Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
The blues; a genre of music that has soul, emotion, and dates back to the 19th century of our country. Many great, talented musicians have been associated with the blues genre and Johnny Nicholas is one of those that will be included.
His latest record, Fresh Air, is a collection of 13 tracks of differing subject matters of perfect blues for Johnny Nicholas.
He creates a sold a blues song in “Kid Man Blues” while also incorporating other aspects of other genres like country and folk. An ode to blue collar work on the pipeline paired with a solid, nod-your-head, jammy sort of groove makes “Blues Time” a definite highlight of the record. The song “Red Light” may resonant with me the most out the 13-song set. It reminds me of all of the blues songs that I grew up listening to or overhearing my father listen to and loving. It has the elements of a classic blues song that I was taught and that have made this specific genre so special to me.
The blues as a genre, to me, have always been one to touch on real life, but despite that sometimes sadness and negative disparity, they are able to create such an outgoing, upbeat personality (if you will) that other genres do not. Johnny Nicholas does a tremendous job illustrating this through his music.
Nicholas taps in on the southern blues in “Bayou Blues” and does well incorporating instrumentation that represents that sub-genre of the blues.
Overall, this record satisfies even the finicky of blues appetites with ease.