Tim Zach & The Whiskey Bent Band (2015)

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Tim Zach takes unlikely path to successful music career with Whiskey Bent

Tim Zach is that guy who used to sip beers at your local bar on Karaoke night. Ball cap pulled down over his eyes. Killing the crowd with that smooth baritone voice. The guy who entered contests for the hell of it – and always won.

“I never had any ambition to become a musician when I was in high school,” admits The Whiskey Bent Band front man. “Playing in a band didn’t enter my mind. I just sang for fun. At that point in my life I was pretty focused on sports.”

Zach was exposed to country music at a young age. His dad, Frank, was a big Alabama fan and the two would drive on Highway 13 near Zach’s hometown of Glidden, Wisconsin, singing along to “The Closer You Get.”

“That’s still one of my fondest memories,” Zach says.  Zach didn’t get serious about performing until 20 years later. Even then, his career as a musician happened almost by accident.

Some friends convinced him to enter the “Colgate Country Showdown” singing competition in 2009. A demo tape landed him a live performance, which led to being named the eventual contest winner and Best New Country Act in Nebraska.

Zach’s run in the contest ended at regional competition in Albuquerque, N.M. “But it’s where my career as an entertainer would begin.” The Whiskey Bent Band formed in 2009, but success didn’t come quickly. In fact, the band actually paid a small Nebraska bar $175 to rent the place and play its first gig.

“We called all of our friends, invited them to Third Base Bar in St. Libory and played a 45-minute set for them – because we didn’t know any more songs than that,” recalls Zach, who moved to Nebraska in 2003 and now lives in Loup City.

‘COUNTRY WITH CRUNCH’

tim_zach2Known for its high-energy shows, tight instrumentals and Zach’s strong vocals, Whiskey Bent is a five-man country rock band based in central Nebraska.

In addition to Zach, Whiskey Bent is made up of Jeff Westwood (guitar), Jeff Wilson (drums), Joe Parr (guitar, mandolin, harmonica) and John Victory (bass). Westwood and Wilson have been with the band since it formed in 2009.

Kevin Galvan is Whiskey Bent’s tour manager, sound tech and merchandise manager.

Whiskey Bent writes and performs its own music and covers a variety of top artists that include Eric Church, Toby Keith, Jake Owen, Gary Allan and Johnny Cash.

“Garth Brooks meets Metallica. We’re country with crunch,” explains Zach. “We like to push the limits with songs and bring a rock attitude to every song we play.”

In 2010, Whiskey Bent played at Nebraska’s popular Comstock Windmill Festival alongside national acts Clay Walker, Rodney Atkins, Trent Tomlinson and Emerson Drive. That appearance launched a relationship in 2011 with Kearney-based radio station Nebraska’s Hot Country Y102 and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which led to the first of many benefit concerts to raise money to fight childhood cancer.

Whiskey Bent solidified itself in the Midwest music scene in 2012. The band opened for legend Collin Raye while also playing shows with national acts such as Justin Moore, Ronnie Milsap and the Casey Donahew Band.

FIRST ALBUM RELEASED

Zach and his band mates also began writing and performing their own songs in 2012, beginning with the debut single “On The River,” which quickly became a top request on local country radio. Whiskey Bent followed that single with “Every Bar’s Got One” and released four songs
on its first EP.

In 2013, with its EP gaining momentum and increased airplay, Whiskey Bent expanded its fan base by booking shows beyond it’s Nebraska roots, playing in surrounding states such as Iowa, South Dakota and others. The band also increased its national presence, opening and playing alongside The Lost Trailers, Jerrod Niemann and Jake Owen.

Whiskey Bent is currently in its busiest year of touring, playing more than 80 live shows in 2014. In addition to being one of the most sought-after club bands in the Midwest, Whiskey Bent is a regular on the summer county fair and country music festival circuit, including the popular Kicker Country Stampede in Manhattan, Kans.

Riding the success of its first EP, the band also released its first full-length album in July 2014, which includes eight original songs. In May, Zach spent time at Station West studio in Nashville, recording and writing with established songwriters such as Jamey Johnson. He co-wrote and recorded “Men Like Him” – a song about his grandfather – as part of a solo project.

For upcoming show information, news and photos of Tim Zach and Whiskey Bent, visit www.facebook.com/whiskeybentband