Posts Tagged ‘Nick Waterhouse


Hometown Love…

There aren’t many topics you should know more about than your hometown. You know, big up my hometown, my territory, my state. It’s the area you spent a great amount of your formative time in. And if you’re like some, you are damn proud of this area and have something to say. Perhaps even write a memorable ode to. Bonus points if it makes me get up and move.

There was a time that I was the opposite of these loud and proud artists. I was born outside of Chicago, one of the best metropolises in the States. It’s a place I was grateful to spend a minute in. But when I met anyone new, not from the Chicago area, I never repped my true hometown, a ‘burb outside of the city. I claimed “Chicago” as where I was from. Poser, man. Be real, be proud of what raised you, why front. It took me awhile to accept that our birthplace isn’t our choosing. I thought being from a desirable urban location would automatically give me credibility. Sure, a specific location shapes us but we are the ones who choose who we become, not a city or state.

This is why I love songs like Atmosphere’s “Shhh”, of his 2003 Seven’s Travels:

So if the people laugh and giggle when you tell them where you live
Say shhh, say shhh
And if you know this is where you want to raise your kids
Say shhh, say shhh
If you’re from the Midwest and it doesn’t matter where
Say shhh, say shhh
If you can drink tap water and breathe the air
Say shhh, say shhh

Or Local H’s Western sounding joyride “Another February”, a subtle love letter to the other season opposite construction in Chicago, winter:

Come on (x2)
You’re digging out your car again
The chair left in the yard
Has another life again

Songs penned to one’s hometown tell a story, they further prove wherever you’re from is great. It’s genuine, you know they’re not trying to be something they are not.

Nick Waterhouse is a proud Californian. A few random plays on his discography will prove this. On his latest single, “B. Santa Ana, 1986”, this has never been more apparent as he spouts off various states he’s not from. The Wurlitzer, tricky bass, and Nick’s rippin’ guitar are driving this grab your significant other and cut single. Early on Nick is proclaiming, “I’m from California, I’m from California, uh, I don’t mind!” Where others may scoff at another California song, Nick proudly adds this single to the hometown canon.

“I’ve spent a great deal of my time wandering through the world, and being mistaken for coming from somewhere else. Certain people seem better at branding themselves based on a sort of… spectacular regional mythos. And what I have observed in regards to my own pedigree is what I could only describe as a lifelong superficial conception of the Californian identity. I got to thinking – what’s a regional identity anyways? Especially in this digitally flattened era. How funny, I thought, would it be to turn this little droll talking blues I had been demoing into an off-handed delivered ‘anthem’ chorus (“uh, I don’t mind)? How Californian?”

“B. Santa Ana, 1986” is off Waterhouse’s forthcoming Promenade Blue record debuting in April. A big year for the soulful gentlemen, as he’s recently announced a 2021 European tour. That’s twenty twenty one. Live music is in our future. While we wait for the air to clear and our hometowns to welcome back touring musicians, let’s turn up something that makes us realize where we’re from is damn great, too….


Nick Waterhouse’s Place Names…

The dapper, let’s resurrect a sound from yesteryear soulman Nick Waterhouse is giving us another reason to celebrate 2021: his new record Promenade Blue. A collection of 13 new songs, including lead single “Place Names” from the California vibes virtuoso. Nick lit our home dance floors up with his 2020 Happy Hour mixes. I’m confident this record will be reminiscent of that engaging and smoking sound.

Waterhouse has given me credibility in front of women. It’s a hip sound, one that is feel good, causes you to get up and burn. Two weeks into dating my now wife, while artfully grinding away in a basement bar, I introduced her to Nick. After sweaty soul throwbacks like The Capitols’ “Cool Jerk” and Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music” the Mile High Soul Club DJs interspersed a Waterhouse cut amongst the 50 plus year old 45s. Off his excellent Time’s All Gone record lurks the scorching and sure to make you swing “If You Want Trouble”. As the song is coming to a loud and riveting finale with sax a blazing, the lyrics fade out and there is a sudden halt; to the uninitiated, the song must be over and any dancing should cease. I knew better and was ready. The second the beat exploded back, my date was forced to back peddle and then jerked forward as I explosively raised her arm for a twirl as I stepped forward and pulled her in for a kiss.

After we wore ourselves out from moving and shaking, she asked who the artist was that caused me to come alive and unveil my formidable moves.

An increase in this man’s discography is always a welcome addition to my arsenal of family-approved dinnertime listening. His latest single finds him walking the streets of San Francisco and wondering how life has evolved. Introspection melds perfectly with telling strings, expertly placed female vocals, and a sound imagined for a citywide tour, where the locale is irrelevant, it’s what you make of the journey that matters.

Nick’s press release:

Nick Waterhouse takes the color blue as his hue of choice as he takes a spiritual look to the past on new album Promenade Blue due out April 9 on Innovative Leisure.

The new collection sparkles beatifically, reverberating with energy, heart, creativity, and vibe from start to finish. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album’s opening track, “Place Names,” bringing teenaged memories to the forefront, pondering the pride he takes in his hometown and the distinct life that he has made (or that has made him). A soulful, sweeping arrangement punctuated with Girl Group backing vocals, “Place Names” which would find itself at home in a vibrant New Orlean’s club or alongside contemporaries Marlon Williams and The Budos Band.


Daytrotter Sessions

The amount of time we have all lost to mindless Internet browsing is incalculable. Some sessions came away with nothing gained. Others, monumental happy accidents. Defunct bands are born again.

Daytrotter Studios was located in Rock Island, IL, about three hours west of Chicago. A multi-faceted venue: recording studio, live music venue, and a resting spot for musicians passing through the Quad Cities. Come in, stay awhile, in exchange, cut a few songs in our studio. We’ll share them via our website for all to enjoy.

This is a re-discovery. I was privy to this resource in its inception but ceased visiting and forgot about it. Sadly, and today I understand why this became the model, I lost touch with this collection when it became subscription-based. Thankfully an intentional search of an artist recently lead me astray; I plowed headfirst down a rabbit hole and Daytrotter reared it’s beautiful head and sucked me right back in. Hot damn, an almost overwhelming amount of material exists on Daytrotter’s free site, now hosted via Paste’s page.

The collection, which stems from 2006 until present day, hosts 1,000s of acts. From small, I have no idea who the hell you are artists, to favorites of mine, and names your Mom might even know. Many pages have downloadable links to the artist’s in-studio performance, the completist in you may appreciate this.

A few sessions from artists I can’t get enough of:

Bishop Allen 6/2007

Office 11/2007

Rogue Wave 1/2008

Nick Waterhouse 3/2012

John Fullbright 8/2012

sElf 3/2015

Local H 2/2020


Waterhouse In PioneerTown, CA

The lack of live music now is a constant reminder of our current state. Thankfully, great artists are performing virtually for me. Their performances vary; duos plugging in and tearing the roof off, singer/songwriters adorning a guitar and making his father-in-law’s basement his stage, and Nick Waterhouse spinning dusty 45s during cocktail happy hour.

The electrifying, ability to absolutely smoke in front of a live audience Waterhouse debuts his Live at Pappy & Harriet’s: In Person From the High Desert today. An eclectic, career spanning collection of 18 songs cut back in another era, that of October 2019, in Pioneertown, CA. The hip conductor of all things vintage and timeless is accompanied by his full band consisting of lively brass, lovely and sexy backing vocals, and a mission to set this intimate venue ablaze.

As a native Californian, Nick pays tribute to the 60s garage act The Seeds. On “Pushin’ Too Hard”, Waterhouse ups the intensity of the original with a pulsing Hammond, explosive rhythmic section, surfabilly guitar freakout, and Nick’s excitable vocals. Their reinterpretation is an exemplar of what a cover can be.

Nick’s desire for this timely release:

I hope to put you all in another place and another time when you put this on. This record is not simply a live album, my intent was to give you a club record…it is loose and a little wild and a little rough around the edges…..the nexus between honky tonk and night club that makes up the very core of what I’d been doing out on the road for the past decade.

Spotify’s Release Radar knows me. If I can’t walk into a venue today and jack my core temperature up through close proximity to other folks, cuttin’ circles around the dance floor, and letting all my worries melt away, I can drop the needle on Nick’s latest release.


Late Slip’s “Strike”

We’re all in Zoot suits, sauntering like a pack of Reservoir Dogs when a leisurely jazz swing wafts from a dimly-lit, smoky basement level club. Inside, I can slow down, casually be, and take in the sounds of a song like “Strike”, a surprise single kicking off my Release Radar. Late Slip, a twangy No Doubt meets Nancy Sinatra derivative, recruited So-Cal’s soul revivalist Nick Waterhouse to float you to an old fashioned era. Late Slip’s Chelsea Nenni initiates the flirtatious back and forth as she seductively invites Nick to “strike while the iron is hot”; Nick matches her needs and desires as he croons with emotive, sexual innuendo, “Oh, the coffe’s percolatin’ in the pot/so, you better come over if you need something hot”. Relax, hit play, and start your weekend with this concise, smooth-sounding invitation to meditative lust care of Late Slip and Nick Waterhouse.

Upcoming Shows:


May 2021