Since the release of his intrepid debut album Gateway to the Galaxy, Marcus Rezak has become a staple in today’s touring circuit known for his virtuosic guitar playing and flexibility to maneuver through a variety of projects. His road warrior reputation spans bandleader endeavors that include his high-octane Grateful Dead tribute project Shred is Dead; his newly-launched Gumbo project performing notable 90s Phish shows in their entirety and performing original music under his name. The Chicago native has connected with GRAMMY-award-winner Paul Nelson to produce his next body of work entitled Guitar Head, a blues-oriented album that melds his prestige in the jam, improvisation, and songwriting world with his roots that hail from the “Home of the Blues.” The lead single “Sweet Like Mary Jane” will come out via Color Red on Thursday, March 16th in tandem with a 3-night run on the east coast with plays in Newmarket, NH (3/16), Waterbury, VT (3/17), and Cohoes, NY (3/18). Rezak will be joined by Ray Paczkowski (Trey Anastasio Band), Felix Pastorius (Jeff Coffin Mu'Tet / Hipster Assassins), Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle & Kung Fu), Chris DeAngelis (Kung Fu & The Machine), Cotter Ellis (Swimmer), and Matt Dolliver (Swimmer) throughout the performances.
Inspired by late ‘60s freedom rock, the anthemic “Sweet Like Mary Jane” does not leave room for interpretation with its progressive blues homage to women working in the cannabis industry. The song celebrates free spirits who enjoy fine herbs and rock ‘n’ roll drawing influence from Jimi Hendrix’s blues-rock era and a modern vocal and guitar solo style inspired by Warren Haynes. The track features Ray Paczkowski (Trey Anastasio Band), Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle & Kung Fu), and Chris DeAngelis (Kung Fu & The Machine).
Rezak connected with esteemed blues guitarist and producer, Paul Nelson, after a performance he had at The Music Room in Yarmouth, MA. They immediately hit it off after an impressive performance as they dove through Nelson’s distinguished career which includes being hand-picked to join Johnny Winter’s band in 2010 and producing several of his records including his GRAMMY-nominated albums I'm a Blues Man, Roots, and Step Back, which won the GRAMMY Award for Best Blues Album and debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart for Blues Albums. Nelson enthusiastically conveyed that he would love to produce Rezak’s next record. They recorded the album at The Music Room’s world-class, in-house studio laying down Rezak’s initial ideas in one day of pre-production and later joined by Rezak’s frequent collaborators and top-call east coast musicians Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle & Kung Fu) on drums and Chris DeAngelis (Kung Fu & The Machine) on bass laying the rhythm section foundation for Guitar Head in a vigorous 1-day session that produced 10 songs. After Rezak honed the final guitar and vocal parts in subsequent sessions, the tracks were sent to keyboardist Ray Paczkowski of Trey Anastasio Band, whom Rezak had worked with on his 2020 EP Truth in Sound. With Ray’s finessed keyboard parts recorded at his home studio, the final piece of the puzzle was having Erik Lawrence of Levon Helm Ramble Horns to fill out four of the tracks with horn parts.
With a release date TBD, Rezak is assured that Guitar Head will be his best album to date. "Working with GRAMMY-winning producer Paul Nelson has been an absolute pleasure and has brought out the best in my guitar, playing and songwriting for this record,” he says, “Additionally, having a world-class rhythm, section helps make things go smoothly as they did for the making of this album. Adrian Tramontano, Chris DeAngelis, Ray Paczkowski, and Erik Lawrence make for a dream team that can only be heard on this recording."
Nelson shares Rezak’s fervor for the forthcoming record, “Marcus is a force to be reckoned with—as both a guitarist songwriter and vocalist. It was a real pleasure to produce his latest album which I feel showcases his diversity and amazing talent.”
The first taste of the album and “Sweet Like Mary Jane” release run is as follows with respective lineups for each date:
Thursday, March 16: The Stone Church Music Club, Newmarket, NH - Feat. Ray Paczkowski (TAB) and Chris DeAngelis (Machine) and Cotter Ellis / Matt Dolliver (Swimmer) | TIX
Friday, March 17th: Zenbarn - Waterbury, VT - Feat. Ray Paczkowski (TAB) Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle) Chris DeAngelis (The Machine) and Matt Dolliver (Swimmer) | TIX
Saturday, March 18th: Cohoes Music Hall - Cohoes, NY - Feat. Ray Paczkowski (TAB) Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle) Felix Pastorius (Jeff Coffin Mu'Tet / Hipster Assassins) and special guests | TIX
"Sweet Like Mary Jane" can be pre-saved & listened to here. For more information and to learn more, visit marcusrezak.com.