Zak Sobel
Gig Seeker Pro

Zak Sobel

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Folk Acoustic




"Zak Sobel Duo to play Summer’s Best Music Fest, 3pm on Saturday, Allen Street"

This Saturday, June 25th, is State College’s annual Summer’s Best Music Fest: a day-long street bazaar featuring musical acts spread throughout downtown State College between three stages and several other venues. While flipping through the featured acts there was one that caught my eye. The Zak Sobel Duo is scheduled to play on the Allen Street Stage at 3pm, and I will definitely be in attendance.

Zak Sobel is a folk rock artist based in State College. With a three-album catalogue, Sobel writes music that is soulful and reminiscent of Dispatch mixed with Moe. and a dash of State Radio. Sobel is a recent graduate of Penn State who has certainly made the rounds in the State College music scene.

I first heard Sobel’s music while on a long car ride during a THON canning weekend, and I have always been interested to see him play live. Now I have my chance. My one hope is that he plays his own music rather than covering someone else. He’s got true talent and this Saturday everyone in attendance needs to hear his music. - WPSU Blue Robot

"Zak Sobel Duo at Summer’s Best - Concert Review"

It was an overcast Saturday in State College, but that didn’t stop folks from coming out for the 2011 Summer’s Best Music Fest. After passing through the various street vendors and stopping into McLanahan’s for an iced-tea, I took my seat in front of the Allen Street stage. With Jack Johnson streaming through the speakers, the Zak Sobel Duo was tuning their guitars and warming up in preparation for their set. Zak, dressed in relaxed jeans and flip-flops, and lead guitar Isaac Bishop, sporting a “Sublime” t-shirt, seemed ready for a laid-back jam session.

The duo began their set to a light crowd, but it didn’t take long for the pair to draw in listeners. “Voodoo Women,” off Sobel’s latest album Barcelona was great to see live. As Zak and Isaac played this undeniably catchy folk song, the sincerity of Sobel’s writing became increasingly more evident as I saw the earnestness with which he performed it. His soothing voice gave way to his gift of songwriting and soon the seats around me were filled with listeners who were equally as enthralled with the music that filled Allen Street.

Sobel soon broke out his harmonica and went right into another song from Barcelona: “Hard Times.” As Sobel played and sang with remarkable ease, one song easily flowed into the next, and the laid-back folk vibe was dripping from the stage. However, the duo didn’t have a ton of chemistry together. While their music gelled, there wasn’t much interplay between the two and for much of the set, Bishop showed virtually no emotion. Sobel, however, demonstrated a great amount of showmanship. He joked about his musical genre of choice in terms of performance saying that people often ask, “Why do you sing country music? You’re from Long Island. There’s no country there.” Sobel’s comfort within his musical style is evident, but after giving no explanation it does make you wonder how a boy from Long Island fell into strumming a guitar rather than spinning house records.

“Queen” was one of my favorite songs from the set. With the lyric “I’m just a pawn, the subservient one, you’re my Queen make your move,” I was reminded yet again of the wit that Sobel puts into his lyrics. While it could easily move toward cliché, there is something so endearing about the music. After re-tuning, the duo rounded out their set with “Make Me Change My Mind” and “Travelin’ Alone,” during which two adorable Sobel fans, who couldn’t have been more than three-years-old, wandered up to the stage to dance along with the summery music.

Sobel also premiered his song “Who Will Take Me In” that he wrote for a film which is still in production in Budapest. It was a beautiful song, with something almost heartbreaking about it.

As I sat listening to the final moments of the concert, I could hear the group next to me murmuring about the different songs they were glad he had chosen to play. As an artist, it is important to play music that people want to hear and among the crowd there were definitely people waiting to hear their favorite Zak Sobel originals. This was truly the greatest testament to the kind of music that Sobel writes and performs. He produces lyrics and melodies that listeners crave, and this listener will certainly be back for more. - WPSU Blue Robot

"Zak Sobel Band at Arts Fest 2011"

When I said I would be back for more, I meant it. After seeing local musician Zak Sobel perform at Summer’s Best Music Fest, I was anxious to see him again. This past Arts Fest weekend, I attended another live show by Zak Sobel. However, this time he brought a band with him. It was a six man band equipped with drums, keys, electric guitar, bass, and sax with Zak on acoustic guitar. The band was prepped to play to a full crowd on Allen Street on the Saturday of the Festival.

