Album Reviews

Andy T-Nick Nixon Band – Livin’ It Up (Delta Groove)

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91rc1gux6NL._SL1500_Back with their sophomore effort is the Andy T – Nick Nixon Band, with producer Anson Funderburgh once again in control.   Last year’s debut, Drink Drank Drunk, scored well on the blues charts and sparked a vigorous touring schedule for the band. Guitarist Andy “T” Talamantez and 71 year-old Nashville vocalist James “Nick” Nixon met three years ago at the Nashville Blues Society’s regular Sunday night jam.  Although Nixon’s roots extend back to Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox, this is only the second time he’s appeared on a full-length national release.  Nick has one of those unmistakably killer blues voices, capable of growling and crooning within the same song.  But, for the most part their sound is very smooth, anchored by the clean, T-Bone Walker guitar style of Andy T who relocated to Nashville from southern California six years ago.  While Funderburgh played several tracks on the first effort, all leads here come from Andy T who plays in a similar style.

Their band features keyboards from Larry Van Loon and sax from Ron Jones or Dana Robbins, who team on three of the tracks.  The horns make for a more fully rounded sound than the debut.  With ten originals and three well-chosen covers, you’ll hear a variety of tempos and echoes of Texas, Memphis, and New Orleans along the way.  While every single track is worthy, note especially Nixon’s convicted approach to “Back Down South” and the salacious “Snake in the Grass”.  This band swings oh so soulfully!  Traditional blues lovers listen up – your blues is here as fresh as ever.

– Jim Hynes

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