Hello! Welcome to the website for Steve Zarate, a singer, songwriter, acoustic guitarist & harmonica player currently based in Athens, Ohio. This Seagull Logo, drawn by Kathy Hocker in Juneau about 1995, appears on my CDs. You can check out my lyrics, discography & bio here, plus photos, articles, reviews and other bits of writing. There's also an updated performance calendar with my gig schedule, currently through May 2008.
Press Release: ATHENS SINGER-SONGWRITER STEVE ZARATE RELEASES “SILVER LININGS”...FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2008
Athens, Ohio-based musician Steve Zarate today releases “Silver Linings,” a new CD of six original songs in exciting new arrangements featuring contributions from 10 other talented local musicians.
A 47-year-old singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player and a 20-years-plus Athens resident, Zarate (rhymes with “karate”) played almost 100 gigs during 2007 at venues in Athens, Nelsonville and Logan OH and Parkersburg WV, where he performed last July as a 2007 Mountain Stage NewSong Festival Regional Co-Finalist. The “Silver Linings” project has received partial funding support through a $500 Ohio Arts Council Fast Track Grant awarded in January 2008. The OAC approved this grant based on the artist’s stated intention to use the money to upgrade his professional status via production of a first-class recording at Bernie Nau’s acclaimed Peach Fork Studios (www.peachforkstudios.com) near Pomeroy in Meigs County, Ohio.
Nau, an excellent pianist known both for playing with The Wingnuts, Aces & Eights and Kings of Hollywood and CDs he’s made with Celtic favorites Patrick Street & bluegrass stalwarts The Rarely Herd, approached Zarate in late 2007 about possible studio collaboration. Recording sessions soon became more feasible with acquisition of the OAC grant. In mid-January, Zarate recorded guitar, vocal and harmonica parts at Peach Fork Studios, and by late February, he and co-producer Nau (who plays keyboards on three songs) had brought in an all-star array of guest musicians to help create tasteful arrangements of Zarate’s tunes: drummer Derrick Nau (Bernie’s son) of heavy metal band Skeletonwitch; guitarist and dobro player Tristan Kinsley of The Princes of Hollywood; violinist and O.U. School of Music student Julia Reeves; singer Laura Nadeau, formerly of the band Stella; bassist Dave Borowski of The Billycats & The Wingnuts; mandolinist John “Catfish” Juliano of The Paranormals & formerly Stella; bassist Eric “Junebug” Leighton of The Paranormals & many other groups; banjoist Hilarie Burhans of The Hotpoint String Band; and fiddle player Rusty Smith of The Boys Of The Hock & The Appalachian Jazz Quartet.
“I call this little EP ‘Silver Linings’ because my songs tend to accentuate positive sides of things, the glass half full, hidden blessings, our abilities to overcome, persevere, learn and grow,” Zarate says. “Living in a highly creative community like Athens County, I feel fortunate to be daily inspired by so many talented, resourceful and expressive people. I wanted my first well-produced release to reflect that ‘little engine that could’ attitude, that determination to make something better of oneself and use one’s gifts as an artist to contribute something beautiful, hopeful and maybe even useful to our local and global communities.”
Zarate praises his partner and “Silver Linings” co-producer: “Bernie Nau really helped by polishing these songs sonically and capturing great performances from everyone involved. He’s got a great ear and amazing audio enhancement abilities. I’ve never heard my tunes sound so good before, and I’d recommend his engineering talents to any recording artist anywhere.”
Nau mixed and mastered the music on “Silver Linings” in March 2008, while Zarate worked on cover art and manufacturing. The resulting release showcases visual contributions from three southeastern Ohio businesses: a picture of Zarate at Nelsonville’s Fullbrook’s Café taken by photographer Brian Blauser of B & B Studios in Athens; layout design by Dave Norris and Ron Mash of Hometown Productions in The Plains; and printing by Minuteman Press in Athens. The CD’s front cover features a lovely photo of the Northern Lights above a boathouse next to an Alaskan lake.
Zarate, who can be reached at email@example.com, hopes this music “helps someone somewhere somehow.” “Silver Linings” will be available for $12 at upcoming Steve Zarate performances at The Sandstone in Logan, Rhapsody in Nelsonville and The Galley in Marietta, plus numerous street music performances near Athens’ popular Burrito Buggy, where he is well-known for playing to college students crowds. “Silver Linings” can also be obtained at Donkey Coffee in Athens starting later in April 2008. Scheduled appearances and related info are at www.myspace.com/stevezarate.
