Szlachetka (Full Band)
The sophomore album from Rolling Stone Artist to Watch, SZLACHETKA (pronounced SLA-HET-KA) was released February 16, 2018. With its mix of modern Americana, 70s California rock, and singer/songwriter sentiments, Heart of My Hometown is a classic record for the contemporary world.
Singer/songwriter Szlachetka co-wrote the 11 songs for his record while on the roadfinding breaks during a busy two-year period that saw him playing roughly 400 shows. Traveling alone, he kept an eye on the world unrolling outside his car window. The sights, sounds, and stories he encountered along the way eventually found their way into his own music, resulting in a hook-filled, guitar-driven record about highways, homes, and the people who fill both.
Years before he teamed up with Grammy-winning producer David Bianco (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams) for the Heart of My Hometown sessions, Szlachetka was the frontman of acclaimed LA-based roots-rock band the Northstar Session. With the band, he recorded five albums and appeared in NBCs TV series Parenthood. He began his solo career in 2014 releasing Waits for a Storm to Find.
Three years later, Heart of My Hometown shines new light on Szlachetka as a singer, prolific songwriter, storyteller, and fiery lead guitarist. It's an album whose touchstones include the charged roots-rock of Tom Petty and the warm, acoustic sounds of Jackson Browne. Szlachetka moves between both ends of that spectrum with ease, splitting his time between full-band anthems including the riff-heavy "Until That Echo," co-written with Train's Scott Underwood and more intimate, acoustic moments like "Wildflowers on the Highway," featuring an appearance by duet partner Katelyn Clampett. The album's title track rests somewhere in the middle, layering pop hooks and three-part harmonies into a nostalgic song about remembering one's roots. It's an album built for road trips, slow dances, wild Friday nights, and everything in between.
Rolling Stone hailed Szlachetka as one of the 10 New Artists You Need to Know, describing his forthcoming album as "a soundtrack for both the highway and the heartland...a collection of road-dog roots-rockers and Americana ballads inspired by the people (and places) he's left behind in the rearview mirror."
Now based in Nashville, Szlachetka continues to tour nationally with a schedule that's seen him open for Brandy Clark, the Byrds' Chris Hillman, the Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell, Brandi Carlile and more.
The allure of the highway and the comfort of staying home form the core of singer/songwriter Matthew Szlachetkas lyrics. With titles like Ready To Run Again, Wildflowers On The Highway, and Heart Of My Hometown, Szlachetka (pronounced Sla-het-ka) addresses the internal and eternal conflict all artists face at some point in their career balancing home life and the road.
Heart Of My Hometown, Szlachetkas sophomore release, showcases his solid guitar skills, sweet emotive vocals and concise writing. The New England native, who now calls Nashville home, creates muscular, melodic and joyous roots-rock that holds its own in your music playlist, nestled comfortably between Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban, Jason Isbell and Bob Seger, never approaching the level of cover band mimicry.
Named One of the 10 Artists You Need To Know by Rolling Stone, he recently released a video for his latest single Until That Echo last month. American Songwriter caught up with him to discuss writing, the road and musical inspirations.
How did Until That Echo evolve? How did you come up with the guitar progression?
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