Brock Zeman
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Brock Zeman

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Brock Zeman - Me Then You review"

Brock Zeman is one of those artists that is always placed under the singer songwriter banner, but is also an artist that is let down by the term, there being so much more to his music that blends what is predominately left field country with small, but substantial amounts of blues and roots rock. He seems to be a man that is just a little under the radar for mainstream to take much notice of, but I’m sure if they did they would be as hugely impressed as those of us that have followed his career. Basically, this is his ninth album, with one of those being a live acoustic recording and each and every one is well worth owning, consisting as they do of excellent writing, instrumentation and his full of character, gravelly vocals that on occasions can sound like a young Tom Waits. This current album is another addition to that catalogue of excellent recordings, but is also one that seems to improve with every listen, something that doesn’t happen with your average album.
Originality is always something that is difficult to gauge, although in Zemans case there is no one I would really care to draw direct comparisons with, despite certain songs being reminiscent of various other artists. It’s probably true to say that within the ‘roots’ genre there is very little that has never been done before, but Brock Zeman definitely has his own individual style of doing things, coming at certain subjects from slightly different angles. For guide purposes putting him in a vaguely similar territory to someone such as Fred Eaglesmith is not too much of a stretch, just don’t expect them to be too much alike!
This recording in particular contains some gorgeous and memorable melodies irrespective of whether the song is medium or slow in tempo, showing his considerable talent to it’s fullest. He has a highly descriptive writing style that covers plenty of territory including lost love, life on the wrong side of the tracks, deep love and even the end of the world! The album starts with Push Them Stones a really good twangy dark rock song with excellent backing and instrumentation and those young Tom Waitsian vocals! There are several high quality ballads with Light In The Attic, being slow and moody with beautiful steel guitar and tells of the sorrow in missing an ex lover, whilst End Of The World is summed up by it’s title. Until It Bleeds is a mid tempo, highly evocative song from the perspective of a man falling apart after his true love has left him and contains some nice harmonies on the chorus with jangling guitars and steel guitar in the background. Triple Crown is a terrific mid tempo country rocker about a seedy little Texas bar and it’s inhabitants from the persective of one of the musicians that plays there, again with nice chiming jangly guitars and on Claws there is a slightly sinister intensity and a really strong bluesiness. Virtually every song on this excellent album works really well, although the epic closing track Rain On The Roof #2, clocking in at over nine minutes, could perhaps have benefitted from being a little shorter, although many will think this is just splitting hairs and to a degree it is.
All in all a terrific album that makes you wonder how he is not already a household name, but he is still only around thirty years of age so there’s still plenty of time hopefully. - American Roots UK


Brock Zeman is one of those songwriters who continuously blows my mind. And I just can’t understand why he isn’t a household name. He has released nine albums, including this one – and last year’s Ya Ain’t Crazy, Henny Penny was as good as they come. And you know I’m a sucker for a good songwriter who really knows how to get good lyrics across to the listener.

And now he’s back with another collection of songs. And they are even better. How he does it is beyond me, but my theory is that he actually should have been an author. Because his songs aren’t just songs. They are stories. Brilliantly crafted short-stories where he creates characters who come alive for 3-4 minutes and take on real lives in which they convey their story before leaving us with a sensation that we actually have gotten to know a piece of someone’s life.

He creates a setting and characters as effectively as a painter, using clear strokes to make the painting true to nature and easy to believe. Writing short stories is a craft in it’s own, and not many authors master that craft like Brock Zeman. In some ways he reminds me of writers Frank Bill and his “Crimes in Southern Indiana” and Daniel Woodrells “The Outlaw Album”.

