Zach Caruso

Zach Caruso

 New Mexico, USA
BandRockBlues

Zach Caruso is a blues-rock singer/songwriter/guitarist. Described as "combining the smoothness of John Mayer, the soulfulness of Jonny Lang, and the storytelling of Bob Seger," Zach's stellar songwriting, soulful vocals, and impressive guitar playing has garnered outstanding reviews from fans and critics alike.

Band Press

Music Connection: New Music Reviews – Music Connection Magazine

Caruso’s brand of modern blues-rock is chick-friendly, mainly due to his pop-centric voice. His guitar chops will lure the guys like free beer. Add in the support of alluring singer Alicen Ragonese and you have a potent cocktail. On “Rusted Cage” her entrance really adds urgency as Caruso’s sinewy, groove-heavy lick catches the ear. His guitar soars and sears on “Might Be The Rain” and his agile bassist is also a fun standout. We like how Ragonese is allowed to take the mic front and center. Upbeat blues-rocker “Nobody Knows My Name” is a dead-ringer for Fleetwood Mac. Does Caruso want to be a chick magnet or a guitar hero? That is the question that even John Mayer hasn’t quite answered yet.

Down To The Crossroads: Zach Caruso Discusses Life in the Music World and Relating to Quarter-Lifers – Kristen Gilmartin (GALO Magazine)

Musicians deliver a piece of their souls every time they step on the stage, sometimes with the delicate pluck of a guitar string, the wild thrash of a drum, or an entrancing vocal croon. They give it their all with each attempt to reach a tender note, and although some of their audience members may forget these intense performances a few weeks to months later, the tidal wave of emotionally connecting with a group of strangers in the moment is exhilarating for every participant. It’s what drives many persistent artists and, ultimately, presents lucky listeners with immensely talented virtuosos. It gives us frontmen like New Jersey native Zach Caruso, a blues-rock aficionado who’s channeled his extraordinary gifts into a series of passion-laced albums. In his most recent contribution to the rock world, Might Be The Rain, Caruso transforms personal trials of past relationships into gritty and profoundly honest lyrical confessions.

The level of openness easily perceived within Caruso’s lyrics may seem daunting to others. However, the Florida-based artist, who’s described himself as “not much of a talker” in his personal life, finds simplicity in sharing his thoughts through his music. For the inarguably versatile guitarist/vocalist, his songs collectively serve as a form of escapism — a way to truly connect with fans while getting a few things off his chest.

“I’ve been in love with music, and what gets me through tough times is writing and listening,” Caruso said, reflecting on the notion of relating personal tales. “If I can share that and do that for one other person…that’s what it’s all about.”

Caruso may not be the next Eric Clapton or Robert Plant — after all, who is? — but he’s an artist in his own right, one who knows what most of us are going through and how to meaningfully convey it. Instead of typing out long-winded rants on Facebook or indulging in virtual confessions on a blog, he’s taking pen to paper, fingers to strings, and firing out exciting, rugged tunes. His albums are prime examples of what happens when a professional writer explores the art of rock music while staying true to the relatable, down-home nature that forms the core of the blues. It is poetry at its core. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has a near-raspy, soulful voice that will send chills down your spine as you watch him work his magic on the six-string.

Review: Zach Caruso - "Shades Of Blue – Rob F.

Since his debut album “Body & Soul” was released in early 2008, Zach Caruso has been touring his socks off, recorded a second album in 2010 (“Neon Lights”), earned a Master's degree in journalism and continues to hone his craft. A native of New Jersey, he displays all the musical traits you’d expect, an earthy, soulful approach to his performance and although he’s an accomplished guitarist, the songs invariably takes centre stage.

The one cover, Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” is muscular and burly, but doesn’t diminish the song in any way, and also provides a central point for the seven-track (38 min.) collection. As you can see, Caruso isn’t in any hurry and his songs benefit from the extended mixes. “Promised Land” is a fine opening cut, with its biblical references and driving rhythm, and “I Am David” is just as forceful and eloquent, and showcases his compelling guitar playing. “Come Now, My Enemy” calms the storm, and “Blanket Of Snow” is almost delicate compared to the earlier tracks. Although “The State I'm In” goes some way to redress the balance, before the concluding title track brings things to an unruffled climax, that is, until Caruso blows away any remaining cobwebs with an extended, and quite brilliant, solo.

