Wilcox resident Tracie Pretak releases debut album

Photo submitted – Tracie Pretak of Wilcox painted the image above for the cover art of her debut, self-titled album.
Staff Writer

Wilcox resident, Tracie Pretak, has recorded a debut album of original music. The songs will be released Friday, Sept. 21, on 75 digital sites worldwide, including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius, iHeart Radio, and YouTube Red. The songs were recorded, engineered, mixed, mastered and produced by Remember to Breathe Studios of Sharpsville.
The self-titled album is a singer-songwriter style, in genres that are a blend of contemporary jazz, blues, soul, indie, and pop. Pretak is featured on piano and vocals on every track.
"Four of the songs are originals," she said. "I wrote the lyrics, the music, and even the instrument parts. This album has challenged me in a lot of ways, especially creatively and personally. But I am thrilled with the sound and style that we have produced, and can't wait for the world to hear these songs. I was joined by some incredibly talented musicians who are all Elk County natives.
"'Baby, You Changed Everything' has an upbeat, throwback 60s jazz vibe that puts me in a great mood every time I hear it. The song is about falling in love with someone really special. I wanted to try something outside the box on this, so it actually starts with my daughter, Bailey Pretak of Wilcox, tap dancing. We are joined by Nathan Taylor of St. Marys on drums, and Isaac Neureiter of Ridgway on trumpets." Pretak said, continuing.
"'Crying in the Rain' is probably my favorite song I have ever written. I fell in love with the opening jazz chord and had to find a way to build a song on it. The result was this heart-wrenching ballad about a break-up. The scene is a dark, rainy night on a deserted street, with a person crying in the rain so no one can see their pain. I wrote a haunting trumpet part for this, which was played by Isaac Neureiter using a bubble mute, which ended up sounding like something from a 1920s jazz vinyl record. The percussion sounds on this were the creative improvisational genius of Nathan Taylor. I love how he totally set the scene by coming up with sounds that simulate rain.
"'Distracted' had to be included because of my love of the blues," said Pretak. "It tells the story of meeting someone new who really grabs your attention, and you find yourself constantly thinking about them. It includes some cool solo instrumental riffs. Nathan Taylor played drums, and my nephew, Kip Jones Jr., originally of Johnsonburg, played bass guitar.
"'You Got It' is a very personal song. I wrote it for my daughter when her heart got broken. In it, I tell her whatever you need, you got it. I love the beautiful piano opening on this one. I wanted a second instrument that would add passion and emotion, so I wrote an alto saxophone part, which was played by Zack Dickey of St. Marys. Once again, my drummer was Nathan Taylor.
"There will be a limited number of CDs available for purchase directly from me," Pretak said. "The CD will contain one extra song that will not be available online. By request from Bailey, I recorded a cover of 'Lullabye' by Billy Joel. Whenever she had a bad day, I would sing this to her. She would cry and then feel better. She wanted to always have that memory of my voice singing this to her.
"One of the biggest surprises with this album is the cover art. I wanted to use abstract jazz art instead of a photo of me. I actually painted it myself," pretax said, explaining. "The cover actually has a lot of symbolism contained in it. If you purchase the CD, you will get your own limited edition copy of this original artwork. The back cover is the scene in my head for the song, 'Crying in the Rain.' It has been a very long time since I last painted, but I am quite pleased with the finished art.
"I truly appreciate anyone who supports my music by purchasing, streaming, and sharing it. If you are interested in purchasing a CD, you can call me at 814-594-7790," Pretak said, in conclusion.
Tracie Pretak is a singer, songwriter, and pianist from Wilcox. She teaches private piano, voice and guitar lessons, and is the owner of Grace Notes Studio in Wilcox.