Album Reviews

Nick Moran

Easier Time

Artist:     Nick Moran

Album:     Easier Time

Label:     Independent

Release Date:     5/12/2017

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Who is soul singer-songwriter Nick Moran? He’s not the Brit actor-director Nick Moran, and he’s not the jazz guitarist Nick Moran, according to online photos. The press release for his new CD, EasierTime, doesn’t offer a clue. That’s OK—his music is where you’ll find him. Easier Time, a mostly uptempo collection of nine original songs featuring Moran’s distinctive, soulful voice, will appeal to fans of Sy Cranstoun, Clyde McPhatter and Sam Cooke.

Onstage, he sings with his whole body and dances continuously. His bright tenor carries a rough edge of excitement. He’s studied Paul Simon—a master confessional songwriter, and Sam Cooke, the inventor of soul music, but Moran’s buoyant energy is his own.

At his recent CD release party at Rockwood Stage 2 in Manhattan, he clearly knew everyone in his audience. “It means the world that you all came out,” he told them, “You’ve been patient.” Moran sang and played rhythm guitar, backed by a lead guitar, trumpet, drums, electric bass, saxophone, Korg and Hammond keyboards, and trombone. The band sound is all top and bottom with nice, fat textures on the bass and keys. Moran and his large band enjoy the music so much that a bigger audience will surely show up for the party.

Standouts on the CD include: “Baby Gets Home Tomorrow,” a romping jitterbug with the vocal right up front, where it oughta be; “Just Isn’t You,” a groovin’ 6/8 stroll with a Sam Cooke feel, about a guy who wants to understand but suspects his sweetie has changed somehow; “Lay Your Money Down,” which isn’t musically adventurous yet feels fresh and spirited. The title song is about a songwriter who’s trying to send out a positive message he can stand behind. It’s taking longer than he’d hoped because he’s got personal stuff to deal with. Still, he’s determined to be himself. That’s who he is: Nick Moran.

—Annie Dinerman

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