By Anthony J. Machcinski
About a year and a half ago, JD Klossek started the band Brick City Cowboys, with hopes of creating a complete CD and beginning a career as a country singer.
Midway through that first year, however, other priorities emerged, making Klossek change his thoughts about the first CD.
“We had plans to finish the other three songs and do a complete CD, but before you know it, a friend of mine and I started hearing about people being evicted in Jersey City,” Klossek said.
Looking to help out those people, Klossek hoped to release an LP – – a seven-song album – with most of the profits going to charity.
“I got in touch with other band members and explained it to them, asked them if we could just release an LP now,” Klossek recalled.
“They thought it was a good idea.” With the LP’s release, Klossek created the Bands Against Tragedy charity, an organization he hopes will grow with time.
“We’re hoping to raise $5,000 for a particular family with two children family in order to get them into a new apartment,” Klossek said, adding that the family has ben staying in multiple shelters for the homeless.
Klossek, a lifelong fan of country music, started the Brick City Cowboys to follow a childhood passion.
“I wrote some songs, sent some demos to Nashville and the folks over there were pretty helpful,” Klossek said. They set me up with some musicians and we got together and we clicked right away.”
Klossek, a Newark native who lived in both Kearny and North Arlington before settling in Jersey City, said that he couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t listening to country music.
“It was always around, it was always surrounding me,” Klossek said. “I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there.”
Klossek said it was his family that inspired his career choice.
“It was a natural progression for me,” Klossek said. “There were a few musicians in my family. I never knew a time when I wasn’t interested in trying to write or play music. It’s something that I love.”
Klossek’s music choice comes from inspirations of older country legends such as Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Eddie Rabbit and Johnny Cash, and folk singers such as Bob Dylan.
However, Klossek acknowledges that his style differs markedly from many of today’s than that of many modern country artists, such as Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.
That difference is shown all throughout the Brick City Cowboy’s LP “A Cold Hard Winter.”
On the title track, “It’s Been a Long Cold Hard Winter,” the band’s slow tempo goes well with Klossek’s southern draw, a trait not commonly found with Newark natives.
The Cowboys also feature the song “She Don’t Want to Be Found,” which tells the tale of the singer’s lost love and how she “don’t want to be found.”
On the track, the band mixes Klossek’s southern twang with an uptempo – almost happy – style, not something often found in country music.
As for the future of his band, Klossek hopes to continue to grow and record more songs.
In addition, he would also like to be able to do more for Bands Against Tragedy.
“There just really is a huge need,” Klossek said. “Whether it’s a few concerts or helping out with rent or food drives. (The charity) can really go in so many directions.”
For more information on the Brick City Cowboys, visit their website at www.brickcitycowboys.com. Their first EP, “A Cold Hard Winter” can be found on iTunes or on Amazon for $7.99.
Klossek said that after a percentage of the profits goes to iTunes and Amazon, about $5 goes to the Bands Against Tragedy charity.