by Malcolm Petch
There was a full house at SC this past Saturday, and an out-of-town visitor asked me about the pre-show music.
“Who are we listening to?” asked the guest. “This is good!”
The music on tap was by Zaac Pick, and the visitor’s reaction to it was common to first-time hearers of Zaac’s music.
Here at SC we first heard Zaac live when he visited Streaming Café in February of 2010. The gear got hauled in and set up, we were doing our normal soundcheck routine, and it seemed like a typical show setup. Until Zaac started playing.
The camera and lighting guy paused in his setup routine. The sound guy actually looked up from the board. The web sound guy came in from the van. The baristas stopped barista-ing and came out from behind the counter to watch and listen.
“Wow,” we said to each other. “This guy is really good.”
Since Streaming Café opened in 2009 we’ve had literally hundreds of artists come through our doors. The fact that we can remember Zaac’s first appearance testifies to the quality of his music and the tastiness of his appearance. And he’s been back twice since that first gig.
And on Saturday, September 22, we have the privilege of hosting him again.
This time out, Zaac is fresh on the heels of a nomination in the Best Solo Roots Recording category for this year’s Western Canadian Music Awards. His new four-song EP, Whitewater, was released last November as a follow-up to 2009’s Fierce Wind.
And lest you think our enthusiasm for Pick is just an in-house Streaming Café thing, you should know that others have been quick to pick up on the quality and freshness of his songs, too: My Century, from the 2009 EP, won top prize in Vancouver’s Shore 104FM Song Search contest. And three TV dramas, One Tree Hill, Degrassi, and Ghost Whisperer, all featured other tracks from the Fierce Wind EP.
That Song Search win helped Zaac with his latest EP, as part of the prize got him off and running into Nimbus Recording School to work with Canadian producer GGGarth Richardson. Richardson – engineer for Motley Crue, Nickelback, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others – runs the school as a way to pass on his expertise, and worked on Pick’s project with Shawn Cole, producer of other SC alumni including Yukon Blonde.