Things change. Lives, jobs, seasons, fads…things change. Just ask Erick Macek. A few years ago, Erick Macek decided he wanted to pursue a career in music. So, he packed up his UHaul in Bethlehem, PA, put a thousand dollars in his pocket, and drove off towards the California sunrise. That day, things changed for Erick Macek. He began a new chapter in California, writing and recording songs, and playing shows; the life of a hustling singer/songwriter. Things changed again for Erick when he was invited to come and audition for NBC’s The Voice , a television showcase of musical talent much like it’s forefather American Idol, and contemporary The X Factor. If you want to hear the whole story, well, you’ll have to see Erick at one of his live shows for that one. But in a nutshell, months of grueling auditions later, Erick stepped onto the stage in front of (well, behind, really) Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Cee Lo GreenChristina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton. Oh, and also 38 million viewers watching at home. He nailed a smooth, soulful rendition of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” and the crowd was diggin’ it. Unfortunately, the judges weren’t. On the upside, he walked away with a few tips from some of music’s best, and took another huge step towards stardom. I recently got a chance to sit down with Erick after a show in our hometown of Bethlehem, PA during a brief east coast tour run. We chatted about his experience on The Voice and how it’s changed his career. He told me about who’s influenced him and his music, from Dave Matthews to Jack Johnson to  James Taylor. Erick reminds me very much of all three, and throw in some John Mayer as well. Erick has been honored as “Best Male Vocalist of the Year” at the Los Angeles Music Awards, along with “Best Overall Singer” at AMTC’s worldwide talent competition and a 25k winning for “Best Band” at the Musicpalooza competition along with many other accolades. Macek has also shared the stage with acts such as Joan JettDavid GrayBrandi CarlileGin Blossoms, and many others. Erick has performed at such shows as the  Sundance Film FestivalThe Academy Awards Lounge , and SXSW. A few days after our interview, I got a chance to catch Erick’s show at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia, PA. I felt like I was on VH1’s Storytellers. In between songs, Erick would tell the crowd about his life, his music, The Voice, beer, and many other things. He painted a deep and intimate portrait through his songs and stories. While he may not be a metal shredder, Erick is definitely a monster guitar player and is justly mentioned in the same sentence as Dave Matthews and others. His songs groove and jive so much you can help but smile, tap your feet, clap your hands, and move to the music. His new album, Colors May Change, out now and a must-have for 2012 so far. We got to talk a lot about the direction of this album, so be sure to check out the interview. No headbanging here gang, just sit back, relax, and enjoy this one. Groove and jive. (Photos Courtesy of Lauren Hillary Photography