue 2 threatens our food safety and health. Factory farmers have put our health at risk by recklessly telling us that it’s okay to keep animals in overcrowded, inhumane conditions. Cramming tens of thousands of animals into tiny cages fosters the spread of animal diseases that may affect people. For example, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that people who eat eggs from hens confined in cages are 250% more likely to contract Salmonella. The extreme confinement of animals is also a major factor in the emergence of diseases like H5N1 and H1N1 (bird and swine flu). Passing Issue 2 would be bad for animals—and bad for us.

3. Issue 2 favors large factory farms, not Ohio’s family famers. Family farmers and groups like the Ohio Farmers Union and Family Farm Defenders oppose Issue 2 because they know that food quality and safety are enhanced by better farming practices. Increasingly, they are supplying mainstream retailers like Safeway and Burger King. Factory farms cut corners and drive family farmers out of business when they put profits ahead of animal welfare and our health.

4. Issue 2 threatens Ohio’s environment. The American Public Health Association has called for a moratorium on new factory farms because of the devastating effects these operations can have on surrounding communities. Factory farms often spread waste on the ground untreated—contaminating our waterways, lakes, groundwater, soil, and air. By helping keep the worst animal confinement practices in Ohio, Issue 2 threatens our precious natural resources—that’s why the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance and Ohio Sierra Club oppose it.

5. Issue 2 sets Ohio backwards, while other states are moving forward. Seven states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon—have banned the use of inhumane confinement devices for farm animals. In the European Union, veal crates are illegal, as are barren battery cages (effective 2012) and gestation crates (effective 2013). Rather than make advances to help farmers, consumers, and animal welfare, Issue 2 will ensure that Ohio lags behind other states and public opinion when it comes to the treatment of farm animals and movement away from the worst factory farming practices.

6. Issue 2 is opposed by leading organizations and experts. Issue 2 is opposed by The Humane Society of the United States, the Capital Area Humane Society, the Cleveland Animal Protective League, the Toledo Area Humane Society, the Ohio Farmers Union, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, Progress Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Center for Food Safety, the Ohio Sierra Club, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association, the Columbus Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Dayton Daily News.

Don't let Big Ag get away with this power grab: Vote NO on Issue 2.

Please visit for more information.

(From the Humane Society's Website:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Make school lunches healthier!

As you know this is an issue near to me. Studies are showing that this generation will be the first will a shorter life expectancy than their parents. A lot of that is due to our terrible diets. And we need to have the schools offering more healthy and reasoonable options and meals for our children.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Huffington Post

The highly esteemed Huffington Post did a mention/review of What I Meant to Say!

Thanks Phil!

Ribs and more

Time flies when you're hopped up on painkillers.

This has been a wonderful week of shows and friends. And a misreable week of aging. Let's start with the good though.

I have fallen deeply in love with Uncorked (22 N. High St, Akron). I was even before i started playing there. Something is in the air at that little wine bar. The intimate setting and unplugged show (with wonderful acoustics!) are a perfect mixture. It reminds me of something that would be happening in NYC or London. But it's right here in Akron! Several great fans and friends came out, including Rachel ( and its always nice to see musician friends at a show!

From there a small caravan of us dropped in on David Ullman's ( at Tastey Jones. Singing and dancing of course ensued. And they cooked up some tastey fries and apples for the 2 vegans.

Friday was a fun set at Barley House. The band was ready to rock. Chris of Clear Gold Audio ( came out and ran sound for us doing a wonderful job! We got my wireless mic working so i could run around the building singing to the folks, and the lovely ladies having birthdays (and the ones just hanging out as well).

Saturday morning started fairly early and took me down to Barberton for a Peace show @ Lake Anna. It was frigid, but there was a nice turnout. I dont think I'd ever been to Lake Anna before. I made it through my set still mostly feeling my fingers. Over the Road w/ the no more you and me no more they and we just unity lines at the end was especially moving and poignant.

Then off to the House of Blues. Kickin the cancer Blues ( is a wonderful benefit and organization raising funds for individuals with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Some great pics are at We had a wonderful time and really had one of the best sets we've had yet! A powerful emotion was coming down and out through us. Over the Road, Some Love, and Ever After were amazing. Kristine Jackson ( came up and added some lovely harmonies to Distracted! After us, our friends the Jack Fords took the stage and finaleed with a spirited version of the Weight. Kristine's set was wonderful as well, and she invited me back up to sing People Get Ready. A very different version than mine, but powerful still! Very powerful!

