Rick Deak goes solo with Black EP

Rick Deak and his guitar have been a familiar sight on area stages for years.

He played with the rock act SinOmatic, which released an album on Atlantic Records in 2001. He was a regular with The Barflies and plays out these days with Radio Lark, The Will & The Way and Ctrl+Alt ReWind.

After years as a bandmate, Deak goes solo with “The Black EP,” a four-song set released last week.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile,” Deak said. “I’ve played in bands, collaborated with other people. This allowed me the opportunity to do my own thing and express my musical direction.

That direction is more Americana than the bands he’s played with before.

“I’m a huge Ryan Adams fan and a big fan of Americana, alt-country stuff,” he said. “This sit right in the middle of that style of music – Tom Petty, Jayhawks, Wilco. I’m also a huge Jeff Buckley fan, although I don’t hear any of that in it.

“The other bands Iáve played in like SinOmatic, we were a hard rock band. I loved working with Ken Cooper and writing those songs, but I didn’t have a chance to do my own thing.”

Deak, who lives in Canfield, said he’s been writing songs in that Americana vein for years and recording them in his home studio.

“These are the four most important songs that I just wanted to go in the studio and do the right way,ã he said. âI recorded this for myself in hopes for people just to listen to it. Iám not sure what my expectations are.”

For a man who has spent most of his time backing lead singers, Deak’s vocals are surprisingly strong and well-suited to the genre. The quality of the guitar playing that serves as the foundation for the four tracks is less surprising.

Filmmaker Chris Rutushin, who Deak plays with in Radio Lark, plays melodica on the EP and also shot an in-studio video during the recording of âDays,ã which can be seen on YouTube.

Deak will be joined by his The Will & The Way partner Jackie Popovec for a short acoustic set at 10:30 a.m. today at The Record Connection in McKinley Heights for Black Friday Record Store Day. The EP will be available at the show, and he is opening for Demos Papadimas, who is releasing a vinyl edition of his “Waiting” album for Record Store Day.

“I’m looking to actually book an honest-to-goodness EP release party. I’ll probably do it with The Will & The Way and Radio Lark at the beginning of year. Jackie sings on ‘Hi Baby.’ Having her there doing the backup is something I definitely want to do.”

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