With seating limited, a few friends and I set ourselves cleverly next to the mist machine, catching the occasional watery refresh that floated through the air. I was glad to be back to see Sobel play another set with more power behind him. Again Zak presented his laid-back demeanor, sipping casually from a red solo cup as the band had a quick sound check. Finally Zak stepped up to the old-school crooner mic placed before him and started to sing.

The band broke out into “Cares Float Away,” a track off their latest album Barcelona. This was a song that Sobel played in his “duo” set and it was amazing to see in its full form. It started out slower and by the first verse took off running. The whole sound seemed much less labored than the previous performance I had seen. With all of the backing instrumentation, the music was able to bloom into the perfect summer music combination, full and joyous. Sobel also threw one of my personal favorites into the mix with “Voodoo Woman,” too. The band really hit their groove, every member gelling together.

“Hard Times,” a friend remarked to me, bears a striking resemblance to Van Morisson’s “Crazy Love.” The crowd was swaying along to the beat and couldn’t help but fall in love with Sobel’s perfectly constructed tunes. This is another song that Sobel played in the “duo” set, and this time harmonies were added bringing a greater depth to the music. The sound became fuller and warmer and the story of the song became alive. “It’s hard to be a man without a woman by your side,” that lyric coming from Sobel’s sultry baritone would make any girl swoon. The band continued on into a great cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.”

With this cover, the band’s infectious energy was never-ending in the summer heat and even had passers-by singing along as they cruised the streets of Arts Fest.

As I stood in the heat of the summer sun, my Irish skin baking in the hot rays, I couldn’t help but feel like I was swimming when the band broke out “Clay Sun,” a song off their album Songs Joanna Likes. It was slow, energetic, and crisp. It read on the faces of the crowd that they felt the same refreshing nature wash over them as the band played. “When the Green River Flows” was my final favorite of the set. It spoke to the musical heart in everyone and, performed with the full band, it emanated over the State College streets leaving all those within earshot feeling just a little bit happier.

If I could set the two Sobel concerts I saw side-by-side and was forced to choose one, I would take the Zak Sobel Band any day of the week. The entire performance had more pep, enthusiasm, and spark. The band was completely in tune with each other, weaving the music together effortlessly. While the duo left me with more to be desired from Sobel, after experiencing the music fully, I’ll take the band, please.

If you would like to purchase music from the Zak Sobel Band, CLICK HERE and name your price! - WPSU Blue Robot

"Singer Zak Sobel is sticking to his story"

Zak Sobel may be only 22 years old, but he has plenty of stories to tell. As an up-and-coming folk-rock singer in the vein of James Taylor and Van Morrison, he shares those stories while performing for audiences in State College and major East Coast cities.
This weekend, Sobel, along with his lead guitarist and songwriting partner Josh Angert, will entertain State College crowds at both the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and at Cafe 210 West. This summer, Sobel is playing gigs in State College, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh.
Sobel, who recently received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Penn State, started playing guitar only four years ago. As a freshman, he started playing with his friend, Mike Doyle, in the folk-rock band British Phil. In April 2010, Sobel formed the five-member Zak Sobel Band and performed at a student-run benefit concert for earthquake victims in Haiti. The band also has performed at the end-of-year concert for Students Organizing the Multiple Arts and the Movin’ On Music Festival at Penn State, and regularly plays at local bars such as The Darkhorse and Cafe 210 West. He sometimes plays as a solo artist, at other times with his full band, and occasionally with Angert.
For Sobel, a native of Long Island, N.Y., his family has been his muse. His first EP, “For Jane,” was a tribute to his mother. Released in May 2010, his first LP, “Songs Joanna Likes,” named for his sister, found its way onto iTunes and other social media sites. His second LP, “Barcelona,” released in March, also was inspired by his sister, a Penn State junior who studied in Barcelona in the spring. The albums were recorded with session musicians for an independent label in Long Island. His songs “Make Me Change My Mind and Stay” and “Sweetheart, Do Not Fear” climbed the charts to No. 1 and No. 19 on the top Singer-Songwriter charts of in November.
Sobel frequently writes about trains and the sea in his songs, he said. The sea is infinite and vast, he added, which is how he feels about music and songwriting.
“A lot of my songs are about movement, whether it’s movement in relationships or movement in life,” he said.
“Zak’s music is all about the lyrics,” said Angert, a 2011 Penn State graduate who now lives in Germantown, Md. “The songs have been getting progressively more and more mature.”
While Sobel said that he enjoys playing for both State College crowds and urban audiences, he admitted that they are different experiences. In the local bars, he said, the Penn State students generally want to hear cover songs. In the urban clubs, there is a somewhat older clientele that is more open to original music. But playing mostly covers with a few originals mixed in can be beneficial, he added, because it forces him to be selective about the original songs he plays.
Sobel is currently broadening his songwriting horizons by writing scores for independent films. He was playing his songs in a cafe in New York City, he said, when they caught the ear of executive producer Michael Pollock. Sobel has been hired to write scores for several films, including “Cunning Little Vixen,” a $16.5 million film starring Christopher Lloyd and Shannon Elizabeth. Writing music for movies is a lot different than writing songs for albums, Sobel said, because movie scores are mostly instrumental and must be tailored to individual scenes in the film.
Sobel, who is currently working on six new songs to add to his latest CD, said his advice to aspiring musicians is “just start writing songs.” Success in the music business, he said, is a result of a combination of perseverance and networking.
“You have to find the right audience,” he said.
While a folk-rock artist may never fill a stadium with concertgoers, Sobel said, he enjoys the intimacy of sharing his music with smaller audiences.
“It’s a storytelling genre and that’s what I like,” he said. - Centre Daily Times

"Zak Sobel"

Zak Sobel is back at Indie-Music with three new songs. "Travelin' Alone" is a happy jam with a groovy organ, great guitars and strong vocals. "Your Heart's Refrain" starts with what sounds like a mandolin and quickly gets a little quirky (in a good way, as in original). The lyrics are both sweet and clever over the simple acoustic production and intimate vocal delivery. The set rounds out with "Hard Times", another jam-type song that kind of reminds me of The Band and again features fine organ, guitars, and vocals. And hey, drums and bass sound good, too! All in all, Sobel and his music have matured nicely. -

"Zak Sobel Band Takes Happy Valley To "Barcelona""

You might know them from their weekly performances at the Darkhorse Tavern, but the Zak Sobel Band isn’t just your average nineties cover band. The group — arguably the most talented opener at Movin’ On — released “Barcelona,” its third album of original songs, earlier this spring.

We sat down with their album and listened through it a few times. Here are some notes on the tracks.

1. Cares Float Away
It blows my mind to hear someone my age able to play a harmonica… it’s definitely a strength throughout all the band’s songs. It’s like Jack Johnson with more folk; you’ll find this song perfect for a nice summer cruise with the windows down around back roads with your friends. Sobel’s voice and the background vocals create a classic folk feel that seems very rare nowadays.

2. Voodoo Woman
Yes, more harmonica! This song is more upbeat with a catchy chorus that is perfect to get students dancing and swaying with their friends. Clap your hands and dance around, pass the frisbee and smile. That’s what this music is made for. The combination of the piano and harmonica makes it reminiscent of a ’60s Dylan song, which is the perfect kind of music for a relaxing afternoon.

3. Hard Times
Definitely one of the sappier songs of the album, this would be great for a night underneath the stars. Close your eyes, take in the sun and listen to the dual vocals, “It’s hard to be a man/Without a woman by your side/Someone to hold you tight/And treat you right/All through the night.” It’s summer — make sure you enjoy it with people who matter.

4. Travelin’ Alone
Sobel turns it up a notch by ditching his usual acoustic guitar for an electric one with more of a bluesy feel. The guitar solo about halfway through song had me finger picking the air in anticipation of seeing this live. It reminded me of a Ben Harper song, but has more of a country feel rather than scat. And if nothing else, the guitar rhythm feels like a good reason to dance.

5. Penitentiary Bound
This song has more of a traditional country feel to it, but it still keeps your feet tapping and your head bobbing. This is the kind of music you don’t need to be watching to appreciate — listening is enough. Just the lyrics of “My heart is penitentiary bound,” makes it apparent that these aren’t collegiate clichés, but actually well-crafted lyrics with talented musicians backing Sobel.

6. Where the Green River Flows
This song had a great voice accompanying Sobel, but it left me wishing for some more back-and-forth singing.

7. Your Heart’s Refrain
A romantic song that’s not entirely optimistic, but a brilliant use of both instrument and vocal ability nonetheless. I keep having to remind myself that this is the same band I usually hear playing Third Eye Blind at 1:30 a.m., but listening to Sobel’s lyrical story unfold makes it feel like you’re listening to a completely different band.

8. Where the Green River Flows (acoustic)
Acoustic. Enough said.

“Barcelona” is a great album no matter where you are — at the Darkhorse kicking back with some friends or at work getting it done, a few listens to this album and you’ll be back in Happy Valley. - Onward State

"Music is a Group Sport"

A little later in the night, the Zak Sobel Band took to stage right. Each band that played alternated stages from the last band that went on, and each time the next band came on there was a great migration of the crowd to get in front of the right stage. It was a great shuffle to be in the middle of. The Zak Sobel Band was another simply fun band to watch. Zak Sobel himself was a very charismatic front man who liked to call out the guitar and trombone players on their solos. He also did a killer solo on the harmonica during one of their songs. Two couples danced in front of the stage while they were playing and I must admit I danced along myself. How could I not with their dig deep melodies and smooth vocal combinations? Even more impressive than their Battle of the Bands performance was the fact that they were pulling double duty that night. They played Battle at 9:45 and were set to play at the Dark Horse Tavern by 11.

By the end of the night I didn't quite get my wish list bands in the top four, but I will at least get to see the Zak Sobel Band playing at Movin' On. - LAUS@PSU

"Jamnesty Concert Hopes to Help Global Human Rights"

Local bands will come together tonight for a benefit concert promoting one of Amnesty International's latest human rights efforts: health care.
Amnesty International at Penn State's Jamnesty, a benefit concert for Amnesty International's Demand Dignity campaign, will be held at 7 tonight at Sozo, 256 E. Beaver Ave.
Sarah Kiessling, co-president of Amnesty International at Penn State, said Demand Dignity focuses on health as a human rights issue, helping to end human rights abuses and supporting human rights in every country.
Performers include alternative pop-punk band Groundbreaking Ceremony, folk rock band British Phil, funk rock band Felix and the Fire Escape and solo acoustic guitar player Zak Sobel.
In picking the bands, Kiessling chose music that most students will appreciate.
"They have really good sound, and they are really good bands," she said. "I'm pretty excited to have them there."
Pat Troester, keyboardist and singer for Felix and the Fire Escape, said he sees his band as having a progressive funk sound with plenty of improvisation.
Tonight will be the band's first performance as a group.
"This is the first serious band I've gotten a chance to perform with -- it's really exciting," Troester (junior-history) said. "All the guys who are playing in it are some of the best talent I've worked with."
Kiessling (junior-international studies and public relations) said those attending will learn about different human rights violations around the world and gain a better understanding of causes other human rights organizations are fighting for.
During the concert, students can sign letters protesting human rights violations, which will be sent to governmental agencies.
Amnesty International at Penn State is a small group of students, Kiessling said, but by creating awareness and sending multiple letters to these governments, they can push for change.
Stephanie Viggiano, co-president for the organization, said Jamnesty is held every semester and focuses on a different campaign each time. She said Demand Dignity's approach to health is something currently under debate in the United States today.
Kiessling thinks the concert will be a way for students to learn about human rights issues. Other student organizations will also have tables set up.
"It's a solid way to support human rights, global human rights," she said. "It's a great way to become aware and have a good time and support local people."
- The Daily Collegian - Penn State University