Then Sunday came. And i got to have some Tofu Scramble @ Tommys, which is pretty good. I dont think anybody makes a tofu scramble as good as the one you make at home, but theirs is good. And a nice rice dream chocolate-strawberry shake doesnt hurt either! I also got to take in Where the Wild Things Are, which i enjoyed though it was different from what i expected. I did love the cinematography and puppetry/costumry. The day ended with a drive out to Boardman for a Hawaian burger at the Flaming Ice Cube (an awesome vegan shop and cafe! ( I also got a lovely OM ring that i had been looking for in the back of my mind for a bit.

Moving on to Monday. Wolf Creek was a wonderful night. Really. Standing room only. So many great people came out and familiar faces! How could it not be one of the best ways to start the week!

And about the bad side.

Apperently, i am at that age where i can pull a muscle ... sleeping.

Yes. I awoke in the middle of the night Wednesday/Thursday morning with this horrific pain. To do my weekend shows, I was on some strong painkillers. And when I'd get home, the pain would overtake those pills, and make sure i didnt really sleep. So that lasted until Sunday when i finally got some sleep, and then by miracle, I am feeling nearly all better now. Whew! I must be a violent sleeper.

Or just getting old.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bobby on Random Acts of Music!

Recently Charlie and I were on Random Acts of Music. This is a wonderful unplugged version of Bobby from that episode.


Congrats Dom!

Our good friend and long-time drummer, Dominic Tancredi got married to his long-time girlfriend, Sarah, last night.

It was a fun party- some good rock and roll, some good potatos, and good friends!

On behalf of the rest of the band, I wanted to wish my most heartfelt congratulations and deepest wishes for long-time happiness!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Canton Palace

Maybe I should back things up and start with yesterday first.


It was nice to be back at Northside this month. There was a different atmosphere - something different in the air. I don't know if you felt it to - maybe it was just me. I did just start up a new meditation regime.

It was very nice to see so many great folks there, smiling, dancing, rocking! It really did make my day to have so many friends and fan family around! It was kinda a big day for us. Brandon, our new drummer, was playing his first public show.

He said it meant a lot to him to have so many nice and warm folks there supporting him for his debut!

Talking about my shows is something I'm really not that good at. So I'll summarize, as per usual :)

The night started off on an emotional chord with Autumn, Invocation, Lime Tree, and Manifest, which all were possibly as good as we've ever done them.

Then there was vegan pumpkin pie!!!

We had a nice line of dancers as well! Impressive! And everyone in step - it was a thing of beauty!! Did I hear someone compare it to Lord of the Dance... ? (I hope so!!:)

Then there was the after party/ encore! The 4 hour after party dispersing after 5am. A good end to a fun night!

And then there's the Canton Palace Theater.

I will have pics up soon.

I love this theater! It is gorgeous! With a nice stage and an awesome little labyrinth of dressing room tunnels!

There seemed to be some sort of snafu with the marquee, which had mistakenly stated we were on at 8:30pm, so i apologize to those of you that came just as we ended. I feel doubly bad because it was a great show!

Large stages are always a joy - room to feel, room to romp, and room for the sound to rock! Brandon played his heart out, as we all did. And with little weird Halloween set decorations, no less!

Some very moving moments tonight. Over the Road sent a warmth over me from the audience. It was beautiful and I cant really describe it. But thank you. The set built up to Some Love, where I got to leave the mic stand and plead give out every drop of my soul to the audience from the edge of the stage.

I think that Ever After could have been one of our best versions yet. Highly energized.

And there is nothing quite like dancing up and down the aisles of an old theater. It is wonderment. Definitely! Several little girls were getting into it and dancing along by their seats.

It all ended with a standing ovation.

Which, really, does it get any better than that??

Thank you. It made my night to see some kind faces and some folks I hadn't seen in a long while. Not to mention every one's kindness.

You rock.

You are why I sing.

And together we are agents of change.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Autumn is possibly my favourite season. True, little can match the joy the new growth and glorious greens of Spring. Not to mention that inner exuberance at the fact that the layers of winter coats are able to be put away! But fall has such beauty. The leaves turn the world into a glorious palate of every hue of orange and red. They blow about the yards and roads and bring me happy memories of backyard football as a kid.

And there is pumpkin pie everywhere! Pumpkin everywhere! Mmm!

As a kid, autumn always held the agony of back to school. But somehow that didn't really ruin the season for me.

And Thanksgiving and Halloween both fall within fall's purview.

This year, however there does come a hint of sadness on the breeze. The voice of winter in singing in the distance. And i can hear it this year already.

The last 2 winters have been exceptionally cold and long. I'm not sure if it has honestly been that way, or if my perception has shifted. Don't get me wrong, i love winter until Jan 2nd and then i want Spring again. And waiting until nearly June to get it is unbearable.

My dream is to live in Jackson, Wyoming. One of the largest downsides to that for me is their very cold and long winters that start by the beginning of October and last well through May. But I think i could handle that. Somehow. There is such beauty there everywhere. Here, in Ohio, there is beauty too, but it is heavily muffled and choked away from view. Especially during the long sunless drab suffocation of winter.

Everyday I wake up to the fact that I need mountains in my life. Mountains. And meadows. And alpine lakes. And bears. And sunlight. (that helps too). None of these things are in Ohio.

Such are the thoughts that wrap me up today as I sit in a sweater looking out a window into the rain and wind and changing constellations of seasons. Maybe I just need some soup.

Or a nap.

Or love.

Even my guitar wanted its privacy today.

In a distant room I hear the Staple Singers telling me: "Come Go With Me."

Yet i have bills to pay. Gigs to hunt down. Tours to plan. Marketing to scatter. Sales to sniff out like a bird dog.

But i have no smell.

And what I wouldn't give for a mountain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Evening for Chuck 2009

Starting right off, I dont have any real pictures yet. Folks took them, and I am awaiting them. So this will just be a blog of words.

I was excited about this year's event as we had some great things planned and a spectacular line-up. My friends at 91.3 The Summit really got on board this year and did so much to help out! Plus, this year was a little crazy, since I wasnt actually going to be there from the start. We played the Browns home opener pre-game and then jetted down to Akron.

As things tend to, everything worked out very well.

All the food was quite yummy. We got the most compliments about the wonderful Vegan Tomato Bisque Soup from Primos Deli and the Chocolate Truffles Troy made. And as laways the cookies poet TM Gottl made were delicious. I had far too many of those... The Vegan Stuffed Shells were so good, they were gone before I even got there at 1:45pm! And though the Chiptole didnt arrive until about then, they went pretty fast as well. This year Angie and Keith decided to make juice - a carrot/giner/apple juice. And it was perfect! I'll be the first to admit that seeing carrot juice in there, i was skeptical. But it was sooo tastey. Indeed! And the pizzas from Totally Cooked were perfect as well!

Also new this year: as I walked up there was sidewalk chalk wrapping around the block about the event! Very nice!

We ended up with over 200 people in attendance and have rasied to date close to $5,500 for this years event, taking our 4 year grand total to over $25,500!

I heard Faces Made for Radio was better than ever this year! All i gotta say is: mmmm, banjo.

David Ullman played a wonderful set - and we got to debut our duet re-worked version of our song "Happiest Sad Song." I really enjoyed that. I like where the song has gone. This one really was like a child. It started out and progressed and developed a personality and went off to college then busked thru Europe for a few years, and is now a really interesting piece of music. :)

One of my favourite bits each year is the little duet section I do with Cory. We don't get to sing together that often anymore. So this is always nice. This year's version of "Communication" was perhaps the best we've ever done it. It is my National Anthem i think. That or "Delusions." And Cory of course nailed "One." It even made David Ullman's heart skip a beat!

I am glad Eclyptic was able to be on the bill this year. My dad and I knew them when they were still early in high school and just getting started. They are good kids and have an interesting sound that has grown and changed over the years. They have wonderful harmony and were enjoyed by everyone.

The Woovs were even better than expected! I'd been hearing great things about them for a couple years now. They have a nice groove-oriented kinda mellow vibe and really were absolutely perfect! It seemed to me they gained many new fans.

TM Gottl invited me up to do Chiroprator, a crowd-favourite duet. Next time we'll get the band involved, but there wasn't time to set everyone up. I have a feeling that song will just be getting outta control funkay in the near future.

Rachel Roberts is a good friend and a joy to have on any bill. She definitely didn't dissappoint. Her beautiful voice was right on, even though she was getting over some mild brochitis. And i felt a little honored to have her play my guitar for her set.

I was really pleased with our set. The band was tight. As tight as it's been i think. And we really were able to shine! "Some Love" was a personal highlight for me. We've been working on some things with that tune, and I feel I'm able to finally let everything out with it. We're entering a transitional phase of the music i think. We've all hit that 2 year mark where we are comfortable with how each other plays and where they go, that we can move in a collective direction. And i like the shores we are sailing to.

Each year my favorite part of the raffles are those few times when the person who really wanted an item wins it. We had a few this year. For the GPS Paula and Troy shouted out loudly from their seats before the name was drawn "pick Troy and Paula. Troy and Paula!" And then they were picked! And the guitar went to a lady who was extatic that she won it!

