Andy T—Nick Nixon Band review…August 30, 2015…

ANDY T—NICK NIXON BAND

NUMBERS MAN

BLIND PIG RECORDS  BPCD  5168

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR–DEVIL’S WIFE–DEEP BLUE SEA–TALL DRINK OF WATER–NUMBERS MAN–PRETTY GIRLS EVERYWHERE–BLUE MONDAY–HIGHTAILIN’–SUNDOWN BLUES–TELL ME WHAT’S THE REASON–BE SOMEBODY SOME DAY–WHAT WENT WRONG–GATE’S SALTY BLUES–THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN

“Andy T” Talamantez grew up playing blues guitar in Southern California, influenced by the likes of Albert Collins and T-Bone Walker, while forging a smooth, fluid style all his own.  James “Nick” Nixon is a Nashville living legend, both as an educator with his “Blues In The Schools’ program, and a world-class singer, fronting his own bands in the heyday of the vibrant R & B scene on Jefferson Street.  Heck–he’s even recorded sides for Chess Records!

When Andy and his lovely wife Kathy moved here several years ago, it was no surprise that Andy and Nick teamed up.  Their debut for Blind Pig is a beaut–thirteen cuts of originals and covers entitled “Numbers Man,” that blends down-home blues, jazz, R & B, and even zydeco for good measure!

Andy’s guitar lines mesh perfectly with Nick’s unbridled, gospel-rooted, soulful vocals.  They kick off with a cool “my baby left me” shuffle–she’s gone, so might as well “Shut The Front Door!”  Christian Dozzler, he who stands “four feet and thirty inches tall,” (according to Larry Garner!) adds accordion on “What Went Wrong,” and a song about Nick’s new lover, herself a “Tall Drink Of Water,” where he “needs a ladder to kiss her!”  Andy’s smooth West Coast roots shine thru on a killer instrumental, “Hightailin,” and swings over Nick’s vocals on “Tell Me What’s The Reason.”

There are many more highlights, too.  The title cut, written by Billy Cox and Richard Fleming, tells the tale of the neighborhood hustler, and tho, “the law wants him busted,” he offers a small “ray of hope” to those with not a lot left to look forward to.  Nick’s “Sundown Blues” gets an uptown treatment, courtesy of harp from Kim Wilson, and “dueling” keyboards from Larry Van Loon on B-3 and Christian Dozzler on piano.  And, the set closes on a poignant note.  Nick’s gospel roots are on display in one of Andy’s originals, as Nick urges us all to “change our hate to love” and make “This World We Live In” a better place.

We’ve known Andy T for several years, and Nick for most all our adult lives.  Their collaborations bring back the days of classic R & B, and “Numbers Man” continues their legacy!  Guys, we love you, and want to thank you for a lifetime of great blues.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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