Francisco the Man
The wind chill outside of the rickety old boathouse is sub-zero. The winds coming down from Canada are whipping up giant snow dunes on the frozen Lake Erie. Inside, Zack Orr sits at an old upright piano recording a melody for the winter section of what is to become his newest album, Francisco the Man. 'Twelve songs in twelve keys for the twelve months in a year' he says, 'each season has it's own sound and as the seasons change, the instrumentation does as well.' As one talks to Orr about his music, it is easy to see how influenced he is by the environment and his surroundings. 'While writing these songs I recorded natural sound from every season. Leaves, ice, water, birds, fireworks, wind in a fireplace...it's all in there, but sometimes it's pretty mangled. Sound can trigger emotions and memories. I want the audience to really feel summer, or fall." Since those hermitic 'cottage days' in Pennsylvania, Orr has recorded pieces of Francisco the Man at home studios in Boston and Portland, Oregon. Using the experience gained during the making of his first record, The Unstoppable Lift, Zack has recorded and mixed the entire Francisco the Man album himself. Zack thrives in a variety of performance scenarios, in a solo intimate/acoustic setting, or when joined by members of his bands from Boston and Portland and other special guests. On stage, Orr shifts between guitars, keyboards and a laptop that adds electronic beats and ambience to his dreamy, impressionistic songs. As a lyricist/vocalist, Orr melds heady subject matter to instantly memorable melodies, a feat previously monopolized by songwriters like David Byrne or Paul Simon. Born in Atlanta, GA, the list of places Zack Orr has called home has spanned the globe from Austin to Boston, Los Angeles, London, Portland, and a recent return to his hometown in PA. In each city, he has performed to a consistently growing audience. His 2003 release, The Unstoppable Lift, was called 'stunning and inventive' by legendary rock journalist Ben Fong-Torres of Rolling Stone fame, adding 'He just may be unstoppable.'