Artists To Watch 2012: Zach Lovett | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Artists To Watch 2012: Zach Lovett

Photo by Photo by Peyton Wofford

Zach Lovett, whose grandmother describes him as "an old soul who is not that old yet," speaks with the ease and confidence of a practiced musician and performer. If anything belies this 20-year-old singer-songwriter's age, it is his passion for making music.

Lovett has been playing the guitar since he was 12. He sings and plays the banjo, harmonica and a little piano.

"My heart is in the banjo," he says about his favorite instrument. "I'll play the fire out of it if I get the chance."

Though neither of his parents is a musician, Zach attributes his love of music to their influence. He and his twin brother, Dylan, grew up listening to modern-day troubadours such as John Prine and Neil Young. Their father, who Lovett calls "a huge words man," instilled a deep appreciation of lyrics and songwriting.

"I've always been interested in the creative side," Lovett says. His biggest influences are alt-country singer Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst, singer and songwriter for the band Bright Eyes.

"I owe a lot to other musicians, but I get the most out of performing my own songs," Lovett says. He has been test-driving his original material at Fenian's Pub for the last couple years, playing at the pub's open-mic night.

When he's not going solo, Lovett plays with Dandy and the Lions, a band he formed with his college roommate, Spencer Thomas, while attending Delta State University in 2011. He describes the band as "folkgrass with a strong bluegrass influence." For a quick listen, check out Dandy and the Lions on YouTube, performing "The War."

Check out Zach Lovett "on any given Tuesday" at Fenian's Open Mic at 9 p.m. or at one of his upcoming performances. On Oct. 17, he performs solo at Fenian's (901 E. Fortification St., 601-948-0055). Dandy and the Lions perform at Fenian's Nov. 24. Both shows are free and start at 9 p.m.

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