During his childhood, Zak Ferentz experienced both his parents suffering with drug addiction which eventually claimed the life of this mother. A life on the streets selling drugs and getting in trouble with the police, found Zak headed down his own dark path. However he soon discovered that creating music could help him heal. Furthermore it gave him a purpose in life and also a way to explore his creativity and bring it to tangible fruition. He subsequently teamed up with drummer Matt Waz, bass player Rob Dudziak and lead guitarist Rich Catalano to give birth to the band, Ferentz and The Felons. Together they form a tightly knit Americana- Alternative Rock outfit, and have released their debut EP, entitled “Hudson County”.
Whether acoustic or electric dominated, the group’s skills are never in doubt, and that’s definitely the case on this recording. Influenced by rock, country, blues and Americana, and often upbeat, this is a recording better enjoyed kicking back, mellowing out and letting the emotions wash over you.
The EP consists of 5 tracks in total, and it gets better by each song. Each track stands on its own and is just as mesmerizing as any other one taken from the collection. Furthermore, each track is better than the previous one you heard, even if you put the EP on random shuffle. Now explain that to someone. It’s complicated.
Hence the best move in describing the quality of this recording, is to just grab the title track and lead single, “Hudson County”, and let it play. The song wraps up all the intrinsic skills Ferentz and The Felons are able to bring to the table right now as a songwriting and performing combo. And the results are stunning.
What makes “Hudson County” such a great track (and subsequently a great EP) is Zak Ferentz knowing what he’s playing, knowing what message he wants to convey, and us knowing that it’s from the heart. And any words spoken from the heart will touch the heart, no matter what they are.
Zak is a talented singer-songwriter with a deep, sensitive passionate side that explodes forth from his music. And which Ferentz and The Felons execute to perfection on “Hudson County”. Zak clearly is not interested in labels or what others think his music should sound like, he puts forth exactly what he feels through his music, and he feels deeply.
Zak invites listeners into his soul, where a very disturbed landscape demands exploration, as he chronicles his inner dialog. He delivers a heartfelt vocal with a tinge of hopeful adaptation, which combines layered acoustic guitar, drums, bass and crunch electric guitar riffs with a catchy lead melody to create a standout track.
The powerful lyrics speaks of Zak’s discontented state of being, and the will to move on: “Maybe I’m crazy, maybe it’s true. But this city has drained me and I don’t know what I should do. These bones in my closet, I’ll leave them for you. So I’m packing my bags and moving on to something new.”
Haunting choruses add to this track’s power making this a formidable song built upon a very relatable subject and an extraordinary lead vocal. It’s easy to get lost in “Hudson County” with Ferentz and The Felons’ engaging and gripping performance.