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Szlachetka discusses new album ‘Heart of my Hometown’ (Includes interview)

On his new album, Heart of my Hometown, he said, “I’ve been on the road quite a bit over the past five years, and typically I play between 150 to 200 dates a year. Most of my inspiration for songs on this album came from observations from the road, between people I’ve met, towns I’ve discovered, and the sentiments that have stuck with me. I feel like an interloper sometimes – getting a glimpse of all these great towns and communities and experiencing their uniqueness and character. It’s one of the perks that come with being a full-time touring artist.”

He chose the title cut as his personal favorite song on the album. “I chose it because of what it means to me, and what it means to my audiences and fans. I think we should keep looking ahead and thinking about the future, but I think it is also important to remember the past and where you are from,” he said. “Remembering where you come from grounds you and makes you who you are.”

Szlachetka continued, “It is always a reminder to me that we all need to keep open minds, open hearts and listen to each other because we are a lot more similar than we think. We are not as divided a country as we are led to believe right now. It’s important for people to experience other small towns and cities in different states so that way they can witness these similarities along with the uniqueness that makes each part of this country great.”

He noted that he is incredibly proud of this album. “I feel so fortunate to have worked with Grammy-winning producer David Bianco, as well as with all the other writers and musicians who helped make this record. I can’t wait for this collection of songs to be released to my fans and hopefully this album will generate new fans as well,” he said/

The musician’s plans for the future are to tour to promote his new record. “I’ve got a great blend of solo acoustic shows and full band shows throughout the U.S. I can’t wait to get back to some of my regular tour stops, along with breaking into some new markets. I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll start thinking about the next album because I have a ton of songs that I’m itching to record,” he said.

He shared that he was honored for his “Artist to Watch” recognition by Rolling Stone. “I have read Rolling Stone ever since I was a little kid. It has always been one of my music bibles. It is an iconic publication. They have always done fantastic coverage on bands and artists, and to have my career on their radar was incredibly flattering. It was so rewarding, after lots of hard work, to have Rolling Stone pay attention,” he said.

Digital transformation of music scene

On the digital transformation of the music business, Szlachetka said, “Accessibility has changed the industry in terms of how easy it is now to obtain music. It’s all at your fingertips these days. Home studios have also changed the industry, in a lot of cases having made recording music much more affordable for most people.”

Regarding his use of technology in his music routine, he said, “For me, having the ability to record ideas and new songs on my phone or computer while I’m on tour is incredibly important. The voice activation and voice memo function on my phone has helped me catalog tons of ideas while I’m on the road. I’ve come to a point where if I get an idea in my head, whether it’s a lyric, melody, guitar riff or title, I immediately catalog it so I have plenty of content to use when I get to a hotel or back home and I’m in a writing headspace.”

Szlachetka listed the following artists as his dream collaboration choices: Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, Mark Knopfler, Ry Cooder,
Lori McKenna, Aimee Mann, Sheryl Crow and Dan Auerbach.

To learn more about Szlachetka and his new album, check out his official homepage.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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