Texas-based Zack Walther Band latest album titled, The Westerner, is an Americana and roots music extravaganza with soul.
Equally at home performing country, blues, R&B and rock, Zack titled the disc The Westerner because he set out to create an album that is different than anything he and his band has ever released before. It embodies his journey from the Texas music scene to the main stream landscape. Americana, blues, or country, wherever The Westerner lands, it transcends though many genres because it combines all of Zack’s musical influences and all he’s learned performing in the Texas music scene for the past 15 years.
The album explores personal pride, betrayal, loss and redemption with Walther’s experimentation and lyrical hooks playing the hero. It takes listeners on a journey to the outskirts of traditional rhythm and blues and evokes the bold and eccentric yet accessible qualities of a Quinten Tarantino film. The Westerner is a barn-burning review, which walks the line between authenticity and disarming self-awareness.
Of the 10 songs on The Westerner, seven are all new and the remaining three had been previously released on an EP. “Those three songs are personal favorites of mine, and I wanted to share them again in new form on this record,” he says.
Although Zack led the creative effort for The Westerner, Zack credits Matthew Biggs, his drummer, and Mike Atkins, who plays piano, organ, and keys in addition to singing, for helping him make sure The Westerner got done. Well-known Austin-area guitarist David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp) also played on four tracks.
When asked for his favorite song on The Westerner, Zack says it’s one called “What Kind of Man.” …”My mentor Rodney Crowell heard me sing about eight years ago, and he told me then that I have a great voice but I should go home and listen to blues singers and R&B singers and learn from them. In short, he told me to figure out who I am.”
“What Kind of Man” came out of a dream Zack had one night, and he woke up and wrote the song in 30 minutes. “I was influenced by Otis Redding’s song, ‘These Arms of Mine,’ and ‘What Kind of Man’ has a power that people identify with the blues when I perform it,” Zack says.
In fact, Zack says the overall theme of The Westerner is soul. He says, “I have never sung like this on an album, and I reached out to places in my soul that I didn’t think I could get to and I captured it.”