QTbot loves Nick 13 & his solo album
Ever since OctoberFlame 2009 when I heard a sampling of Nick 13's solo project after Tiger Army's set, I was intrigued, curious ---my interest was certainly piqued: could he successfully make the transition from psychobilly to country/americana? The answer, unsurprisingly, is hell yes!
Before I continue with my review, I wanted to say that I am not normally interested in country music, or at least the kind of mainstream country music that gets played on the radio these days. I like listening to Johnny Cash & Connie Francis for the infusion of raw emotion, tales of love and loss, strong vocals & rocking rhythms-- and Nick 13's self entitled solo album has those same elements in spades.
I was fortunate enough to be able to see him live at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 21, 2011 and was not in the least disappointed. Nick was drinking tea periodically, which made me think perhaps he might not have been feeling well but this in no way impacted the quality of his singing. In addition to playing all 10 songs from his solo album, he also did a cover of Ernest Tubb's "Walking the Floor Over You" and Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel No. 4 (California Blues)" which were incredibly authentic yet modernized at the same time. I loved that he said he wanted to help "keep country music (that doesn't suck) alive!"
"Carry My Body Down" is a great example of the connection between country music & psychobilly, both in subject matter and sound. "When will they carry my body down/Will they take it from the river, after I've jumped right in and drowned?/Will they find it on the battlefield on the spot I stood my ground?" with lyrics like these, a somber melody and the existentialist/nihilist themes of facing death & questioning of one's mortality, it is clear that psychobilly has roots in country music. This song is soul-stirring...It sounds cheesy but it has that effect on me, anyway...
Whenever I hear "Gambler's Life", I get this vision of a dark-haired, handsome, heavily tattooed cowboy getting into trouble in an old west saloon -- booze, broads & lots at stake with each roll of the dice.
The gist of this hub is: if you're a Tiger Army fan or if you're just a fan of good music, you really need to listen to this album (and I mean PURCHASE IT, do NOT illegally download it).