Here’s who plays what on “Silver Linings”:
(1) Cell Phone Song
Steve Zarate: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica / Bernie Nau: Keyboards
(2) Fear-Based Thinking
Steve Zarate: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar / Bernie Nau: Organ / Derrick Nau: Drums / Dave Borowski: Bass / Tristan Kinsley: Electric Guitar
(3) Living In Alaska
Steve Zarate: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar / Tristan Kinsley: Dobro / Julia Reeves: Violin
(4) Jewel Of The Hocking
Steve Zarate: Lead & Harmony Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica / Laura Nadeau: Harmony Vocals / Eric “Junebug” Leighton: Bass / John “Catfish” Juliano: Mandolin / Hilarie Burhans: Banjo
(5) Warren's Song (Oh What A Ride)
Steve Zarate: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar / Derrick Nau: Drums / Dave Borowski: Bass / Tristan Kinsley: Electric Guitar / Julia Reeves: Violin
(6) Summer’s First Rays
Steve Zarate: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica / Laura Nadeau: Lead & Harmony Vocals / John “Catfish” Juliano: Mandolin / Hilarie Burhans: Banjo / Rusty Smith: Fiddle / Dave Borowski: Upright Bass
To hear these tracks, please visit www.myspace.com/stevezarate. To order a copy of my new CD for $12, please get that amount to me ASAP by (1) sending it to Steve Zarate, 19 E. Clearview Dr., Apt. B, Athens OH 45701, (2) if you live in the Athens area, calling me at 740-593-3768 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a get-together, or (3) purchasing it at one of my performances.
MySpace sites for my CD's guest musicians…
Rusty Smith: www.myspace.com/rustysmith1
Hilarie Burhans: www.myspace.com/hotpointstringband
Laura Nadeau: www.myspace.com/lornadoe
Catfish & Junebug: www.myspace.com/theparanormls
Tristan Kinsley: www.myspace.com/theprincesofhollywood
(I hear Dave Borowski is working on a MySpace site of his own, too.)
UPCOMING: On Saturday, May 31, 7-11 p.m., I perform again at The Sandstone, www.sandstonerestaurant.com/, 117 West Main St., Logan, Ohio 43138, 740-385-9479. I've enjoyed playing in this fine restaurant (patio in spring and summer, indoor Bistro in colder times) and meeting more of the good Logan-area folks each time I come to visit. Please stop by sometime...you know, The Sandstone's not only a really nice place for a night out, but it's also only 28 miles from Athens! My calendar page has more Sandstone dates through April.
On Saturday, June 7, I'll participate in a SONGWRITER FESTIVAL at The Galley, www.thegalleymarietta.com/, 203 2nd Street, Marietta OH, 740-374-8278. It's an all-day event of performances, workshops and contests! I'll play in several settings and will be among a number of singer-songwriters with a chance at opening an evening show headlined by John Prine's guitarist, Jason Wilber! Check out www.songwriternight.com for details. Then I'll return to The Galley on Saturday, June 14 for a solo gig of my own, 9 to midnight.
On Friday, June 20, I play again from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Rhapsody, www.hocking.edu/Templates/rhapsody.dwt, 18 Public Square, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764, 740-753-5740. Since March 2006, I've played over 60 nights at this wonderful restaurant, fingerpicking guitar instrumentals with harmonica accompaniment as nice background dining atmosphere, and welcoming requests. Please see my calendar page for more Rhapsody dates.
ONGOING: I continued to perform a lot around the Athens, Ohio area. On warmer weekend evenings, there will be my usual street music by the Burrito Buggy, in which I engage passing patrons among the animated Ohio University campus crowds in spontaneous bursts of songcraft, both original and, shall we say, "classic," satisfying as many requests as possible and frequently stimulating singalong scenarios. If you're in the vicinity of Court & Union Streets on a warm (or at least mild) weekend night this spring, stop by and join in, why dontcha?
I am available to perform at private parties at which hosts can hire me to entertain the heck out their party guests and themselves with hundreds of familiar as well as original songs. My rates are not steep, so please contact me at 740-593-3768 for details and to set up an "Invisible Campfire" in your own living room!
I'm also available to perform for children's birthday parties and similar kid-type events. I can engage youngsters in a whole set of fun tunes they can learn to sing and play along with ("Puff," "Yellow Submarine," "The Marvelous Toy," etc.). For references and details, please reach me at 740-593-3768.
And I always welcome new students for guitar lessons, $15-$25/hour depending on location and a few other factors. Again, please call 740-593-3768 to discuss possibilities.
Thanks for visiting, and please check back for updated info! See you around...Steve Zarate