Straight Outta Cleveland: ZACH

Every city has one- a musician that everyone knows who has been making music for years as a singer-songwriter; that city’s version of Bob Dylan. ZACH happens to be that musician for Northeastern Ohio.

For more than a decade, ZACH (who’s last name is known to this writer, but I have chosen not to include it as the musician has existed his entire career by only one name) has been writing and performing in and around the city of Cleveland. Throughout that time, he has racked up many accolades, such as: being nominated for Best Singer-Songwriter for both 2002 and 2003 in the Cleveland Free Times and winning the titles of Best Acoustic Act and Best Overall Act at the Cleveland Music Festival in 2001. And In 2002 and 2003, ZACH walked away with Best Pop/Rock Act for the festival.

The Singer-Songwriter was awarded for his hard work as a result of his music that has been released on several albums throughout the years, which includes 2008’s Lost And Found and 2009’s What I Meant to Say.

Throughout his musical career, ZACH has taken a different approach to his music than most musicians: When most people would say ‘If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,’ ZACH has never stayed with one particular formula to his music making. Depending on the day and the setting, you may see ZACH perform by himself; you may see him with just a drummer; you may see the musician with an entire band backing him up.

This mindset has also been used as a way of creating ZACH’s albums. No two releases have been the same, and no two releases have been created in the same manner. That easily describes ZACH’s two most recent releases of 2008’s Lost And Found and 2009’s What I Meant to Say.

In 2008, ZACH went about recording not just one album, but two at the same time. The two albums may include the same musicians, but they were created using different methods in different settings.

Lost And Found, the first album to be completed and released, was created with the help of ZACH’s alma mater of Cuyahoga Community College (or Tri-C). Tri-C has a program called Recording Arts and Technology (or RAT for short) in which people can earn a college degree. With RAT, ZACH and his band created an album that was made for the Crooked River Groove, a cable program produced by the RAT program for the college. The music on Lost And Found was recorded live-in-studio as part of the program.

The second CD made by ZACH at that time is called What I Meant to Say. While Lost And Found was recorded live-in-the studio, What I Meant to Say was created as a studio release, taking full advantage of the studio time to make the album sound as polished and perfect as possible.

While Lost And Found and What I Meant to Say feature the same musicians (ZACH on vocals and guitars; Charlie Trenta on guitar, piano; Michael Marotta on keys; Neil Keating on bass; Cory Farinacci on backing vocals; and Dominic Tancredi on drums), what separates the albums are the selections of songs each release contains. While Lost And Found has a more laid-back rock feel to it, the album of What I Meant to Say feels like ZACH and the band decided to do songs that had more of a rock edge to them. While listening to both albums back-to-back, the listener can definitely hear and feel the difference in the vibes contained within each release.

The 20 songs that are contained within ZACH’s two most recent releases of Lost And Found and What I Meant to Say are just a fraction of the songs that the singer-songwriter has penned throughout his career. However, the two releases give a good indication of the talent of all musicians who took part in creating the albums.

While ZACH calls the Northeastern Ohio area home, he does go out on tour once-in-a-while. If you see his name in a venue near you, check him out in concert. But in the meantime, check out his website to find his music and more information on him.

To discover ZACH and his music, you can find him online at You can also find him on MySpace at