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Tour kicks off this week in the Midwest! All details in the Tour section.
8/9 - Milwaukee, WI
8/12 - Pewaukee, WI (private event)
8/13 - Chicago, IL
8/14 - Indianapolis, IN
See you soon.
I put on “Papercut” earlier and instantly I was back in that big yellow bus, right side, three-quarters to the back, seat ahead of the wheel hump. I’ve got my knees up on the shiny gray panel in front of me, and there’s some melted spots in it where a kid with a BIC lighter made his mark on the world. The smell is a muted blend of chewed gum, fake leather, and socks. The bus stops and the brakes make an awful screech. Somebody else with a backpack jumps on and the diesel lurches forward again. I’m tired and my eyes are barely open. I’m dreading the day because I hate school, but, I’m excited because there’s a girl and I'm falling in love for the first time.
Two weeks ago today I was in Indianapolis on the second stop of the All Of Me Tour. Despite all the times I’ve driven past on I-65, it was a brand new place for me and my music. The day completely exceeded my expectations, and for that reason I’ve decided it was the highlight of the tour. I say “day” because I had two separate performances on March 4 — One at a Hubbard & Cravens in the morning and the other as a special guest at the Irvington First Friday concert series.
It was a wonderful day, and the reason for that was the people. From my gracious Couchsurfing host, John, to my booking contacts I met in-person for the first time, to the baristas behind the counter, I would have never thought so many folks would make me feel so comfortable in a city I had never set foot in before.
And the best part, of course — connecting with a wonderful audience. The attorney who was headed to the hospital to visit her father after his open heart surgery. The woman whose face lit up immediately as she came in the door and later explained, “I walked in and you were playing my favorite song of ALL TIME.” There was also a man named Barry Patrick.
I don’t typically get jittery anymore before I perform. My pulse races a little, yeah, but these days it’s all just the excited anticipation of doing what I love. I pulled up to the Hubbard & Cravens on 49th and Penn at around 8:30 that morning feeling downright nervous. I guess it had been a while since I played a coffee shop set, and I realized it takes a lot of guts to set up and just start playing music for people who didn’t really plan on hearing a guy and a guitar. They planned on coffee and computers. Maybe earbuds. Still, here goes nothin,' I thought. I parked the car and unloaded all my stuff. In came the sound system. In came a guitar. In came more stuff. A mic stand, two speaker stands. And sure enough — I would pile it all no more than five feet from a table where a person was sitting. An older gentleman, gray hair and glasses, he sat there quietly with his mug and a pen and newspaper. “Don’t mind me!” I said with a grin as I rearranged a few tables and chairs. His body wiggled. His chair legs scooted an inch and a half to his left with a resounding “ooOOOEERT” that could be heard two coffee shops away. I finished making all sorts of clatter and started singing to the side of his face.
The next few hours redirected my focus to what else was happening in the room. People were enjoying themselves. Some made it a point to tell me so. One said my voice was “luminous.” Others thanked me for being there and purchased a CD and drew their email on my list so I could talk to them again. My nerves were cooled. My heart was happy. I was the artist I knew I was. I made some people’s mornings and I did it with song. Success.
I looked back in front of me at one point and the old man had his hands folded and resting on his belly. His head was leaned back and his eyes were closed, his crossword puzzle half finished. I thought he might have fallen asleep. I announced a set break shortly before noon and got up from my seat.
Just then, the man stirred from his place at the small round table, and I heard him speak for the first time. “Thanks for the music,” said a gruff, beard covered voice. His knees cracked as he rose from the chair and proceeded to take two twenty-dollar bills from his wallet and place them in my merch box. “I was in the arts for thirty years. I know how it is,” he said. I thanked him with as much sincerity as I could muster in that moment. I asked for his name. My words ran into each other as I proposed keeping in touch, maybe through email or something. “I don’t do any of that internet stuff,” Barry said, and he made his way to the door.
Meeting Barry that day has stuck with me, and I think it will for a long time. It’s a perfect example of how foolish our worries can be. I like to consider myself a pretty fearless person, but it’s times like these that remind me I still have some work to do.
To Indianapolis: It was so greet meeting you. I had a fantastic time that morning and an equally enjoyable one that night. Thanks for the warm welcome. Thanks for listening to the music and for supporting what I do.
And if anyone sees Barry, please relay the message.
"Zach Steinbach makes some really, really gorgeous music."
-Stephen Kallao, Audio Director at Slacker Radio (San Diego, CA)
Since Milwaukee-based rock/pop group The Color Truth disbanded in late 2010, the former lead singer has taken some time to reconsider, write, and (inevitably) grow a few years older. 2013 gave life to a brand new solo artist career fueled by a renewed passion for writing songs and performing them with a heart wide open. His debut solo album, Waiting, sets an inviting tone of organic, folk-influenced music driven by lush acoustic guitars and string instruments.
Zach's current release, All Of Me EP stands testament to a new depth in songwriting, love and loss, and keeping one foot in front of the other:
"This is a breakup album, no doubt. I wanted to create something that honors the past rather than drag it through the dirt, and I think I accomplished that here. I needed to. After all, I gave my heart to [that relationship]. I wanted to leave it in a good place."
Recorded in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the string arrangements and many of the instrumental parts were written and performed by Zach himself. He claims to have left nothing to waste in the writing and recording of these five songs and gave himself to the project completely. "The only way to do this right was to bleed all over it," he says. Hence the fitting title, All Of Me.
Also brand new is the more uplifting song, "Heart Of A Woman" - A crowd favorite for its simple beauty, message, and melody. The single and its official video were released in tandem with All Of Me EP in the fall of 2015.
Zach currently resides just minutes north of downtown Nashville, TN with his wife Kacey and occasional brown recluse spiders.
With the Autumn of 2006 came the meeting of Zach Steinbach and drummer Frank Babeck. The two began arranging and recording a few songs Zach had written, and quickly the dream of forming a band was born. Lead guitarist Dave Streese and bassist Dana Nielsen rounded out the positions, and rock/pop band The Color Truth was made official one year later. The quartet would go on to record and release two EPs and perform at many fine clubs and venues including Milwaukee's own Summerfest, Shank Hall, and Historic Turner Hall Ballroom. The Color Truth performed for the final time in August of 2010.
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