Jake Dryzal is a singer-songwriter and producer from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Raised in a music-loving household, Jake’s creativity blossomed at an early age. Although his family didn’t have a music performance background, the 24-year-old was immersed in it nonetheless. “My parents collected CDs when I was a little kid, and I would go through their collection and I discovered a lot of my favorite artists that way. And they also had VH1 on the TV a lot and that really got me into wanting to do music as a career.”
Jake began to write music under the name Blue Navy, starting in 2011. For the earlier part of the decade, Jake used Blue Navy as a musical experiment, writing songs on his sister’s piano (which he was never taught to play), and using video editing software to mix his tracks. After trying out some other genres (post-metal, emo) with some collaborators, Jake returned to the studio in an attempt to finally achieve his singular sound as Blue Navy. Being heavily influenced by dream pop and post-rock music, he tried to create more ethereal textures within his music. The end result was his first official full-length album, Mine, released in 2016.
Moving into a new phase of musical exploration, Jake recently released an album (and debuted a new musical identity) called Great American Racer. He describes it as “a folk rock/alt-country concept album about the heroin and opioid epidemic that has been raging in Rust Belt America for the past several decades.” He recalls that “at first I thought maybe this problem is a little exaggerated, but then when I was really growing up, it started to trickle down into my own family life, with my friends and my family members. And I just thought that this is a very serious problem that I needed to address.”
Jake continues, “Lyrically, the album draws parallels between Johnstown, Pennsylvania’s three historic floods (particularly the 1889 one) and the city’s diminishing industries with the current horrors of substance abuse.” Jake has been hard at work on this labor of love since 2018, writing, playing and recording the majority of the material himself.
By Dan Walsh