“What I like most about Zane Kuchera is he has the perfect combination of technical expertise, musical insight and sweetness of temper. His studio is so comfortable and professional, but what always drew me the most was how personable he is. He’s kind and considerate, a good listener and truly cares about people and their musical vision. It’s a winning combination.” – Amy Syd Babcock
”Zane Kuchera has many years of experience working as a composer, arranger and music producer on projects for clients worldwide. His technical, sound engineering and music theory knowledge, paired with his many years of practical experience in the studio is an asset to any songwriter, vocalist and musician and that, together with his patience and easy manner, makes him a pleasure to work with! Zane, being a singer himself, is sensitive to the needs of the artist, which is an added bonus!” – Zola
“After working with Zane for 17 years I have more to say than can fit into a short recommendation. Zane has a rare mix of talents that set him apart from many professional studio producers. He is both a teacher and a follower, an expert and a learner, a highly experienced musician and a lifelong student of music’s fundamentals, an authentic critic and an open-hearted listener, a detail-oriented engineer and a ‘go-for-it-all’ artist’s champion. Zane’s embrace of such a wide range of qualities have meant that I have permission to take risks and feel confident that, start to finish, Zane and his studio resources will be there to guide the way. Truly, I have gone further with my music than I ever imagined thanks to Zane’s work and his remarkable commitment to both the highest quality of sound engineering and the highest quality of personal artistic style. Anyone working with him is in the best of hands to manifest their creative vision.” – Martha Rogers
“I’ve known Zane Kuchera for close to two decades now through music collaboration and composition, and his insight and skills have only gotten better over time. Although a formal musical education is an important asset, to have the ear, and have the gift of music from the soul and be able to convey that to other artists’ projects is a unique talent. Zane’s expertise in production, arrangement and composition takes a musical seed and lets it bloom. I highly recommend Zane Kuchera for any artist’s project.” – Jon Gilbert Leavitt
“Zane’s studio is polished, professional, and high-tech, but also comfortable and welcoming a singer’s dream, much like Zane himself. Highly recommended!” – Richard Wayne
“A basic premise of all art is to share. Zane Kuchera strongly achieves this with “Patterns”. The more I listened the more I felt like I was taking part in a personal invitation to experience what is Zane Kuchera. The experience is first of all extremely pleasant. Kuchera’s music takes you to many places and diverse viewpoints. I frequently found myself associating what I was hearing on “Patterns” with the character of Pippin from the musical of the same name. Possibly because Zane’s vocal talent would lend itself very well to the roll. However, I think it is more probable that Kuchera’s thought provoking lyrics and topics are easily linked to Pippin’s search for understanding from within himself. Like the musical, the CD “Patterns” had me on more than one occasion taking a look at my own experiences.
Zane’s lyrics are not overstated nor exaggerated, they are genuine and honest in their statements. Covering a range of experiences and emotions with which most will have strong associations. Delivered in such a manner as to showcase the lyrics and vocal talent of Kuchera. On his website it is easily known that these lyrics are a strong point to Zane, as he supplies a brief description of each song.
From the opening instrumental of track one, “All My Life”, I was intrigued by Kuchera’s style and lyrics. His clever ability to combine serious subject matter with lively, lingering melody as in “Haven’t Got A Clue” and “Simon Says” further demonstrates his appeal. Overall “Patterns” is of a romantic nature. Not the gushy type, but more in a classic sense in dealing with the true romance of life and its opportunities. In “Cathedrals” a change in direction to addressing a religious theme, Kuchera shares an interesting view based on the sheep in wolves clothing theme. The romance Zane examines in his art deals with that of love, doubt, hope, and happiness. While the subjects are universal in understanding, they are not presented from the usual point of view. This brings a fresh honesty to the power of Kuchera’s lyrics. Everything, and I do mean everything about “Patterns” is Zane Kuchera, and you couldn’t ask for more.
