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Former Edmonton Eskimos QB Zach Kline trades football for guitar

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Zach Kline moonlights as a blues musician when he's not on the football field.
Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Zach Kline moonlights as a blues musician when he's not on the football field. Supplied by Zach Kline

Zach Kline has held two of the most coveted jobs a man could ask for: quarterback and musician.

The native of Danville, Calif., spent two seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos. He played in the preseason in 2017 and 2018, but never got into a regular season game, spending both years on the Eskimos practice roster.

Now living in Nashville, Kline’s football days are behind him, but that doesn’t mean he is done playing. Far from it.

Click to play video 'Esks QB Zach Kline hits high notes on field and in studio' Esks QB Zach Kline hits high notes on field and in studio
Esks QB Zach Kline hits high notes on field and in studio – Jan 7, 2019

 

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Still playing, still practicing, still getting his reps — except all of that is with a guitar and sheet music now and not a football and a playbook. Kline plays slide guitar and sings in his band Lonesome Revival.

Read more: Eskimos QB can sling it… and sing it

He said the time he spent in Edmonton changed his life.

“I loved playing for the Eskimos,” said the 26-year-old, whose time in Edmonton could have been part of a movie script.

“I met my wife in Canada. Funny enough, she was a cheerleader for the Eskimos. Football gave me my best friend, my wife. That was the best year of my life and now I get to spend every day with her.”

The Botanical Garden at the University of Alberta was the sight for the engagement and the Klines will be spending time in Edmonton again after the pandemic.

“As soon as we are able to go back, we’re going to be back up there. I miss it so much and all of our friends up there. It’s such a special place to us.”

Now in Nashville, Kline is working on his craft, singing and playing guitar and rehearsing with Lonesome Revival.

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“Music has always been with me. I was even playing shows up in Edmonton in the 2018 season,” said Kline, who would welcome his teammates to Have Mercy for many of those gigs.

Now focused more on music, Kline says he has come along way from those shows in Edmonton.

“I started refining my sound and focusing on certain things. I have put in a ton of hours into my craft, into my song writing and into my slide playing and working on vocals to push a product that is something that is going to represent what you’re trying to say.”

What will you hear when you listen to Lonesome Revival? Kline described the sound on the latest episode of The E-Pod.

“It is a true Americana southern rock feel, honest and very raw — kind of like a gospel choir feel to it with big guitars and big drums and songs that have meaning that you remember. It’s not just about beer and trucks and girls on the lake.”

LISTEN BELOW: Lonesome Revival song Folded Flag

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down bars and concerts so playing in a band is not easy right now but Kline says Lonesome Revival will make the best of this break.

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“We would love to play out and showcase our sound and have that opportunity, but it’s a little bit difficult right now. We are going to take the rest of this year to build a huge Rolodex of our own stuff and get as tight as we can as a group and do all the necessary foundational steps so that two years from now we’re not looking back and saying, ‘Hey, I wish we would have done this.'”

Just like football, Kline believes that in music, practice and getting reps will make you better and just like football’s next-man-up approach, you never know when the chance will arrive.

“We’ll be ready when the opportunity comes.”

LISTEN BELOW: The E-Pod