"SOMA To Put on Final Show"

At 7 tonight, there will be no need for students to turn on their stereos -- Students Organizing the Multiple Arts (SOMA) is holding a free concert in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center's Heritage Hall.
Tickets are free and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Students need to show student identification, as they will be given priority over non-students. Non-students must also show photo identification to be admitted.
After both Los Campesinos! and Cymbals Eat Guitars dropped out of the show last week, SOMA was left scrambling to find a headliner for its final concert of the year.
The group managed to book two. Man Man and The Apples in Stereo will co-headline the show.
Despite the last minute change, SOMA President Danny Michelson said he thinks the concert is going to be the best show the group has put on thus far. "They both put on such a unique live show," Michelson (senior-film) said. "This is going to be different than any other show that SOMA has put on before."
It's not the first time Man Man has performed at PSU. Last May, the band played at the State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave.
Charlee Redman said she went to see Man Man's performance there last year.
"I haven't listened to The Apples in Stereo much, but I saw Man Man last year when they came to State College, and it was one of the best performances I've seen," Redman (sophomore-English and French) said.
SOMA member Marissa-Paige Smith said she is excited for the concert, especially to see Man Man perform because she likes the band's genre of music.
"I like the band Man Man a lot, and I hear they were really enthusiastic last year when they came," Smith (freshman-communication, arts and sciences) said.
SOMA's concert will give attendees the chance to dance around, which they were not able to do at the State Theatre, Michelson said.
"Man Man is so interactive, and they go all out, so they're going to be really exciting to see live," he said.
Overall, Michelson said he has gotten "amazing" feedback from the new lineup, even more so than the bands that were originally scheduled to perform.
"People have been saying 'thank you' a lot, and I wasn't getting the same feedback from the original show we planned," he said.
In addition to the two headliners, two local bands will open: Zak Sobel Band and Kalob Griffin Band.
- The Daily Collegian - Penn State University

"Bands Collaborate for Haiti Benefit"

What started out as a simple class project became a full-fledged, student-run benefit.
Student bands Exclusive Document, North of Nittany, British Phil, the Zak Sobel Band and Papa Papaya will play from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in HUB Alumni Hall.
Michael Cousar, an organizer of the event, said the group chose to put on a concert because it was a practical way to raise awareness about the recent earthquake disaster in Haiti.
"We wanted to get a bunch of local bands together, and we wanted to have a message, too, not just music," Cousar (junior-veterinary and biomedical sciences) said. "We wanted to have some kind of message to raise awareness in Haiti."
Even though the show is in the middle of the day, Cousar says he's optimistic about
the crowd's turnout. Hopefully, he added, students will filter in and out throughout the
show, especially during lunch hours.
"It should be pretty good based on the advertising we've done," he said. "We're expecting a decent crowd."
Because the group was putting the show together on short notice, it didn't have set requirements for bands, Cousar said. He added that the group was mainly looking for bands that were "willing to help out."
Cousar said he noticed a decline in news coverage about the aftermath of the Haiti disaster. The ultimate goal of the show, he added, is to make sure people know Haiti still needs all the help it can get.
"Just because it's not being covered in the news doesn't mean there's not work to be done," he said. "There are still people who need our help."
Michael Rudolph (senior-engineering science), one of the members of British Phil, said the band had been planning on playing some sort of benefit show for Haiti about a week before it was offered to play at today's gig. Rudolph added after hearing of the disaster, he wanted to do something more proactive than just giving "$10 to the Red Cross through texting."
British Phil is planning on playing mostly original songs at the benefit show, Rudolph said, as opposed to playing cover songs like the band does at bars. The band actually got its start doing benefit gigs, Rudolph added, and playing original songs.
"It lets us show off what we can do," he said.
Zak Sobel (junior-Spanish), of the Zak Sobel Band, also said with shows like today's playing covers can wait.
"When everyone's sober, that's the best time to bust out originals," he said. Sobel added his band will play four originals and two covers during its set, and Rudolph will step in to play with the band.
Sobel, who usually plays solo sets, decided to form the band shortly after hearing about it, he said. Even though the band hasn't practiced much, being in a band has some advantages over playing solo, he added. He said he is eager to play the show.
"I feel like it gives you a lot of opportunity to play," he said. "I'm kind of hoping for a lot of new faces."
- The Daily Collegian - Penn State University

