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Zack Slik Brings “Old-Time” Music to Worcester

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Zack Slik carries on a family tradition. Photo courtesy of Helen Beaumont

Worcester-area musician Zack Slik plays a style that has never been considered too common in the New England area, but that's not a problem for him. He has carved out his own little niche for himself in Worcester County, performing his own brand of "old-time" country, jug band blues and bluegrass at bars and restaurants throughout the area.

The Clinton native grew up surrounded by bluegrass. Thanks to his dad and uncle who were expert purveyors of the craft, his family used to take trips in the summer to bluegrass festivals and camp out for the weekends. He quickly took a liking to the art and began to perform himself.

"I have always loved music," remarks the musician.

"I like to be able to connect to people with an instrument. Since my teens when I started playing string instruments, I’ve enjoyed being able to entertain people. What is the best for me is when I can get through to people with something I’ve written, when it makes them dance or sing along, to something I’ve written. That’s the best part."

Storytelling through Music

What often makes bluegrass and old country music attractive to both the performer and the listener is its ability to tell interesting stories in a straightforward manner. Zack Slik is no exception. He loves telling stories to the audience, expressing his thoughts through music, and has always been attracted to the "simplicity" of old ballads.

"With just a little you can produce so much," Slik states.

He has a few instruments of choice with which he impressively produces his music on stage. He ably switches off between mandolin, guitar, and 5-string banjo, and often accompanies these instruments with a harmonica or kazoo. Though he likes to keep things simple, he also keeps his act fresh, sometimes playing songs differently one night than he would other nights. But his performances are always centered around a love and appreciation for that same American Old-time Music.

Where You Can Hear Zack Slik

In addition to his solo project, Zack Slik can be commonly seen performing with many other musicians around Worcester. He is a member of The Farmers Union Players and has shared numerous duo sets with Big Jon Short. Venues he can be most often seen at in Central Mass include, but are not limited to, Beatnik's (last Thursday of every month) and Vincent's in Worcester, and the Rye and Thyme in Leominster.

He has also been branching out recently, performing at notable venues outside the state.

"It is a bit of a challenge but I hope to be able to reach a broader audience," says Slik.

He has recently gone beyond the stage and entered the recording studio. Within the past year he circulated his first self-titled album at his shows and at Union Music. It is truly his very own creation, literally from scratch.

"I hand print the CD sleeves and CD. I have found it very rewarding," he remarks.

He is currently writing new material, possibly in preparation for a second album.

"Perhaps recording some of the traditional tunes I play along with the new songs I have written," he says, speaking of the possible contents of the next album.

Judging by his recent success, the future is looking incredibly bright for this talented bluegrass artist, but he'll continue to keep it simple.

"I would like to continue to perform for as long as I have the ability to make music. It is really a passion of mine," he states.

For more information on Zack Slik and to hear some of his music please find him on Facebook and Reverbnation.


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