Singer-songwriter Zak Ward from Toledo, Ohio has a slightly hoarse voice that would have been at ease in a loud rock band. By going for melodic, country-tinged pop on his debut album This Wonderful Playground the inherent discrepancies give the songs an edge that would have been missing with a clean-cut set of pipes.
Naming The Beatles as a key influence on his work is quite accurate, although the Fab Four never dabbled in Tex Mex tunings. Stand-out tracks: the tender Beautiful (with a vinyl crackle intro) and the ukulele driven Musicians Wife, a long distance love letter to his girl while being on the road. The icing on the cake is supplied by Waiting, with its old school organ and lush background vocals.
Zak Ward: vocals, guitar, ukulele, piano
Mikey Biddle: keyboards
Franky May: bass
Allen Spencer: percussion
Bob Stevens: guitar
- Vast City
- Musicians Wife