If you have mainly encountered Nick, as I have, in the guise of solo, acoustic guitar slinging, jazz tinged, folk-pop performer then what you will find in his move from lonesome troubadour to minimalist band leader is the ability to combine the best of both worlds.
At the heart of the sound is the familiar balladry, emotionally driven personal narratives and rich vocal tones but now there is some wonderful sonic augmentation. Nothing too dominating, just additional details, which gently colour the musical landscape, enrich the flavours of the songs and add some extra depth. The advantage of working with songs, which have had a life of their own already, just as live favourites Don’t, 3am and Sadder Than Sad have, is that they have already proven to be more that up to the job and require nothing more than a quick studio polish rather than a complete rejuvenation.
It would have been easy for Nick to get a bit over excited when embarking on this new recording as it marks a gentle change of, if not direction then certainly logistical approach and any change of tack opens up a range of new potential and a change to explore. But Nick is too seasoned a musician to get overly carried away with such distractions and if you cut him open you would find the words “less is more is a cliché because it’s true” written spiral like around his creative soul, like a stick of rock…or roots rock at least. . Thus he manages to retain the grace and grandeur that you associate with his songs whilst still bringing new sounds into those familiar musical spaces.
So from now on get used to seeing Nick performing as part of a musical gang again but on the strength of this recording it would seem that he has pulled off that rare trick of adding much without losing any of the inherent qualities he is already known for. Clever bugger!
Listen to the album, buy it and more information HERE