"The Apples in stereo, Man Man to play show"

SOMA pulled off a near miracle.
On Tuesday, after Los Campesinos! pulled out of Students Organizing the Multiple Arts' (SOMA) April 26 show, SOMA was left waiting to hear back from scheduled opener Cymbals Eat Guitars, which canceled Wednesday afternoon.
But the show will go on. The group managed to book The Apples in stereo and Man Man at the last minute.
"I never expected to get both of these bands," said SOMA President Danny Michelson. "We might even have people who are more excited about this show [than the Los Campesinos! and Cymbals Eat Guitars show]."
This is SOMA's busiest year yet, Michelson said -- and the last 24 hours have been crazy. An hour after Cymbals Eat Guitars said they would still be available to play, the band e-mailed Michelson back and backed out because of contractual agreements with Los Campesinos!
"I just wanted that booking to quit playing games with my heart," Michelson said.
After both bands canceled, SOMA Vice President Alexis Kumasaka said with the limited amount of time, she was worried there would not be a show.
Given the circumstances, Michelson said he couldn't be happier with the lineup.
"I've never booked a show this fast in my life," Michelson said.
Kumasaka's library inspired The Apples in stereo booking. She said she looked through a website called that linked to her library, and it just so happened that the band was available for Monday night's show. Indie rock band The Apples in stereo are a part of The Elephant 6, a group of notable bands and musicians from the 1990s. After looking through the band's online videos, Michelson said Penn State is in for a great live performance.
Philadelphia group Man Man's fans will have a chance to get out of their seats, Michelson said.
After the band opened for Cursive at the State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., in May 2009, Michelson said he heard some complaints from fans about not being able to move around or rush the stage.
Local bands the Kalob Griffin Band and the Zak Sobel Band are still set to open Monday night.
- The Daily Collegian - Penn State University

"Rotelli To Hold Fundraiser"

A local group will gather at Rotelli tonight in hopes of bringing residents together for something other than fine food and alcohol: Art.
The Community Arts Collective (CAC) will hold a concert fundraiser at Rotelli Restaurant & Bar, 252 E. Calder Way. Tickets will be available at the door for $6. The show will feature eight local singer/songwriters, and though food is not part of the ticket price, drink specials will be available.
Those performing at the fundraiser include Zak Sobel, Nodd Morris, British Phil, Jason O and Bonnie & Friends, among others.
Both Rotelli and the musicians are participating in the fundraiser at no cost to CAC, which is seeking non-profit status.
Bonnie Herman, event and publicity director for CAC, said all of the artists will play folk and soul music, which will help to create a more intimate setting for attendees.
"You're not going to be distracted by a big loud drum-kit," Herman (senior-English) said. "Not that it's not awesome, but this is a chance to see what State College musicians have to offer."
The combination of such talented musicians is something that is often rare in State College, Herman said, adding that the night has no structure -- attendees will be able to enjoy drinks, music and food at their own pace.
This is the first fundraising event for CAC, which officially formed last spring, Herman said. Both Herman and Elody Gyekis, CAC artistic director, said the group's mission is clear.
"We're here to do community art projects, as well as bring people together in light of the bridge between the university and the community by building civic engagement through the arts," said Gyekis, Class of 2009.
The organization hopes to bring more art pieces throughout State College that will be collaboratively made by locals.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards CAC and any of its future projects.
CAC hopes one of these potential initiatives will include a community mural, something Gyekis already produced in Millheim, Pa., Herman said.
The theme for the first
potential project is "State College -- A Place Where Dreams
Take Flight," and CAC hopes to receive input from community members.
Herman said she would really like to bring this project to the State College area to help connect residents to others within the community.
- The Daily Collegian - Penn State University

"New Artist: Zak Sobel"

After practicing music for only three years now, singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player Zak Sobel is releasing his first full cd, Songs Joanna Likes, by early spring. The folk-rock album, named after his sister, is being recorded with three other artists from Long Island, NY; Tony Montalbo, Janet Leto and Linda Mackley. Sobel, a 20-year-old junior at Penn State University, says his whole life revolves around music.