The real highlight though was the finale. We brought back Gary (from Faces), David, Rachel, Cory, and TM and went through the most inspired version of "People Get Ready" i have ever heard/played/imagined. Yes, it clocked in at nearly 17 minutes long, but wow. Everyone came in close and swayed. Everyone was tired and sweaty from the heat and the dancing and the whole day, yet everyone was ready and willing to be lifted, and to lift. And we did. We went somewhere. Together. 150 people or more - all as one.

People get ready. Theres a train coming. You dont need no bagage you just get on board. All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming. You dont need no tickets you just thank the Lord.

Everyone singing. The band building and pulsing. Cory's soul drenching out. Church was there, but this wasnt church. This was bigger. This was real. Handclaps on 2 and 4. David improving. Rachels sweet voice. Charlie's guitar like God's humming.

And we brought it down. "I believe. I believe." Everyone eyes open, eyes closed. Swaying. Standing. Dancing. Moving. Singing. Really singing. Im not sure i've ever had a crowd sing along with such soul and meaning. We were simply singing. We were believing. We were proclaiming.

I dont wanna reason anymore about the one i love. The one i love. i dont wanna reason anymore about God above. God above. I just wanna melt away into that sacred space. Drift away into that sacred place where there's no more you and me no more they and we. Just unity.

Even if it only lasted those 17 minutes. Even if it faded away with the sound and drifted into the shadows of Musica and out into the Akron night. It was there. It was real.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Have a nice Labour Day! I hope y'all can take a minute to be with friends and family. Cook something outside. Raise a glass to your loved ones.

I'll be in the lime tree.

Or at least searching for it.

It takes a while.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ever After

This video was put together by Lacey Tilley and was shot at the CD Release Concert at Cuyahoga Falls High School back in April.

Enjoy! (please post comments and rate it too on youtube... :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Behind the Scenes

We had a little late night studio session recently.
5 musicians - late night - in a room.
The cameras were rolling.

Neil tuning up in the main room.

Ready to rock. (in the tuxedo t-shirt).

Charlie's playing was that good. I swear it!!

Papa Marotta laying down some tastey parts.

Brandon being productive... or just posing... or productive ...

Time for vocals.

Time for group backing vocals. Like the Temps... but not.


There have been few politicians over the last 40-50 years like the Kennedys. Teddy certainly lived up to that legacy.

We can only hope that torch has been passed along to some in the next generation.

RIP Teddy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wolf Creek

A fun and long and hectic weekend is over. Today. Officially.
It started off with a 103 degree fever for much of the week. To the point I had to actually cancel a show.
Then it went to a back-to-back Staurday of the Great Lakes Brewery Burning River Fest on Whiskey Island. This was shot right after I jammed to the mayor Frank Jackson.

And this is one my favourite pics:

Jamming to the goats. Who were kind of dancing along like muppets. It was pretty hilarious. And it's kinda represented here.

Love it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lyrics to A Conversation Runs Two Ways

A conversation runs two ways (a late night open letter)
(c) 2009 ZEF Music/ BMI

Well this might be the longest night
In the history of all mankind
I try to sleep but my mind stutters
Nothing can curb my mind’s endless thunder

So all that’s left is you
No one else to turn to
Im not used to this
Maybe I should just let it rip

Don’t ya see the tears I cry
Didn’t ya know she is my life
You could give me everything I need
Why wont you send her love back to me
Back to me back to me

Don’t you tell me about the long run
Some distant path im not yet on
I cant see past my fingers
Where she always seems to linger

(just gotta have her) Love

Why do ya show me a love so pure
Tp rip it out and throw it on the floor
Don’t wanna hear about some mystic plan
No other woman’s better than my Jen


Gotta have her Love...

And why must I ask this every night?

A Conversation Runs Two Ways (a Late Night Open Letter)

Here is the song I wrote last night during the meteor shower and recorded live in my van today.


Guitar legend Les Paul dies at age 94

This is a major bummer. Les Paul was one rock legend I would have loved to see play. I think he was still a regular performer in the NYC jazz scene. Whenever I go to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame I check out his exhibit. It doesn't change, but the history it worth reliving every time.