Zach Caruso - "Shades Of Blue" – Ray Cavanaugh

It shouldn’t be shocking that Zach Caruso has a good grasp on lyrical composition: the man’s earned a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s in Writing. Some might say he has an unofficial degree in Guitar.

He also has considerable real-world experience, a full decade in fact, during which time he has opened for Grammy-nominated acts at several big-city venues along the East Coast.

Now comes the album Shades Of Blue: “an eclectic mix of sounds, drawing on blues-rock and folk-based styles.”

“Promised Land” is an energetically played acoustic track, in which the speaker sure seems to be having a crisis of the soul:

“I turned my back on my closest friends / I set my life ablaze then played a fiddle as I watched it end / If there’s a Jesus, sure as hell he has forsaken me.”

The electric guitar (and the distortion) is plugged in for the following track “I Am David.” The lyrics here also seem a tad formidable: “I am David / Life’s Goliath.” About 60% of the way through this track, we finally get a taste of a Caruso guitar solo; appetite whetted.

“Come Now, My Enemy” has some violent imagery and gloomy acoustic guitar reminiscent of the slower, brooding offerings from Stone Temple Pilots or Alice In Chains. Caruso lets loose on the vocals during this chorus.

“Ain’t No Sunshine” offers an earnest alt-rock melancholy. Two-thirds of the way through, there arrives this fine, brief sludge-rock guitar solo. I kinda wish Caruso would tear it up for a longer period of time.

“Blanket Of Snow” has the most melodic intro so far. There’s something wistfully romantic about this piece.

“The State I’m In” springs back to life with a spirited intro, and this rockin’ bounce sustains itself for quite some time, navigating through emphatic guitar chords and crashing cymbals.

The title track is my personal favorite. The adjectives “sincere” and “soulful” come to mind. Caruso’s voice is well-suited to this type of music. Also dig the rhythm guitar. And, yes, at last we get a full-length solo!

Review: Zach Caruso - "Shades Of Blue" – Joel McDowell

Originally from New Jersey, Zach Caruso has been consistently impressing audiences along the east coast since 2008. Currently residing in Tampa, Caruso released his third album “Shades of Blue” in September 2012 to massive appeal. The seven track album is a full dose of blues with a healthy mixture of rock and folk. If you’re looking for an honest, well thought out album you have no need to look any further.

The album begins with three battle ready songs in “Promised Land,” “I am David,” and “Come Now, My Enemy.” I call them battle ready because they are all about fighting for what you want as opposed to the typical blues albums that focus on losing something. The first thing that jumps out with these songs is the imagery of the lyrics. Caruso does an excellent job of painting pictures with his words and finding the appropriate instrumental avenues to bring these pictures to life. In “Promised Land” acoustic guitars and clean vocals are used to describe going to battle and holding out hope all “by the light of the moon”.By contrast “I am David” blends distorted guitars and damn gritty vocals to go with grungy lines like “I am wearing thin the leathers soles of the only pair of dress shoes I’ve come to own” to describe David’s defeat of Goliath. “I am David” throws out our first smooth but wailing guitar solo that leaves you waiting for the next one. While both of these songs are faster paced the differences in presentation are enough to make you excited about what might be waiting on the remainder of the album. It is also obvious that Caruso will refuse to obey the stereotypical rules that govern blues and pop music today. The result is songs that jump both feet in, are open hearted and full of originality. With the third track “Come Now, My Enemy,” Caruso takes an acoustic guitar and blues beat to belt out lyrics you’d hear from a cryptic metal band (“I tore up my history for confetti to throw down on a funeral procession at an indifferent crowd”- awesome).

The album then moves into a cover of Bill Wither’s smash “Ain’t No Sunshine” which at first seemed like a really odd place for a cover. Right smack dab in the middle of the album? After a full listen though it’s, easy to see that “Ain’t No Sunshine” successfully provides a shift in the album from these battle ready songs into songs about moving forward in life. In context it is the perfect song for this spot and the album would be completely thrown off without it. And besides that, it’s a killer cover that Caruso makes all his own. He still delivers the soulful vocals that are required for this song but adds distorted guitars and an edgy guitar solo that extends a two minute track to a six minute piece of art.