“My dad is an incredible musician and my biggest musical influence,” Sobel said.
In the past, Sobel has performed at the Long Island Fall Festival and throughout local cafes, restaurants and bars in State College, Pa. and New York. In late March, Sobel will be performing with other local artists in State College, Pa. - The Indiestry Magazine

"Songs Joanna Likes Album Review"

"Though acoustic-based albums can sometimes carry a monotonous sound, Sobel's strength lies in making each song sound vastly different while keeping true to his folk-rock roots. Such veteran songwriting is commendable from a musician who only first strapped on a guitar four years ago.

This Penn State senior has the natural talent, the time and the opportunity to grow and blossom into a bigger name. There’s no doubt that we could all see him manifest into the Matt Duke or Ryan Adams of tomorrow.

Sobel is your choice for home-grown original talent."

Beth Ann Downey, Penn State University, The Daily Collegian - The Daily Collegian - Penn State University

"Zak Sobel Band Plays Originals For Crowd"

Despite some sound difficulties in the beginning of their set and less than ideal weather conditions, the Zak Sobel Band took on the side stage at Movin’ On and kept the crowd entertained.

The band, which features fiddle, saxophone, keyboard and harmonica solos along with the traditional guitars, bass and drums—went on almost 25 minutes after they were scheduled to, due to a delay earlier in the afternoon.

But for some it was worth the wait. Elsa Mekonen has seen Zak Sobel Band three times.

Mekonen (senior-journalism and Spanish) said, “It was good to see them play their original stuff.”

She added that she thought the band had a really good mix of songs and thought the new area for the concert was a good choice for the big acts coming up later tonight, though she still thinks the HUB lawn would’ve been a more convenient location. - The Daily Collegian - Penn State University

"Four Bands Chosen To Play Movin' On"

Hometown favorite Zak Sobel Band was the first to get the crowd on its feet. One fan Marissa Williamson said she enjoyed the music because it’s easy to dance to. - The Daily Collegian - Penn State University


"Mattituck, Vol. 1" - 2019 (EP)
"Target Rock" - 2011
"Songs Joanna Likes" - 2010



Zak Sobel is a singer-songwriter and composer from New York, New York.

A lifelong music lover, it wasn’t until his freshman year at Penn State University when he first picked up a guitar. Throughout college, Zak spent time honing his craft and writing songs, leading to the formation of his band in May, 2010. By the time Zak graduated in May 2011, he and his band had become household names in his beloved State College, Pennsylvania, headlining their own shows, earning slots at major festivals, and opening for acts OAR, Matisyahu, The Apples in Stereo, Man Man, Lupe Fiasco, Little Big Town, and others along the way.

In the fall and winter of 2011, Zak embarked on 45-date East Coast tour which culminated with a move to Los Angeles in January, 2012 to work as the Music Supervisor on his first feature film, “Hansel & Gretel Get Baked.” Zak also wrote three original songs for the film and earned an associate producer credit for his work during post-production, including assisting in editing the final cut of the film.

While in LA, in addition to gigging locally, Zak licensed two original compositions to Verizon for commercial use, and created the concept for John Fogerty's "Mystic Highway” music video. In 2013, Zak moved back to New York and has continued to gig steadily.

For Zak’s newest project, “Mattituck Vol. 1,” he teamed up with producer/engineer, Kyle “KILLAKAKE” Herman, and multi-instrumentalist, Eric Detzel. They recorded the EP over a long weekend at a little cottage on the North Fork of Long Island. Keep an eye out for new music and videos from Zak and his team. 

Band Members