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The Zach Pietrini Band: Holding Onto Ghosts

Jan. 24, 2017
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The impression given by Milwaukee Americana singer-songwriter Zach Pietrini in his social-media presence is of a well-adjusted, cheerful husband and father. The release of his fifth album, Holding Onto Ghosts, evidences an ability to write from darker places than he currently inhabits. Between songs celebrating his daughter’s love of dancing and the struggle to make music his full-time vocation, he has no trouble plumbing the depths of drunken, romantic despair and regret.

Pietrini’s versatility is nearly confounding. But when he strips back production from his full band to his voice, acoustic guitar and little else on a couple of touching numbers at the album’s end, the effect sensitizes his thoughtful lyrics. At only nine tracks, Ghosts sounds a bit abbreviated. What it lacks in running time, however, it makes up for with uncanny artistic and personal balance.

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