Performance date: July 6th, 2022
Location: PJ’s Lager House
“Writing songs is like a treasure hunt and well worth the journey.” -Anthony Retka
Inquire who Anthony Retka is and prepare to traverse a wondrous land of talents set to a gorgeous backdrop of song. Dating back fifteen years, Retka’s place in Michigan’s entertainment scene is etched as a voice and storyteller through music. The Detroit-born singer, songwriter and producer takes his audience on a heart-opening journey into his fantastical inner world. As Retka shares, “The magic of being a songwriter is that I am able to provide an outlet for those who can’t express themselves well. It allows me to connect with the audience in a very human and personal way.”
At a young age, Anthony found an abandoned guitar in the attic of his childhood home. A family member’s forgotten dream? A gift left to collect dust amongst boxes filled with nostalgia? In Retka’s hands, this guitar found a home and thusly a path to years of songwriting presented itself birthed from this curious discovery.
Retka’s name is synonymous with the lilting melodies that spill forth from his stripped-down acoustic sound. As Detroit music critics have mentioned, a listener may find tribute nods to some of his standout favorites such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and Paul Simon. By no mistake, like Retka, these influential artists celebrate the simpler things in life. From this wellspring of inspiration, Retka has recorded four solo records, a solo EP, and singles; alongside four full-length studio albums, a live double CD, and multiple EPs and Singles with his former band, Tone & Niche.
The release of “Fields & Fortresses” in 2016 brought a direct and expressive batch of songs. The album brims with poignant and expressive solo work from start to finish. Each song is defined by Retka’s captivating vocal stylings and lullaby-like lyrics. Supported by his band, Big Parade,”Fields and Fortresses” features special guest appearances by notable Detroit-area musicians. The talents of Kate Hinote, Emily Rose, Dave Martin, and Drew Schultz talents stand up and out coupled with the core of Big Parade held down by Nate Brent on guitar, Alex Wildner on bass, Carson Morton on drums, and Kelly Tuscherer on backup vocals. Anthony Retka’s Big Parade has been playing out around Detroit since 2014.
2020 and 2021 have been banner years for Anthony Retka, especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic. On May 1st Anthony released his latest EP. The plan in early 2020 was to release a full album of songs, but due to limitations in the studio, brought on by the pandemic, Anthony decided to remain determined and painstakingly completed five tracks in his tiny Detroit apartment. These tracks became his new EP, “Never Has, Always Will.” Anthony followed-up that EP effort with a new double-single called “Embraceable You” in September that features two of Anthony’s favorite American standards. In 2021, Anthony released a live album and a new single, “Forever to Live” – followed up by a Christmas single called, “The Reason”, to round out 2021. It has been a very challenging two years for us all, but Anthony remarks, “when you understand your purpose and love what you do, then nothing can stop you.”
You can find Anthony’s new releases and his entire library of recorded music on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon & Bandcamp.