On his website, Zane has added two new songs. A heart wrenching ballad about domestic violence with a happy ending called “Childhood In A Storm”. The other is Jon Gilbert Leavitt’s “ballad for the new millennium”, “Believe”. The combination of Leavitt and Kuchera is as would be expected pure quality! A definite to added for your surfing pleasure. As for your listening pleasure be sure to add “Patterns” to your collection. For more information about Zane his music and how to get your copy of “Patterns” visit his website.” – Codi (StoneWall Society)
“Zane Kuchera’s first CD, Patterns, is truly a do-it-yourselfer. Have you watched This Old House? Kuchera’s show would be “This Old Recording Studio.” He composed, arranged, performed and produced the entire CD, employing electric keyboards and a software application (and although he can burn his own disks, he depends on MP3.com for packaging and distribution).
But if the production is a “labor of love,” the songs themselves, and Kuchera’s performance of them, are a labor of love, heartache, grief, healing and redemption – the work of a lifetime. Indeed, the songs on Patterns were written over the span of two decades, and as such, serve as the story of Kuchera’s life. Or, perhaps more accurately, the songs tell the story of his love life, from the first forays into puppy love (and hangdog disillusionment), through a sad marriage, to a growing self-awareness and centeredness as a gay man.
In every song, Kuchera wears his heart on his sleeve, and it’s a gorgeous heart. His lyrics are forthright and unpretentious as they examine love gone bad, the tension between romance and long-term commitment, and the yearning for something sure and lasting. Kuchera’s strong tenor rings out with understated candor, expressing the emotion through words and music rather than any vocal dramatics. This clear-eyed exploration of love ultimately offers hope, if only the hope of getting beyond the hurt and becoming stronger.
The style ranges between lush ballads and mid-tempo pop, suggesting Kuchera’s roots in contemporary cabaret and torch song – Peter Allen, Barbra Streisand, and (don’t laugh) Barry Manilow come to mind (Kuchera does confess in the notes that he wrote one of his prettier songs, Tell Me When, while having “a Diana Ross moment”). Some particularly catchy melodies include Haven’t Got a Clue, Simon Says, Fantasy, the anthem-like Isn’t Enough, and a sweet, almost baroque instrumental called Somewhere in This World.
Rounding out the set are three alternate takes, labeled “unplugged,” although that is a slight misnomer as Kuchera continues to accompany himself on electric keyboard, but with a stripped-down arrangement. It might have been nice to hear these songs genuinely “unplugged” on, say, grand piano.
In fact, now that Kuchera has proven himself as a talented singer-songwriter (arranger- producer-musician-engineer), my wish for him is that he could eventually develop enough financial backing to hire a band. On a few songs I could imagine female back-up singers joining the chorus, and the energy created by musicians playing together is often difficult, though not impossible to attain in a solo effort. But this is not the first recording by one man and his MIDI, and very few sound even half as lovely, or achieve half the energy that Kuchera achieves here. You have to start somewhere, and on Patterns Zane Kuchera is off to a running leap.
(P.S.: such rugged individualism has been paying off. “Patterns” has received glowing reviews on several web pages, including http://mp3.boston.com/bands/zane.shtml, and stage.vitaminic.com/zane_kuchera/singles, http://www.stonewallsociety.com/EqualPride/ep20zanekucherareview.htm.)” – Peterborough Folk Music Society
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Lindsay Cobb
“I spent the morning listening to the songs on this CD. In a few words (well, more than a few) Mr. Kuchera’s music is unique, beautiful, powerful, personal and moving. When a singer can open up his soul and share his feelings with people he’s never met — that’s an artist. These are not merely lyrics set to music. They are moments and images accompanied by simplicity in music which, in their own way, produce rich images and memories for the listener to savor. By feeling comfortable about himself he, in turn, feels comfortable about sharing these feelings. That’s admirable!
If there is one negative about this CD it has to be this — I wanted to hear more. I eagerly await the next collection.” – David Morrow
“The (Shakespeare) production (of As You Like It) was……. memorable for the original music composed by Zane Kuchera. Shakespeare’s script is punctuated with many songs, and Composer Kuchera set Shakespeare’s words to music, allowing the cast to sing Shakespeare’s words as well as say them” – Gazebo Players of Medfield