September 27, 2007

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Young soloist gets gigs
Zach Tremblay plays folk rock country Americana “mish-mash”
By Erica Febré efebre@hippopress.com

FAlthough most of his graduating classmates might not dig country rock, Zach Tremblay is one young and eager musician who doesn’t mind being called a little bit country.

“Actually, I don’t even really know what’s considered country these days. Musically, I’ve never really tried to fit into a certain mold,” Tremblay said. “It could be considered country rock to some people, if that’s as country as you get. I do listen to a lot of stuff like Drive By Truckers and a lot of those country rock guys.”

A solo singer and songwriter, Tremblay was fortunate to get picked up by Jon Nolan’s independent label, Milltown Recording Company. Nolan is known in greater New England as an accomplished singer and songwriter. Shortly after finishing high school, Tremblay found himself working with Nolan, who helped him polish his songs.

Taking the best 10 tracks, out of about 50, Nolan produced Tremblay’s first full-length, Hotel Cities. With Tremblay playing guitar and singing, Nolan sat down on the drums and Dave Hunter added the lead electric guitar parts.

“It’s pretty much straightforward folk and rock but I don’t think it’s strictly folk and I don’t think it’s strictly rock. It’s sort of like a mish-mash. ‘Americana’ gives it kind of a nice blanket. We come up with hooks like any other rock or pop song. But we’re not trying to make anything revolutionary,” Tremblay said.

The majority of Tremblay’s shows are done in the solo singer-songwriter fashion. Guest musician Gary Partridge supplies mandolin and lap steel. When available, vocalist Lauren Hill adds harmonies.

“With Jon producing the record, he turned a lot of the songs into rock tunes, adding the drums and electric and all that. A lot of the tunes were originally written to be solo folk songs. ...We cut the drums and my tracks together, then Dave came in with the electric over-dub. It just brought the whole album together,” Tremblay said.

Currently looking to get a full band together, Tremblay has no problem with continuing as a solo musician for now.

“It’s a lot more fun to play with a band but I’m really trying to find a balance where I can write both solo tunes, like the ballads, and still have the rock songs. I’ve heard both sides from people, that it sounds really good with a band but also that they like to hear just the song,” Tremblay said.

On Thursday, Oct. 11, Tremblay will be featured on “Live and Local,” a segment of the University of New Hampshire’s radio station (WUNH).


Lot bit country
Who: Zach Tremblay w/ Barn Burning
When: Thursday, Oct. 4, starting at 9 p.m.
Where: Eleven Eleven Nightclub, 1111 Elm St., Manchester
For more information: Music samples and more details about Zach Tremblay are available at myspace.com/zachtremblay. Music samples and more details about Barn Burning are available at myspace.com/barnburning.