It isn’t very often that I get to travel for something non blues. But this past week I was in Boulder Colorado at CU to receive an Award for Central Connecticut State University. CCSU takes part in an EPA Football Challenge and we placed first nationally in the Waste Minimization category. Only college in the state to take part. So much for the “green giants” Yale and UConn.
As I was doing a little home work on the Boulder Outlook Inn, I found they not only had entertainment but were listed as Boulder’s Home of the Blues. So now I was ready to enjoy the trip even more.
Let me digress for a minute. Some of you may remember that my first blues writing was for the Connecticut Blues Society’s newsletter “State of the Blues.” I was traveling a lot then and would end up reporting on a blues club in the city I was staying in. Hence “Travelin’ with the Blues” was born.
Now back to Boulder. It turns out the band was the Andy T. Nick Nixon Band. Now Nick Nixon and I served on the Blues Foundation Board a few years ago. So it was going to be nice to see him. Last time we met up he was doing a showcase in Memphis. This will be the first time I get to see him with Andy T.
The Club has an early start and finish, out by 10 pm, 10:30 on the weekends. Now maybe they are on to something, early start, early finish. Appreciative crowd with some dancers in the audience. Nick and Andy had a chance to stretch out and show their talent when a woman asked if they would play People Get Ready. Sure enough, did a great job. They were strongly supported with drums, bass, and keyboard.
Before Nick came up for the second set, a friend of the band JB Stone did a couple of songs.
Had a chance to sit and catch up with Nick during a break. Of course we had to pause as people came by for autograph. They actually were getting the whole band to sign the CD.
From the Bands webpage – stole a few lines to tell you about Nick and Andy.
Nick Nixon is one of those amazing artists that rarely surface today. This velvet voiced singer was born and raised in Nashville and was part of the thriving Jefferson Street blues scene of the 60′s. Nick was a Chess Records recording artist in the 70′s, and is a key figure in the reviving Nashville blues scene today. His latest CD was recorded with guitarist/bandleader “Andy T” Talamantez (Guitar Shorty, Smokey Wilson), and produced by Anson Funderburgh. This new CD will follow his successful 2001 release on the European, Black Magic label, No End to the Blues, and his acclaimed 2005 recording, Back Down South.
As a long-time member of The New Imperials, an act with a forty-five year history, Nick has performed with many of the top blues and R&B artists in the world.
Nixon is something of an institution in the Music City, regularly performing for civic functions and even singing before thousands at the Riverfront Park, accompanied by the Nashville Symphony. His blues duo, Nick and Bayou, is the only act to have ever sung in the chambers of the Nashville Metro Council.
Despite such a varied and successful career in the music business, Nixon is still remembered by many as a friend and sometime stage mate of the late, great Jimi Hendrix. Nick befriended Hendrix and his pal (and later to be Band of Gypsies member) Billy Cox when they arrived in Nashville in the early ’60s. To this day Nick often writes and performs with his good friend, Cox.
“Andy T” Talamantez was born and raised in Southern California, and relocated to Nashville in 2008. His guitar style is influenced by T-Bone Walker, BB King, Magic Sam, and Albert Collins among others, yet it remains his own. Andy has toured internationally with blues greats Guitar Shorty and Smokey Wilson, and has performed with a long list of major blues artists around the country.
After meeting James “Nick” Nixon, and watching him perform, Andy knew that they would make an unstoppable combination.
Besides playing the blues Nick is also an award winning blues educator. This was my first meeting with Andy T. and look forward to meeting with him, hopefully the band can travel up this way.
The band was there for 2 nights, so when I got there they had some friends in the crowd, waiting for them. There was a favorite song something about Shake the Monkey. It brought people to the floor and was fun.
Now a little more about the club. I had to go back for the French Fires. Some of the best fries I have had, crisp and hot.
Music in the club for the Friday afternoon Happy Hour was blues. In addition, the walls of the club had plenty of paintings of blues artists.
And they are members of the Blues Foundation.
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BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella.