Andy T-Nick Nixon Band review…July 7, 2014….

ANDY T-NCK NIXON BAND

LIVIN IT UP

DELTA GROOVE PRODUCTIONS  DGPCD 166

BABY RIGHT NOW–BEST IN TOWN–LIVIN IT UP–MY BABY IS NOW ON MY MIND–GOOD MAN–ONE NOTE SHUFFLE–BACK DOWN SOUTH–LAST TO LEAVE–LET’S SAY IT FOR GOOD–SNAKE IN THE GRASS–WHATEVER YOU HAD YOU AIN’T GOT IT NO MORE–OH BABY–LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

Andy “T” Talamantez was born and raised in Southern California,  and moved to Nashville in 2008.  James “Nick” Nixon was already here—this big-voiced soul man was a fixture on the storied Jefferson Street club scene of the Fifties and Sixties, that also spawned the careers of Clifford Curry, Marion James, Jimmy Church, and Frank Howard, all still active today.  Nick recorded for Chess in the Seventies, and was a natch’l fit for the smooth guitar stylings of Andy T.  Their debut, “Drink Drank Drunk,” was a fan and critic favorite, and now they are back with the follow-up, “Livin It Up.”  It is thirteen cuts, ten originals and three cool covers, and, for us, this one does an even better job of showcasing the talents of this band than the first one.

Andy T is still smooth-as-silk on guitar, and he’s joined by Sam Persons on bass, Jim Klingler on drums,  Ron Jones and Dana Robbins on sax, Larry Van Loon on keys, and Christian Dozzler on piano and harp.  Yes, Christian is the former keyboard player for Larry Garner who was always introduced as “four-foot-and-thirty-inches tall!”  These guys have the feel for the sounds Andy and Nick are looking for, and you can almost feel that Jefferson Street vibe as you listen.

Christian blows some down-home harp and plays piano also over Nick’s vocal on the loping beat of the story of a man who puts up with his lover’s “cheatin and doggin me around,” simply  because, “Baby, You Are The Best In Town!”  This one was written by Nick and Billy Cox, he of Band Of Gypsys fame.  Andy’s playing is as clear as a bell on the T-Bone Walker classic, “My Baby Is Now On My Mind.”  That smooth, West-Coast tone is prevalent throughout this one, with Christian again  on piano.  “One Note Shuffle,” written by Larry Van Loon, is a swingin’ instrumental that lets everybody shine.  Nick gets back on the vocals in a warning to everyone to “watch your back for that “Snake In The Grass,” with Andy working the call-and-response guitar lines, and Larry rockin’ the B-3.

This set is so full of excellent R & B that picking favorites was impossible.  So, we decided to highlight those that show just what a blues shouter Nick Nixon really is.  A shot of juke-joint boogie is the sax-and-piano rocker that tells the tale of everybody’s favorite bar patron, who’s always “the first to walk in and the Last To Leave.”  Two slow-blues cuts that Nick simply nails are the stingin’ “Go And Find You A Good Man,” and the beautifully-romantic set-closer, “Love At Frst Sight.”  Nick has that innate ability to make his voice quiver to add to the ambience of the song, and these two cuts are the reason why they just don’t make ’em like Nick any more.

We are proud to call every one of these folks our friends, but, even if we didn’t know them from Adam, “Livin It Up” is still one of the best collections of vintage blues and R & B that you’ll hear anywhere!  Thanks, Andy T and Nick!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, the Nashville Blues Society.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: