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Fleury of music: Island musician releases second recording
He’s the man about town. Easy recognizable walking Winslow Way, pulling up a chair at the Pegasus or hopping a ferry.
Dawning a signature fedora and long tweed coat, Zach Fleury has become a familiar face across his hometown of Bainbridge Island.
But what isn’t as commonly known is that Fleury has emerged from the island to sell out Seattle clubs with his own brand of musical fare.
Recently, he sold out the Triple Door for a concert he headlined Feb. 22.
“It was a big success,” Fleury said. “With a little help from friends, we somehow sold out.”
Fleury followed performances by Hannalee, and Daniel Blue of the band Motopony. His own performance was backed up by both acts and a variety of friends manning mics, ukeleles, banjos and more. They moved through an eclectic mix of Fleury penned songs.
His recipe for a song often incorporates crossing genres. A little jazz might provide the foundation for one melody, while a folksy lullaby will move another along.
Yet from the clashing styles emerges a smooth and relaxed feel that is the backbone of Fleury’s sound.
It isn’t anything new. The musician has spent his life crossing musical borders.
“My biggest influences are the bar and the church,” he said. “My uncle Gil played sax at the bar. My grandma sang solos at church. I grew up with a little of both.”
“Funny thing is, I’ve never been kicked out of a bar,” he added. “But I have been politely asked to leave a church or two. That’s alright though, I was kind of a punk back then.”
Fleury has released two recordings, less than six months apart.
The first, “Be Still, Neverland, Egypt,” was released in September and is available on iTunes or through www.cdbaby.com. When he premiered the CD, it was the first time he sold out the Triple Door.
The second recording, an EP titled, “The Tarzan Suite,” was released at the Feb. 22 concert. The CD is only for sale at Fleury’s shows until March 7 when it will be available on iTunes.
But while he enjoys sending his music out into the world via an album, Fleury said that nothing beats a live show.
“Recorded music is great, but live music is where it’s at,” he said.
That attitude is probably why Fleury’s shows carry more than just a set list. He plans to provide a little extra incentive to buy a ticket.
“I want to engage them,” Fleury said. “Sometimes that means telling a few jokes.”
“I’m a Northwest artist; my songs are sad,” he added. “Some of them are best when chased by a good joke. I try to keep people’s spirits up if I can.”
“Who wants to pay 15 bucks to go sit at the club and be sad?”
He often doesn’t even write a set list until just before a show, leaving much up in the air.
“Luckily, my bandmates are skilled improvisers,” he said. “I don’t like to plan too much of what I’m going to do, but sometimes I write down a few ideas on a napkin before I go up.”
The delivery is generally off-the-cuff. Fleury will end a song only to go into an impression of an Aaron Neville song sung in the style of Bob Dylan. And in turn, Aaron Neville singing a Bob Dylan tune.
Fleury will be back at the Triple Door for another show on April 16 along with Courtney Marie Andrews. Tickets are available online at www.tripledoor.net.