As mentioned, the last three songs transition into songs about moving forward in life. “Blanket of Snow” is fantastic in its approach to accomplish this change. From the first guitar note you can feel hope creeping into the album as Caruso (and backup female vocals) requests to be “covered up in a blanket of snow” in order to get a fresh start. The imagery associated with this song as off the charts (Is there a purer way to begin a fresh start than to cover your past in white snow?) and it quickly became my favorite song of the album. “The State I’m In” literally talks about moving on in life as Caruso tells us about his move from “the garden to sunshine” but also signifies a change in his mental state in looking forward. The double entendre is played out to perfection with a groove fit for foot tapping and head bobbing. The album winds down with the introspective title track “Shades of Blue” that seems to take a step back from the previous two as Caruso seems to be concerned with a setback after his moving on. The pure blues song contains a silky smooth guitar solo that is placed perfectly to signify reflection in Caruso’s mind as he was developing the song. The song is the ideal ending for the album as you can sense the possible creation of a vicious circle of fighting for love, losing love, moving on, and coming back only to have to fight again.

Zach Caruso’s “Shades of Blue” displays a wide range of influences and a lack of constraints to create an album unique, revealing, and thoroughly enjoyable. Caruso combines the smoothness of John Mayer, the soulfulness of Jonny Lang, and storytelling of Bob Seger to captivate his audience. While Caruso’s writing ability brought this album home for me I could just as easily have been convinced by his musical ability is as he effortlessly pulls off guitar solo after guitar solo. It’s very often that you find an album written with uncompromised integrity that could appeal to fans of all genres and of all ages, but “Shades of Blue” knocks it out of the park.

Zach Caruso: “Shades Of Blue” - Between The Grit and The Whisper – Rick Jamm

With more than 10 years of experience, Zach has opened for national acts, and played at some of the East Coast’s top venues including World Café Live, The Trocadero Theatre, and Hard Rock Café in Philadelphia, The Stone Pony in New Jersey, Webster Hall in New York, and The Grand Opera House in Delaware. In addition, he has had his music featured on radio stations such as 93.3 WMMR and Gashouse Radio in Philadelphia, as well as a live performance on Ocean 98.1 FM in Ocean City, Maryland. In addition to his musical endeavors, Zach also has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, and his Master’s Degree in writing.

Zach Caruso’s latest album “Shades Of Blue” was recorded at Morrisound Recording in Tampa,FL. The performers on the recordings include Zach Caruso (vocals/guitar), Brad Burge (drums) and Victor Caraballo (bass).

Containing seven tracks of Zach’s blues-rock and folk-based styles, what you really find on this album is some real depth and maturity. Let me say at the outset, that I appreciate this album, especially from the standpoint of where Zach is taking his ever-versatile vocals. He manages to navigate between the grit and the whisper, showing a strong penchant for emotion, which to me is the essence of music. It’s not so important how or what you are saying, but how much you believe in what you are saying, that eventually gets across to an audience. However, if like Zach, you are able to combine the lyrical components of meaning and expression, the end result is so much more satisfying.

Moreover it is heartening to see an artist follow what he really is. Most pop stars today are just glorified karaoke singers, who really have very little to do with the songs they sing; they are just mouthpieces for writers, producers and the rest of the record label machine. I recently watched an interview with one of the latest female megastars (I won’t mention her name for fear of embarrassment), where she bluntly admitted to having no musical talent (apart from her God-given vocal chords) or compositional skills, she just sang what was on the sheet of paper in front of her . I’ve listened to her stuff, and can guarantee that she wasn’t joking at all.

The reason why this album of “Shades Of Blue” is so different from many modern works is that Zach Caruso is expressing his own creations, so you’ll find more depth in an album like this, than in a megastore of what passes for popular music on the radio today.

Zach is an incredible songwriter and this album displays his ability to produce beautiful music in many styles. He switches easily from rock, to blues, to acoustic-folk, and back again, effortlessly. But the best thing about this “Shades Of Blue” is that it’s intimately Zach Caruso. Here we find the mature artist with something compelling, personal, and important of his own, to say!

At first listen, Zach Caruso sounds like he is singing from the gut, but he is actually doing it from the heart. Buy it now!