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Check Out Zak Saltz Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zak Saltz.

Hi Zak, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was raised in the hills of the Appalachian mountains the son of a Pentecostal Holiness Preacher who, along with my mother and two sisters, all played music from the time I can first remember.

My roots are in Bluegrass/Gospel, but I love and play all kinds of music. I formed my first band in high school and played music all through college and kept playing when I started my own contracting business after that.

However, I was primarily focused on working and providing for my wife and son, so music had to come second.

From my high school days all the way to that time, I had dabbled with different drugs, but on Memorial Day 2006, I was injured in a horseback riding accident and broke my back, which eventually led to opioid addiction. This sickness spiraled out of control and I found myself losing everything and ending up behind bars with divorce papers and nothing left, but my music. It was the darkest time of my life, but that music helped me survive.

When I was able to rejoin society, I decided that I would pursue my passion for music as my primary career, which has been a challenge, to say the least. But thankfully, with help from above and my friends and family, I have been able to stay clean and have made huge strides forward down my music path, so that I finally feel like I will be able to show my son that I am more than just a drug addict.

I met Johnny Cox, the lead guitarist in the Zak Saltz band not long after I came home from jail and we just immediately hit it off personally and musically in a way I had not yet done with anyone to that point. And, since then, we have added three of the most amazing musicians to the band, our drummer Waylon Lewis, bassist George Campbell, and real-life living legend harmonica virtuoso, Little John Chrisley.

We all share a common passion for addicted and otherwise struggling people, and just hope our music can provide a bright spot for them to escape to if even for a short time.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road.

Like I said before, I spent time addicted to opioids and in jail, and as a result, I lost everything, my family, friends, and career. This also made it less than easy for me to book gigs to play when I first got out of jail. I have had to work a full-time day job to pay the bills, and I do not get to see my son as much as I would like. However, I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been given.

For the band, we have worked hard and played everywhere we possibly can to get better as a band and it has paid off. So much so that we have even been able to play a regular rotation in Nashville at legendary establishments like Tootsies Wild Orchid Lounge and others.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am the lead singer and guitarist for the Zak Saltz Band. Our music can be streamed from all normal streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. The title song of our most recent EP is called “Tired of Waiting.”

I am probably most proud of writing and recording the title track on the record, Tired of Waiting. I wrote it one day after I left an NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting. On the way out, I saw a young girl sitting by herself outside crying so I sat down and asked her if she was ok. And she looked straight at me and said, “I’m just tired of waiting for my life to change.”

That statement had a huge impact on me. And so, I went home and wrote the song, Tired of Waiting, which is about a woman who has decided to leave a troubled relationship and all the hurt and pain that is involved in that kind of a moment.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
The music industry is always in a constant state of change.

Right now, new technologies are having a huge impact on everything from live performances to recording, to distribution, and everything in between. It is hard to say where things will end up in the next even 2-3 years.

One big change that we can already see is how independent artists and labels are now able to have success by reaching fans directly in different ways on the internet and are not forced to be as reliant on traditional record labels, producers, and industry reps, which at least may hopefully provide more opportunities to more artists.

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