Chuck Berry is another - I hear he has (or had?) a weekly show in St. Louis... road trip?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

House of Blues and Trevor Hall

Tuesday was a day I had been looking forward to on many levels for a while. Firstly for personal reasons. Secondly, I was to be playing with me friend Trevor Hall. And Thirdly, it was at the House of Blues, which is always a good time!
(All of these pics were taken by Eileen Matias)

Jen and I were there early for load in. But there was a corporate party in the Cambridge room, and thought we were told to be there at 5:00pm for load in, we couldnt actually load in until after 6:45pm. So that resulted in a lot of waiting. And watching Trevor and Chris and Mario wrap up the new order of shirts they just got in. (They said they didnt need help, and they had quite an assembly line going. It was impressive).

My Tofu Cows. Hanging out before the show.

Yes, I brought out the fabled Leisure Suit for the event.

It was an awesome crowd! Sold out by the time I hit the stage! (sorry to the fans that were turned away, but you gotta get there early, you know :-)

It was a blast with the front 15 rows being so super fun! Lots of singing along and dancing and such!

Ah yes, some of that singing along I was talking about...

Michael came out and sat in on Melodica for "Grey Clouds" and "Manifest."

Grey Clouds I did very spur of the moment, and haven't really done it much prior, but it got a great response. Which is always nice. Though I think aside from Life, Surround Me was the highlight of my set.

More fun times!

Michael having a good time.

I dont know what's happening here. The whole set was a blur for me. Between my mindset, emotions, the heat, and the crowd, i dont think i was consciously conscious.

So it probably wasnt the best night to be wearing polyester. It was very very very hot in there. The room was packed and there was that amazing collective energy that leads to the most amazing concert/musical experiences. I did think I might pass out a time or two.

But that didnt stop me from Rockin.

And it's always nice to have dozens of people cheering and such when i take off my jacket...

It was ultra fun to jam to the crowd, cuz they were all around me. This wasnt jamming to people, which happens a lot - no, it was jamming with people. People were strumming along, dancing, and rockin along with me.

Big ending. Thank you! See you next time!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Here is a little glimpse into our weekly rehearsals. This was at a moment when we were winding down and relaxing a little with one of our favourite covers.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

New song

Enjoy this brand new song called Grey Clouds as performed in my van.

Sequels Better than Original

So Zach and I are with some friends right now discussing sequels that are better than the original movie. Rather than spoiling you with all of the correct answers I'll leave it for everyone to throw out their options and will provide our list soon.

Here's an example
Godfather II vs. Godfather I

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More River Rockin!

My friend Brendan Curtin came out to see us at Rockin on the River last week, and brought his camera along. He is a photographer for the Cuyahoga County Coroner. He got some great stuff! Thanks Brendan!

Charlie rockin!

Charlie rockin! All of us rockin, actually.


I like the composition of the 3 of us singing here. Nice.

It has been extreemly fun to have a few songs that Im not beating on my guitar, and I can just sing and be awkward. I love it! I know it looks like Im doing a Van Morrison kick here, but Im not. I swear...

I love this one.

I love the trees in the background. Everyone of the pics with those makes me feel like we were playing in Central Park or something.

You sweep me off my feet. Im talking to you.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Iowa Motion Pics IV

Iowa Motion Pics III

Iowa Motion Pics II

Even More Iowa - motion pictures this time!

More Iowa

First of all - the following pics are courtesy of Mr. Neil (Joe Cool).
Charlie seranading us as we loaded the van to leave Ohio.

Michael helping to fit things in. A sort of real-life tetris...

And we're ready to go!

Charlie continued to searande us after we finished loading everything.

And then the melodica came out! I think they're finding an "A" here. Or Charlie is playing Bon Jovi...

There wasn't tons of leg room in the van. Dominic crammed himself in the footspace in an attempt to get more comfortable.

Ah - the Mighty Mississippi at dawn!

The John Deere Museum and Pavillion was directly across from our awesome Radisson hotel.

Good to go!

And then in for the continental breakfast. Dominic exaggerating the bite and the sausage and gravy in this biscuit.

Next up - a pool-side nap.

This was on the way to the show later. Neil was pumped.

These are the big toys folks got to play with! Digging in the dirt with these crazy huge things was awesome to watch!

On to the afterparty at Bent River Brewery. Darts were happening behind me.

Charlie posing by the tire of the van. Not quite as big as the tractor Neil was next to, but close...

Speaking of close... Cheer up Dominic - we're headed to Iowa!

After the eternal endlessness of getting to and out of Davenport, IA, we ventured to Chicago, where we had some pizza (and a salad for me) at Gino's east in Naperville.
Elvis just happened to drop by.

The sunset off the roof of the van while we sat in stopped traffic on the Indiana turnpike. It is fun to sit on the tunrpike - you dont get to do it that often!

So we made the most of the situation - impromptu jam of Runway (and many other of the hits).