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Zach Williams Band set to return to the Iron Horse

Zach Williams and Zack Sweeney are seen here performing at Ithaca College in New York during the school year. The Longmeadow residents, along with bandmates Dave Rosenthal and Tim Jangl, will be returning to the Iron Horse in Northampton for their second headlining gig at the venue Aug. 17. Reminder Publications submitted photo
By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

LONGMEADOW One year can make a lot of difference. Ask Zach Williams, the singer and lyricist for the Zach Williams Band. One year ago, he and his band took the stage for the first time as headliners at the famed Iron Horse venue in Northampton.

They will be returning to that storied stage on Aug. 17 a year older and a year more mature.

"I had a very interesting year at college," Williams said. "I think that really comes through in the lyrics."

Three members of the Zach Williams Band Williams, Zack Sweeney and Dave Rosenthal are all 2006 graduates of Longmeadow High School. Their friend Tim Jangl from East Longmeadow rounds out the lineup. They play mostly original folk and acoustic rock songs.

Sweeney and Williams attend Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., and play shows together year round. During this past school year, their sophomore year at college, they played a number of benefit shows including the Cornell University/Ithaca College Relay for Life.

"We played at 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.," Williams said. "We were trying to keep everybody going. It was a really cool event and we got a whole ton of people listening to us."

The band is split up during the school year, however, and this summer has also put great distances between band members. "Tim is in Nantucket and Dave is in Manhattan," Williams explained, "so we exchange CDs of stuff we're working on and practice when we visit. We feel like we're going in different directions, but once we get together it just clicks. Since day one, it's been about being with friends and playing with friends."

How else has the band of friends grown since their gig last year? "The first Iron Horse show was really big for us," Williams said. "People saw we had more talent than we did in high school. It was a big deal, a big breakout for us." That talent has developed even further, he added. "The sound will be a little bit bigger, more full, more mature."

The Zach Williams Band also plans on releasing their first recording at their upcoming show in Northampton.

"We'll try to release some demos of live and studio tracks," Williams stated. "That way, people can plug in and jam out when they're not at a concert."

Fellow Longmeadow musicians Griffin and Sean McMahon will be opening for the Zach Williams Band at the show. Williams said Griffin is "a phenomenal musician" and someone to look forward to in the future.

This year's show at the Iron Horse will offer some surprises too. "We'll be doing some covers that will surprise people," Williams said. "We're going to keep trying to switch things up."

Tickets for the show at the Iron Horse are $10 in advance and $13 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased online at Doors open on Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Williams at 297-1559.