Zachary Cale is a NYC based songwriter/musician originally hailing from the small southern town of Enon, Louisiana. His music ranges from lyrically driven balladry over American Primitive inspired guitar playing to Cosmic Country music and cerebral folk rock.
For the past decade Cale has been releasing records through his own imprint All Hands Electric among other labels. His first album Outlander Sessions was released by New World Of Sound records in 2005. Recorded with a borrowed acoustic guitar on a 4 track cassette machine. In 2008 Cale’s second solo album Walking Papers was released, an album that fuses highly poetic imagery across stark balladry. Marking a huge step forward from his debut Walking Papers displays Cale’s progression from lo-fi acoustic busker to a songwriter of visionary scope. It was recorded by Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Swans) at Jett Studio previously known as the historic Bearsville Sound Studio where albums by The Band, Bobby Charles, NRBQ and Muddy Waters were recorded. Upon it’s release Cale was described by New Jersey’s, WFMU as a “songwriter’s songwriter” with a writing style comparable to the greats like Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen.
Before the release of Walking Papers Cale started a rock band called Illuminations. All Hands Electric issued their debut album See-Saw the same year that Walking Papers was released. The straight ahead power pop inspired rock n roll band showcased a different side of Cale’s songwriting. Cale began using electric guitars, adopting a style and delivery that aligns itself to roots inspired rock bands such as Big Star, VU and Crazy Horse.
2011 saw the release of Cale’s first critically acclaimed album Noise Of Welcome. Upon it’s release Pop Matters proclaimed Cale as “the best singer songwriter working today. Period.”. The album is a perfect blend of Cale’s penchant for cosmic American rock styles that he used in his work with Illuminations and the dark mystic balladry of his solo albums. That year Cale toured the U.S. with a full band, and in solo performances across Europe.
Blue Rider was released in 2013 to great fan fare. Praised by Pitchfork, Spin, American Songwriter, NY Magazine, and Pop Matters the album features a stripped down acoustic sound implementing country blues tunings adopted from guitar legends Skip James and John Fahey, coupled with Cale’s haunting vocal delivery and enigmatic lyrics. With the addition of ethereal synth lines and electric textures over it’s acoustic foundation the album exudes an atmosphere that is otherworldly yet traditionally grounded. Upon it’s release Cale became a member of the NYC based Crystal Stilts, joining the band as their second guitarist as well as supporting them on a cross country US tour.
On stage Cale performs both solo and with an full electric band. In concert his melodically complex guitar playing has been compared to Neil Young and Bert Jansch with nods to pre-war Piedmont and Ragtime players such as Blind Willie McTell and Mississippi John Hurt. In a full band setting Cale has been known to strap on an electric, adopting a style and delivery that flies closer to country-tinged rock songwriters such as Alex Chilton, Ray Davies and Tom Petty. The intensity of his solo sets hold crowds spellbound, while the electric band sets veer into a mild psychedelia that’s equally captivating.
Cale has played hundreds of shows traversing both the US and EU sharing stages with Sharon Van Etten, Robyn Hitchcock, Neko Case, Six Organs of Admittance, Deer Tick, Ryley Walker, Justin Townes Earle, Jessica Pratt, The Black Swans, War on Drugs, Steve Gunn, Villagers, Hiss Golden Messenger, Foxygen, Wooden Wand, Michael Chapman, William Tyler, Chris Forsyth, Angel Olsen, Dan Melchior, and many others.
Duskland is Cale’s 5th album under his own name, an album that employs full band arrangements and western motifs to further chronicle Cale’s haunted vision of Americana. The album will be released August 7th 2015 via No Quarter.
Zachary Cale resides in New York City.
Duskland LP/CD – No Quarter (2015)
Low Light Roughs CS – All Hands Electric (2014)
Blue Rider LP/CD – All Hands Electric/JellyFant (2013)
Love Everlasting 7″ – Dull Knife (2012)
Noise of Welcome LP/CD – All Hands Electric/Adagio830 (2011)
Come Quietly 7″ – All Hands Electric (2010)
Walking Papers LP/CD – All Hands Electric (2008)
Outlander Sessions LP/CD – New World of Sound (2005)