"...the young artist continues to take in his surroundings, weaving them into the tapestry of his latest recordings."
"...at the crossroads of Jack White-inspired rock 'n' roll, blues licks and Beatles psychedelia"
- The Deli Magazine Philly
For Zack Krall, it all started with a love for the guitar. A love that he first developed while trying to teach himself Beatles songs on an old, beat up classical guitar in his Tarrytown, New York childhood home. Today, Zack is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania playing blues-influenced rock n’ roll, propelled by that same love for his instrument. His music is guitar-driven and catchy, and incorporates elements of a number of genres of music while leaning on a foundation of rock and blues.
Zack’s debut release, a three-song EP entitled Shadow, was released on April 28, 2017. The first of the three songs is the soulful and emotional “Excuses” which gives a taste of Buddy Guy inspired blues, gritty guitars, and powerful vocals. The next is a laid back but funk-infused tune by the name of “Jealous.” And the EP finishes with the title track, “Shadow” – an upbeat rock track, full of energy and tinged with Latin rhythms.
Not long after this, Zack began recording his first full-length album, Breathe. This time around, he chose to produce the record himself in addition to performing on it. He also collaborated with Chris Cerbone and Liam Kharem who split drumming duties on the album and assisted in its production. It was mixed by Zack Krall and Covey Carpenter and mastered by Chance Halter. The twelve song album was released on February 23, 2018.
Prior to the full album dropping, three singles were released. The first of these – “Cannonball” – is a two minute, politically charged song, channelling artists such as The Decemberists and Cage The Elephant. The next was a driving blues-rock number called “That Girl” which prompted The Deli Magazine to describe Zack as being “at the crossroads of Jack White-inspired rock 'n' roll, blues licks and Beatles psychedelia.” The third single is the album’s penultimate track, “City Lights.” This was the first song that Zack wrote while living in Philadelphia and deals with change and longing for somebody who is hundreds of miles away. “And now I noticed what the difference is between a house and home / Brick walls protect you but there’s more to life than shelter from the cold / So I keep reaching like the buildings ‘round me reach to hug the sky / Chasing what is real in a world that feeds you everything in lies,” Zack writes.
In December 2017, Zack was named Emerging Artist of the Month by The Deli Magazine in Philadelphia after his first two singles from Breathe were released. In an interview with The Deli Magazine, he discussed starting writing music, his influences, living in Philadelphia, and more. You can read the full interview here.
Between July and November 2018, Zack released two brand new non-album singles. The first, “This Kind of Love,” is an energetic, two-minute song combining bluesy, classic rock with modern textures and production techniques. The next is an electrified cover of the traditional folk song “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” These releases were also accompanied by a music video for “This Kind of Love” directed by Charlie Hildick-Smith.
Zack released his sophomore album Heart / Body / Mind October 25, 2019. On this record, he collaborates with drummer Chris Cerbone (once again), bassist and vocalist Maggie Barnett, guitarist Aram Donabed III, and lap steel guitarist and keyboard player Covey Carpenter. The first single, featuring "Descartes" on the A-side and "Descartes II" on the B-side, was released on May 24, 2019, and the next – "What About the Night?" – was released on August 23, 2019. The final single released was "Don't Fade Away" on October 4.
"Descartes" is a hard-hitting blues-rock number about waking up with your mind and body separated. Inspired in part by French philosopher René Descartes, the song features driving drums, gritty guitars, and powerful vocals. B-side, "Descartes II" is a response to "Descartes" and involves frustration and inner thoughts. Frustration over self-doubt, relationships, politics, and feeling exposed by the music that Zack chooses to share – "I write down things I don't want you to hear and preach to anyone willing to listen." The upcoming album as a whole involves a theme of heart vs body vs mind and these singles bring that together through the lens of feeling like you just might be crazy.
"What About the Night?" started with the simple question "what about the day makes these problems seem to go away?" This feeling of problems rearing their head at night became the song's chorus. The rest of the song came from Zack's outside perspective on drummer Chris Cerbone's failing relationship with a manipulative girlfriend. By combining his own experiences with Chris's experiences, the song takes on a melancholy yet aggressive tone, supported by Maggie Barnett's thumping bass and Chris Cerbone's driving drum playing.
Unlike many of the album's songs, the third and final single, "Don't Fade Away," was originally written over four years ago but has been on the back burner ever since. The song came back to light while Zack and drummer Chris Cerbone were demoing songs for Heart / Body / Mind. In the process, they came across old recordings of both "Don't Fade Away" and the previously mentioned "This Kind of Love." The duo tracked drums and bass for the songs together before Zack filled in the rest of the arrangement. This recording also features New York-based rapper Franik on vocals for the song's outro. "Don't Fade Away" captures the feeling of looking back on what could have been in a somber and pensive manner while also providing a catchy hook and another Zack Krall guitar solo.
Maggie Barnett and Chris Cerbone's role extends far beyond their work with Zack in the studio. Live, Maggie and Chris are the core of The Zack Krall Band. While several other musicians rotate through, it is these two that hold down the rhythm section. Zack has said of playing with them, "They just feel it differently than anyone else I've played with. Even when they didn't write a song, you would never know because they're so invested in it, emotionally. When we start playing nothing else matters but that." Their performances are lively and exciting, and they certainly bring emotion and energy to every song of the set. It’s a performance that you don’t want to miss!
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