Nick Schnebelen Band review…June 6, 2016….

NICK SCHNEBELEN BAND

LIVE AT KNUCKLEHEADS VOLUME 1

VIZZTONE RECORDS  VT-NSB-01

I’M GOIN’–WILLIE JAMES–CRAZY–DESPERATE HEART–BREAK OF DAY–BAD DISPOSITION–TAILGATE SWING–WHO WILL COMFORT ME–SPOONFUL–SLEEP WALK–JOLENE–NEW ORLEANS

Many fans may remember Nick Schnebelen as the founding family member of Trampled Under Foot, a critically-acclaimed group that consisted of Nick and his siblings.  Those youngsters are all grown up now, and Nick is fronting his own band, and takes full advantage of the home court for his debut release  for Vizztone, “Live At Knuckleheads, Volume 1.”  Along with Nick on guitar and vocals, we have Cliff Moore on bass, and Joe Voye on drums.  Also, making her dazzling debut herein is guitarist/vocalist Heather Newman.  She brings another soulful dimension to an already-powerful lineup, with a vocal style that will bring to mind Susan Tedeschi.

Nick’s family was always immersed in all types of music, and the band brings a sampling of this to the table on this set.  He kicks off with a little bit of KC swing with the jumpin’ “I’m Goin’, but I don’t know where I’m going!”  Heather comes out next, preachin’ the blues about “goin’ down to Alabama to see ol’ Willie James!”  “Break Of Day” rides a “walkin’ blues” groove as Nick goes “lookin’ for that little woman that kept my soul.”  Heather sings a sweet boogie in the double-entendre’-filled tale of youthful lusts, “Tailgate Swing,” then goes right down to the Crossroads and gets down on her knees, preachin’ a story of her “weary soul,” and asks, “Oh Lord, Who Will Comfort Me.”

The set closes with four really nice covers.  Mick takes the lead vocal and Heather adds the backup on a primal, raw, sparsely-arranged “Spoonful.”  Santo And Johnny’s iconic “Sleep Walk” is a time-honored instrumental, and Heather follows with our favorite.  She brings that tortured lover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” to life, pleading “please don’t take him just because you can.”  The whole shootin’ match winds up with a slide-driven ride “down the Mississippoi, down ta New Orleans!”

This is a fantastic way for the Nick Schnebelen Band to kick off their career, and Heather Newman makes a fine addition.  Certainly, “Live At Knuckleheads, Volume 1,” begs for a Volume 2!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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