Northern Michigan duo releases new album, set to release second

PETOSKEY – It usually takes a couple of years for bands to find their groove, image and sound before they go into the studio to record. However, an up and coming band from northern Michigan already has an album with another on the way.

John Piatek & Friends – a psychedelic pop and indie rock band – is made up of longtime friends (and former bandmates) John Piatek of Traverse City and Jake Myers of Petoskey, who spent their time last year creating their self-titled album record and debut album.

“We really did that to keep the duo going,” said Piatek.

Piatek – who previously released music both solo and with the band The Persons – came to Myers to do a collaborative project while pushing the boundaries of what they could do creatively.

John Piatek & Friends at Two K Farms in Suttons Bay.

“I’ve made a couple of releases but I felt like I missed a lot of things,” said Piatek.

“It was fun doing this and it was a great experience all round, but I wanted to do something again and all the events with the pandemic, quarantine and the nuances of it all really gave us the time to do it.”

The duo worked together on writing and producing and felt like they really meshed together as the recording process progressed.

“I’d never put a record out or recorded music before, but I was really excited,” Myers said. “I think we worked really well together because John is very good at producing and mastering and I helped a lot with different concepts that really made everything concrete.”

The duo also work well together on stage, mixing their melting pot of shared influences from Steely Dan, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, The Black Keys and a host of other artists covering genres like rock and hip-hop.

“Playing together is how we came up with our name,” said Myers.

“John had booked all these gigs but as he started playing more and more he asked if I would like to join him. Convenience and navigating the waters to book gigs became our name,” he said.

The duo released their self-titled debut album – “John Piatek & Friends” – earlier this year on Friday July 2nd and spent most of the summer performing as much as possible.

The 10-song album features music similar to their shared influences with lyrics that reflect the adulthood, friendship and scenery of northern Michigan.

“The songs were built on the singer-songwriter and rock format,” Piatek said. “Much of the production on the record is working on painting a picture with music, much like Steely Dan would.”

Album art for the self-titled album by John Piatek & Friends

Piatek has also already started work on the duo’s next release, which they say “… will be out sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

“The goal was to get this first out and see what we can do, but now our goal is to get this second out by the end of the year,” said Piatek. “We already have three songs ready, more are on the way.”

The duo are currently working on booking additional dates for the winter and next year and have booked a live show at the Acoustic Taproom in Traverse City for Friday, November 5th at the Cherryland Humane Society.

Now listen to the duo’s debut album “John Piatek & Friends” on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. More information about the band is also available on the John Piatek Facebook page.

Contact reporter Sean Miller at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter, @seanmillerpnr and Instagram, @sean_everest.

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