Zachary Cale has been called a “musician’s musician,” in part because he seems to be friends with just about everybody, but more importantly because he exudes a music-first mentality that prioritizes creation over every other aspect of what’s so-often called the “music business.” To wit, he’s released his past four records, including the higher-profile Blue Rider in 2013, on his own label, All Hands Electric, and his output has been strikingly consistent throughout. His work rolls out of him, sounding as effortless as it surely isn’t. Reviews of Blue Rider pointed out that that finger-picked guitar you hear that sounds like three people working. Well, that’s just him. Zach’s stage persona is humble; his abilities are not.
This show at the Living Room previewed an exciting turn for Cale’s recorded output, as his forthcoming Duskland will be his first for Brooklyn-based No Quarter, a label that has a diverse roster but has shown, of late, a penchant for great singer-songwriters (e.g., Doug Paisley, Joan Shelley, Jennifer Castle). Five of the seven tracks on offer here come from the new album, plus the brand-new “Riverbed” and “Hangman Letters” from Blue Rider. The new album proves to be something to look forward to — it’s of a piece with Blue Rider stylistically but with a more melancholic tone that befits the “dusk” in the title. Cale hails from Louisiana, but this work feels closer to the empty parts of Texas most times, the kind of songs that belong under an open sky, particularly the windswept, propulsive “Evensong.” The country-tinged trifecta of “I Forged the Bullet,” “Sundowner,” and “Changing Horses” made for a fine set closer. Cale may not have “changed horses” with the move to No Quarter, but he has put himself in the best position to succeed, alongside like-minded artists he belongs with. Make sure to get ahold of Duskland on pre-order, or when it hits stores on August 7.
I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from Living Room engineer Kevin and Schoeps MK41V supercardiod microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!
Cale plays New York again on August 28 at Baby’s All Right.
Stream the complete set:
Brooklyn, NY USA
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Soundboard (engineer: Kevin) + Schoeps MK41V>KC5>CMC6>>Edirol R-44>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS5.5 (align, mix down, fades, compress SBD)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )
01 Blue Moth
05 Hangman Letters
06 I Forged the Bullet
09 Changing Horses