|5 February 2010
New Album from Nick Curran
On 'Reform School Girl' (Eclecto Groove, out on February 16), Nick Curran's
first new album in five years, the shouter, songwriter and monster guitarist is
an unstoppable, high-energy one-man 50's R&B revival. Curran wrote or co-
wrote 12 of the album's 14 foot-stomping tracks.
Called "just a total ass-kicker" by no less an authority than Jimmie Vaughan of
The Fabulous Thunderbirds (with whom he played for three years), the Austin-
based Curran and his new rock 'n' roll roots band, The Lowlifes, pull out all the
stops on the new album. Curran recorded 'Reform School Girl' on vintage
instruments and analog equipment, all the better to recreate the raw, explosive
sound of early R&B and rock 'n' roll 45's that he loves.
Tracks such as "Tough Love" and "Lusty Li'l Lucy" show the influence of Little
Richard and Chuck Berry, while the title track - with its refrain, "She stole my
heart and then she blew this town" - pays homage to girl groups like the Shangri-
Las and The Ronettes. "Baby You Crazy" recalls The Sonics at their loudest.
Nick Curran's previous release, 'Dr. Velvet,' garnered the 2004 W.C. Handy Award
(now known as the Blues Music Award) for "Best New Artist Debut." In 2008,
Curran performed four songs on the mega-hit HBO series "True Blood." All Music
Guide called him "one of the most authentic and exciting roots musicians of his
Nick Curran describes his music as a cocktail consisting of the sounds of no less
than seventeen widely differing musicians blended together with a cup of broken
glass. That only begins to characterize the wallop packed by the 98-proof elixir of
this singer, songwriter and monster guitarist who effortlessly carries the past
with him as he blazes across the musical landscape in perpetual forward motion.
Curran began his professional career at age nineteen, leaving Maine to tour with
Ronnie Dawson. Although Dawson was primarily a rockabilly musician, many blues
and punk fans appreciated his performances. He taught Curran not to get
pigeonholed. Curran toured next with Texas rockabilly doyenne Kim Lenz, moving
to Dallas to join her backup band the Jaguars for two years, and performing on
Lenz’s recording, “The One And Only.” Nick would stay with the Jaguars for two
years. He is also featured on Lenz’s latest CD, “It’s All True,” and recently toured
with her in the summer of 2009.
In 1999 the Texas Jamboree label issued Curran’s debut solo recording, “Fixin'
Your Head.” As he would do on all future CDs, Curran used vintage recording
equipment to achieve the feel and sound of old 45s and 78s, and the LPs of the
1950s. To support the recording he formed the band, Nick Curran and the
Nitelifes, whose performances whipped audiences to frenzied devotion with their
wild ride of retro, yet fresh and edgy rock ‘n’ roll, boogie, R&B, jump blues and a
variety of other tasty stylistic devils in the details. A second Texas Jamboree CD,
“Nitelife Boogie,” followed in 2001.
Rough and Ready
When Curran moved to Austin, Jimmie Vaughan, who had heard his CDs, invited
him to sit in on a set at Antone’s. Vaughan would make a guest appearance on
two tracks on Nick’s next recording, “Dr. Velvet,” which garnered the 2004 W.C.
Handy Award (now the Blues Music Award) for "Best New Artist Debut."
From 2004 to 2007 Curran displayed his talents with The Fabulous Thunderbirds,
Kim Wilson’s legendary band, appearing on their 2005 recording, “Painted On.”
Also during that time, Curran and bassist Ronnie James started the punk band
Deguello, saying that it “sounded as if Little Richard sang with The Ramones.”
After performing a solo show in November, 2008, Nick was inspired to form the
rock ‘n’ roll roots band, The Lowlifes. “Reform School Girl” is a culmination of
Curran’s multitude of talents: a throwback to his roots, only amped up to the
limit. “I’ve written more songs on ‘Reform School Girl’ than on any other record. I
wanted it to have no filler – only good stuff. All my influences are there, from old
blues like Lazy Lester and T-Bone Walker to girl groups like The Ronettes and The
Shangri-Las, to Guns N Roses.”
The album also features a couple of appearances by some of Nick’s close
personal friends including a duet on the song “Flyin’ Blind,” co-written with
Blasters’ frontman Phil Alvin, as well as harmonica ace Jason Ricci on “Reel Rock
Party.” Catch Nick Curran as he shakes, rattles and rolls a head-spinning
combination of genres and tunes into a cool, irresistible cocktail that is rough and
ready for action.
Text courtesy of Eclecto Groove
Links: Nick Curran, Eclecto Groove
Contact: admin (a) blueswebzine.com
© 2006 - 2010 Blues-Finland.com / BluesWebzine.com