Compared to Ya Aint’ Crazy, this time around there’s a bit more bite to the production, giving it a bit more rock’n’roll. The album doesn’t have any weak songs, but a couple of them stand out above the rest as simply wonderful.
One of the best examples of his writing and building of characters that make us want to know more you can find in “Triple Crown”:

«The guitar player’s got a Stetson and a smoke dangling from his lips
And he looks just as greasy as his guitar licks
The prettiest girl in the whole bar asked me what my name was
But the band was so goddamn loud that I never caught hers
But I got her hair in my mouth from screaming in her ear
And it smelled just like cigarettes and her breath smelled like beer
In my mind we got married and I moved to Austin that fall
And she learned every word to every one of my songs»

One of my favourite books is Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”, and I loved the tv-show Jericho (at least season 1). I’ve been fascinated by the concept of the world collapsing and how the remaining humanity will cope for as long as I can remenber, and the song “The End Of The World” puts that all into song;

«It’s the end of the world, it’s just you and me
I know it might sound crazy but I always knew it would end up this way
The building’s were collapsing and the sky was on fire
I said, “there’s nothing to be afraid of” and you said, “you’re a terrible liar”»

The closing songs are nothing short of brilliant. “Rain On The Roof – part 1” and “Rain On The Roof – part 2” capture that melancholy feeling you get while sitting inside, listening to the rain outside. The thoughts that usually appear create the backdrop of the song, and while the songs are totally different – they are the same. The way the sound of the rain is used in part 2, fading into a moody organ, before it all trickles out with the sound of the rain is just fantastic.

I love this album. And I hope you will too. Brock Zeman really deserves a bigger audience. There is far between songwriters creating songs on such a consistently high level, and he just don’t release bad albums. I’m not sure how he does it, but give him the attention he deserves and if you’re into lyrics you won’t regret it! - Nine Bullets


Still working on that hot first release.



With nine-albums to his name and a few hundred live performances every year for almost a decade, singer-songwriter Brock Zeman is well-established as one of the Ottawa Valley’s hardest working musicians. All of this before the age of 30. He’s also highly regarded, having earned praise from critics across the country. Exclaim! magazine says Zeman “is a songwriter worth hearing over and over again,” CKUA hails Zeman’s work as “intelligent, tuneful, heart-felt songs served up with an authentic but understated style” and the KW Record says that “Zeman
doesn’t surrender an inch to any Texas singer/songwriter you care to name. Closer to home, he has the chops to join the likes of Fred Eaglesmith on the lonesome outskirts of town after the street lights come on.”

Zeman has also played on stage with some of the top talent of the contemporary roots and Americana scenes, including Steve Earle, Lynn Miles, Fred Eaglesmith, Corb Lund, Toby Keith, Prairie Oyster and the Rodeo Kings, to name a select few. Keith Glass of Prairie Oyster calls him, “an emerging Canadian powerhouse,” while Juno-award winner, Lynn Miles says “he’s a master songwriter…he belongs on stage with the big boys.” By his mid-20s, Zeman signed with Busted Flat Records and had played most major music festivals in the country. So marks the first fine chapter in Zeman’s music trajectory.

The past year has seen Zeman take on new challenges and roles in the music industry and expand his musical horizons. He founded Mud Records, his signature label for releasing new material, including his most recent
album “Me Then You.” But Mud Records also serves as the imprint for showcasing new roots talent handpicked by Zeman. The first release on Zeman’s label was “Nights Take Forever” from singer-songwriter, Robert Larisey who made the Top 50 Artists listing in the Roots Music Report for the recording, while gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. More recently, Mud Records released the debut album by the Brothers Through the Hill, “Adelaide”; the album received a rave review in the Ottawa Citizen, which also added that Zeman “recognizes talent when he
sees it.” Rootstime calls Mud Records “a promising young label.”

Zeman has also stepped away from his guitar for a time and worked behind-the-scenes in the production studio on his most recent album as well as both the Larisey and Brothers Through the Hill releases. Zeman also produced the debut album from renown fantasy author, Charles de
Lindt. He is also planning and producing albums for a small roster of other musical acts to be released on Mud Records in the coming months.

Band Members