Patrick Masalko will charm the audience during his solo acoustic guitar performance at 5:30 p.m. today at The Rusty Nail, 7291 S.R. 43, Twin Lakes.
Masalko, an instructor at Canton Music City, has been playing at The Rusty Nail for more than five years.
"The owners, Steven and Wendy, found me through MySpace Music and booked me on faith," Masalko said. "Since then, whenever they have an event that music would compliment, they've been very generous in booking me and making me feel right at home."
Wendy Fiebig, third-generation owner of the Rusty Nail, said every time Masalko plays there, people fall in love with him and his music.
"My husband found Pat on a website years ago and we took a chance and had him come and perform here," Fiebig said. "It was one of the best decisions we have made, as entertainment goes."
Masalko described his music style as a blend of all different music styles in one.
"If I had to pick a style I love to play, it would be all of them," Masalko said. "Most people tell me I remind them of Harry Chapin, Cat Stevens and John Popper. I like to think that I am a musician and not a pigeonholed artist bound by labels."
Masalko's musical influences as a guitarist include Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, George Harrison, Neil Young and Santana. Masalko said vocally his influences are Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon.
When it comes to song writing, Masalko's inspiration comes from situations in his own life and the lives of others.
"Sometimes the words come strong before the music," Masalko said. "Other times the melodies float around my head until I have to write and record them. I am also extremely influenced by my time spent playing in a school environment. I played trombone, bassoon and upright bass thanks to my public school musical background."
Masalko's said his strong point is open honesty in his lyrics.
"There is definitely an honesty to my lyrics and an understanding of counterpoint," Masalko said. "It allows my music to have more movement within the chords structure, more like an orchestrated piece."
Masalko's live performances are usually upbeat, but for Valentines Day, he will be keeping it low key until the diners leave.
"I will be playing soft, mellow songs," Masalko said. "I may switch it up as the night gets later. Once the audience is appropriate, some may even hear me play acoustic versions of Snoop Dogg songs. I usually pick the songs that I enjoy performing. If I'm not into the songs, it's hard to imagine anyone else could be moved. The mood is always happy and playful unless someone requests a sad song, then I try to use discretion as far as placing a song like that is concerned."
Masalko said he enjoys playing The Rusty Nail because he is treated like family.
"Steven and Wendy are two of the greatest owners I have ever met and they treat me with a great deal of respect and make me feel like family," Masalko said. "I notice they also treat all of their employees like family as well and that makes a difference to me in how I perform. They also spotlight entertainment in the center of the room as opposed to other establishments that push entertainers to a back corner."
Fiebig said Masalko's music is not only fantastic, but his personality is as well.
"He plays acoustic guitar and plays everything from love songs to rock and everything in between," Fiebig said. "Customers love his personality and his music and always ask, 'when will he be back?' Pat also takes requests and our customers love it. So, bring a tune and he will play it for you."
Masalko's last performance at The Rusty Nail was in December.
"We booked him for Valentine's Day because we knew it would be an added bonus for our customers that night," Fiebig said. "We are hoping the atmosphere here is one of comfort, laid back and fun. We just want our customers to have a fantastic meal, excellent service and enjoy the music."
For more information or to make a reservation, call The Rusty Nail at 330-673-2297.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1123