A singer and songwriter whose taut, observant songs are a fine match for his fiery banjo playing, Al Scorch (real name: Al Schorsch) was born in Chicago, Illinois.
Scorch's household was full of music: his father played piano every night for relaxation, his mother played the banjo and kept the instrument handy, and his older brother Tom took up the guitar. Tom began writing songs and formed a band when he was 14, inspiring Al to learn the banjo so he could follow suit. In 2004, Al started writing his own songs, and he and Tom formed an Irish folk-rock band called One of the Girls. After a while, Al struck out on his own, and started playing solo gigs, often opening for punk rock bands. As Scorch played more shows, both in town and on the road, he met a number of like-minded musicians who grew into Scorch's backing band, the Country Soul Ensemble. Scorch and his band developed a passionate following in Chicago, and in March 2012, they released their debut album, Tired Ghostly Town, through Plan-It-X Records
. Word about Scorch and the Country Soul Ensemble began to spread across the United States and overseas. In 2015, Scorch released a concert album, Live at the Spirit Store, recorded at a performance in Ireland. He signed on with Chicago's celebrated roots music imprint Bloodshot Records
, and in May 2016, he released his first album for the label, Circle Round the Signs. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi