The Nick Tann Trio formed late in 2016 are playing their first gigs this year starting at The Bedford in Balham on 30th May and I really wanted you to hear the new sound. It’s such a joy to play with Bastien and I am simply loving it. This feels like the start of something quite wonderful and has inspired me so much I am writing new tunes as well as revisiting some old favourites.
The plan is to play this summer picking up other musicians as we go in a kind of snowball effect, culminating with a brand new album November/December. There is enough new material to record it now but we need to get the songs “bedded in”.
Recorded at home over a few weeks around Christmas and New Year 2016/7 using Logic and the Rhode mic that Ross gave me all those years ago. Bastien Terrraz on double bass, Nic Bradford guesting on electric guitar on Sadder than Sad and me on my beautiful old Taylor 810 acoustic guitar plus a few clicks and the xylophone I bought for my daughter Izzy a few years ago.
Lovingly mixed and mastered by the wonderfully talented Sigurdor Gudmundsson, www.skonrokkstudios.com.
The fabulous circular cd design was created by the hugely talented artist Terence Noble.
All songs written by me Nick Tann. I also printed up the cd labels and stuck them on the discs, typed and printed and stuck on the back cd label, printed and cut the individual lyric sheets which I then put in each cd sleeve. This was all done at home in my studio so if some of the corners don’t match or the odd label is a bit off centre, you will have to forgive me. It’s a vinyl look cd in a plain brown cardboard sleeve with the track listings and extra information printed on a label stuck to the back. Inside the sleeve there are lyric sheets for all the songs. If you want me to sign it with a personal message to you then please say so.
If you have mainly encountered Nick, as I have, in the guise of solo, acoustic guitar slinging, jazz tinged, folk-pop performer then what you will find in his move from lonesome troubadour to minimalist band leader is the ability to combine the best of both worlds.
At the heart of the sound is the familiar balladry, emotionally driven personal narratives and rich vocal tones but now there is some wonderful sonic augmentation. Nothing too dominating, just additional details, which gently colour the musical landscape, enrich the flavours of the songs and add some extra depth. The advantage of working with songs, which have had a life of their own already, just as live favourites Don’t, 3am and Sadder Than Sad have, is that they have already proven to be more that up to the job and require nothing more than a quick studio polish rather than a complete rejuvenation.
It would have been easy for Nick to get a bit over excited when embarking on this new recording as it marks a gentle change of, if not direction then certainly logistical approach and any change of tack opens up a range of new potential and a change to explore. But Nick is too seasoned a musician to get overly carried away with such distractions and if you cut him open you would find the words “less is more is a cliché because it’s true” written spiral like around his creative soul, like a stick of rock…or roots rock at least. . Thus he manages to retain the grace and grandeur that you associate with his songs whilst still bringing new sounds into those familiar musical spaces.
So from now on get used to seeing Nick performing as part of a musical gang again but on the strength of this recording it would seem that he has pulled off that rare trick of adding much without losing any of the inherent qualities he is already known for. Clever bugger!
What does it mean to be ‘authentic’? Perhaps Nick Tann’s latest album will answer this. His beautiful, rich voice choruses over a range of guitar styles and honest lyrics. He takes the listener across folk, jazz, soul, country, blues; even middle-eastern/arabic vibes. Each song speaks its own language.
He sings about embracing one’s own company in ‘Looking after myself.’ ‘Sometimes I go and catch a movie/I have been known to dine alone.’ It’s refreshing to hear that in a song; there’s no shame in flying solo. In Nick’s words; ‘with all the friends gathered round me, I got lots to do.’ ‘3AM’s melancholic melodies contrast with this song; ‘streets are cold, I’m so alone/got nothing but my soul and some dignity’. I guess we can enjoy our own company, but as social creatures we do need each other.
Nonetheless, freedom is a running theme in this album. ‘Boy it feels good to be free’ exhibits this; ‘I stopped believing long ago’, yet he sings for Jesus to take care of those who still believe; his mother and friends. Slides on the guitar in a Hawaiian style punctuate this, coupled with Christmas-like triangle jingles. This contrasts with the very jazzy, smooth and woeful style of ‘Sadder than Sad’, with its bending notes and Nina Simone-esque soul.
Every song on this album has been woven beautifully; it’s very hard to pick a favourite. One of the loveliest moments is his siren-like sustained falsetto on the end of ‘Safe Harbour.’ No need to wait for the release ladies and gents; the album is out now and is wonderfully worth the listen.
Have this free download of “3AM” Download
Come and see us live and say hi. Thanks