Northern Michigan duo release new album, set to release second


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

John Piatek & Friends – a psychedelic pop and indie rock band – consists of longtime friends (and former bandmates) John Piatek of Traverse City and Jake Myers of Petoskey who, over the past year, have spent their time recording their self-title and debut album.

“We really did this to push the duo further,” said Piatek.

Piatek – who has released solo music before and with the band The Persons – came to Myers wanting to do a project together while pushing the boundaries of what they were going to be able to do creatively.

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

“I’ve been on a few outings before, but I felt there was a lot that I had missed,” said Piatek.

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

The duo worked together on writing and producing and felt they really fit together as the recording process went on.

“I had never released a record or recorded music before, but I was really excited about it,” Myers said. “I think we worked really well together because John is really good at production and mastering and I helped a lot with different concepts which really fleshed it out.”

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 variety of other artists spanning genres like rock and hip-hop.

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

John had booked all of these gigs but, as he started playing more and more, he asked me if I wanted to accompany him. It was for convenience and to navigate the waters by booking gigs that our name has become, “he said.

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

The 10-song album features music resembling their common influences with lyricism reflecting adulthood, friendship and the landscapes 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 cover for the eponymous John Piatek & Friends album "John Piatek and his friends."

Piatek has also already started work on the next version of the duo, they say “… will be released between Thanksgiving and Christmas”.

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

The duo are currently working on booking more dates over the winter and next year and have an upcoming live show booked at the Acoustic Taproom in Traverse City on Friday, November 5th. All proceeds from their merchandise sales will also be used to support the Cherryland Humanitarian Society.

Listen to the duo’s debut album “John Piatek & Friends” on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music now. More information about the group can also be found on John Piatek’s Facebook page.

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

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