The Sound Cafe
‘Saturday's Child’ Is The Latest Release From Minneapolis Singer-Songwriter Scott Zosel
By Stevie Connor.
Minneapolis DJ Ellen Stanley (KFAI) describes Scott Zosel‘s music as “first-rate songwriting evoking the sunny roots/rock sounds of the Jayhawks.” It’s a style featuring elements of folk-rock, some pop, with the fresh edge of country. A very articulate and mercurial sound that’s always catchy, irreverent and fun.
Scott began work on ‘Saturday's Child’ in early 2022, on the heels of his success with his 2021 release ‘Tiny Yellow Room’ that earned national airplay on over 50 non-commercial stations. With ‘Saturday’s Child,’ Zosel continues to push the edge of Americana into a more pop direction, while still staying true to his folk-rock roots. He recorded it ‘live’ in collaboration with Producer/drummer Greg Schutte at Boom Island Recording with renowned atmospheric lead guitarist Dan Schwartz and touring pro, bassist Nick Salisbury Vocalist Kelly Jorgahl rounded out the tracks with her soaring harmonies, the perfect finishing touch.
Scott Zosel envisioned ‘Saturday's Child’’ in early 2022, on the heels of his success with his 2021 release ‘Tiny Yellow Room’ which earned national airplay on over 50 non-commercial radio stations. Scott hired Producer/Drummer Greg Schutte with Guitarist Dan Schwartz and Bassist Nick Salisbury to perform with him for his ‘Tiny Yellow Room’ record release in September 2021. The chemistry between the four was instantaneous. Scott later toured Greg’s NE Minneapolis Boom Island Recording Studio, where Greg mentioned the possibility of recording ‘live.’ The die was cast. The four would begin recording in June 2022, while playing a handful of local shows together in the meantime.
As planned, ‘Saturday's Child’’ was recorded ‘live’ at Boom Island, with each musician isolated just enough from each other, very similar to the classic recording style of the 1970s. This recording method also allows for altering tracks, overdubbing vocals and any other modifications needed to create the intended flavour and feel. Recording ‘live’ means all live drums, bass, keys – no canned drum, bass, or other tracks. When all live tracking was complete, vocalist Kelly Jordahl provided the perfect finishing touch, helping set the emotional centre for all tracks with her soaring harmonies. Local legend, keyboardist Tommy Barbarella also played on three tracks.
Scott Zosel is a songwriter’s songwriter. Inspired by the bold poetry of Emily Dickinson and the psychedelic country of Gram Parsons, the Minneapolis-based artist has always been drawn to artful and fearless storytelling.
“Writing songs is the last thing I think about before I drift off to sleep each night, and the first thing on my mind as I awaken each morning,” Scott says. “I am obsessed with lyrics and melody, and crazy, obtuse narratives.”
The son of a veterinarian turned preacher, therapist and professor, Scott moved around as a kid, living in the country, suburbs and city, absorbing all the sights and sounds of the world. He never was in the school’s band or choir, but he taught himself how to play guitar from a Bob Dylan songbook that he discovered lying next to his dad’s 12-string guitar. But it was not until after he went to Minneapolis College of Art & Design and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in journalism that he started performing music.
In the 1980s Scott fronted an all-original new wave band named Five Below. Loud and rhythmic, they played a mix of Ska, Tex-Mex, Surf, and Rock styles, a band that could whip a crowd into a dancing frenzy at the drop of a hat. Sharing the stage with several national acts at the iconic First Avenue, the band achieved some success on the Twin Cities music scene. He went on to a career as a writer and designer until he formed the jangle pop trio Crooked Numbers. He started writing music again and won the 2018 Singer-Songwriter Competition at the River Falls Bluegrass Festival. The pandemic forced him to reconnect with his solo songwriting voice, and he made short work of it, releasing two albums in two years — Coal Black Curls (2020) and his new Americana album Tiny Yellow Room (2021), garnering comparisons to fellow Minnesotans The Jayhawks. With the release of the new album and the return of in-person gigging, Scott is emerging as a top-notch songwriting talent and an important voice on the roots music scene. He recently showcased at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) Conference, and his song “Emily” was featured in Americana UK.