Hackettstown Area Singer Releases First Single in Three Years

Photo credit: Eric Curley


By Steve Sears

It’s been a busy three years for Zach Russack.

Russack, who is 29 and lives a stone’s toss from Hackettstown in Independence, recorded both his self-titled Zach Russack album and Cheers! It’s a White Christmas EP in 2016, and in 2018 released a 3-song EP, Common Cold. But, aside from that, life for him has been everything but music.

However, the music was always there, being present in Russack but kind of in the background, he seeking to kill writer’s block and push something through. 

Push through he did, and the beautiful and haunting Bedford Oak is the result. A non-album single, the fluid 3:58 song was released to the public on April 1.

“This song just kind of came like a “whoosh” out of the air to me,” Russack says excitedly, “and it was something that I just couldn’t ignore.”

The “whoosh” drew him back to the recording studio, which had been distant. “Within 2017 into ‘18, I ended up acquiring my career, really picking up at the time jobs to help me make some extra money which afforded me my career today, which is more in the corporate audio-visual world. It’s helped me grow in the sense with the love of my life who’s with me, and her two boys.  We’ve been able to really establish, grow, and actually have a house and build and grow our life together. It’s been a very big growing period within the last couple of years and very busy moving in all sorts of directions with the growth of life as a whole.”

Russack says he felt powerless in putting something out, but the time had come. “(Regarding) that control of time to focus on songwriting, and pushing the musical career as a whole, I realized that I had to make some real judgment statements of where I stand with my relationship with music. Then the endgame is this is what I can do, this is what I can produce, and I have to produce it in the timeframe that I have to, even if it takes a year or two.” 

Russack, who calls himself a “string guy” who plays bass guitar and some banjo, also plays keys on certain pieces. “On my first record I played all the instruments. I played the drums, the bass, the guitars, I sang, I did the percussion – like shakers or whatever it may be. I even did piano for the outro, so I did play a little piano. Would I call myself a pianist? No, absolutely not. But I can dabble,” he says with a laugh.

Russack, who is inspired by the rural Warren County environment he calls home and has the full support of his fiancé, Catherine Cirotti, credits both Elliot Smith and Andy Shauf as big influences in songwriting, and often listens to the music of the Indie alternative rock band, Death Cab for Cutie. 

Russack is now at work on a full length, sophomore album. “From demo stages to recording the backbone rhythms of drums, bass and everything,” he says of the upcoming offering. “We’re so close to  actually having this album ready to go. I have a couple more things that I need to finalize with tracking and outro, but it’s just been a building process.”

Bedford Oak is available for purchase and streaming on both iTunes and Spotify. For more information about Russack and his music, visit www.zachrussack.com.

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