Signing Story: Liam Kazar

Date Signed: January 2021

Label: Mare/Woodsist

Band Members: Liam Kazar, David Curtin, Spencer Tweedy, Lane Beckstrom 

Type of Music: Alternative Rock, Singer-Songwriter

Management: Sully Davis, localuniverse.net 

Publicity: Jim DeLuca - jim.pitchperfectpr@gmail.com

Web: liamkazar.bandcamp.com 

A&R: Kevin Morby

There are many roads that lead to that elusive record deal or management contract. But there are few substitutes for achieving anything of value than exerting the proper amount of elbow grease and putting in the work. In the case of Chicago/Kansas City-based singer-songwriter Liam Kazar, that journey has been in service of, and in collaboration with, various artists such as Jeff Tweedy, Steve Gunn, Chance the Rapper and Daniel Johnston. For over 10 years Kazar has toured as a sideman and multi-faceted vocalist, guitarist and songwriter.

Kazar has a new album out called Due North and he always knew the direction of a musician’s life was the one he wanted to follow. “I was lucky enough that music seemed like a real job right away,” says Kazar. “I always took touring seriously. With this new album I wanted to record some music that would be fun to play live. And that’s something I’ve learned from all the people I’ve collaborated and toured with.”

Due North is Kazar’s debut on Kevin Morby’s imprint, Mare/Woodsist. But the unassuming singer-songwriter entered into the label association almost by accident. “The truth is I have very little experience with labels for somebody who’s been in music professionally for 10 years now,” says Kazar. “But, with this situation, the label is run by my friend Kevin who also lives in K.C. I knew some of his music peripherally and he knew some of the people I’ve played with.” Curiously, Morby had never heard Kazar’s own compositions. That all changed during last year’s pandemic lockdown when he attended one of the Sunday porch concerts at the singer-songwriter’s home. “Kevin liked one of my songs and thought it was an old standard. When I told him it was mine he made up his mind to put out my record. That was November 2020. By the beginning of the year he said ‘Let’s do this,’” recalls Kazar.

Kazar—who during the touring downtime of the pandemic also became a pop-up Armenian chef—is happy to step into the spotlight and put his own musical vision on display. “Kevin’s whole vibe is helping people get their foot in the door,” explains Kazar. “I believe his label only puts out people’s debut work. I think that’s an interesting idea for a label, with nothing but debut albums. I am just excited that someone else is excited about it!”