Andy T - Nick Nixon Band
Andy T - Nick Nixon Band
The blues has a history of great collaborations. Now it’s time to add Andy T and James “Nick” Nixon to that venerable list thanks to the red clay covered roots of Nick’s dynamic voice and Andy’s bold, vibrant tones and equally rooted guitar style.
James “Nick” Nixon is one of those amazing artists that rarely surface today. This velvet-voiced singer was born and raised in Nashville and began his musical education singing in church as a boy. As a teenager he performed opera after his high school music teacher heard the rich resonant tones that seem to naturally leap from his throat. His first working band was King James and the Sceptres, a rock ‘n’ roll outfit with Nick in the royal role. After the Sceptres, Nick took the helm of NTS Limited, with Billy Cox on bass, but his scrape with the big time came in 1974 when his group, Past, Present and Future, signed with Chess Records and released the single “Behind Closed Doors”/“Let’s Boogie.” Nick formed another band, the New Imperials, and continued to tour nationally, but eventually he took a job teaching music for Nashville’s Parks and Recreation Department. He kept that position for 35 years — earning the Blues Foundation’s prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive Award for education — while still occasionally touring the U.S. and Europe, but mostly remaining one of Nashville’s best-kept and highly-revered musical secrets.
"Andy T” Talamantez was born and raised in Southern California. Like many kids growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, the first blues Andy heard as a teenager was British blues and he fell under the spell of Eric Clapton. But he rapidly traced the music from there, assimilating elements of the vocabularies of B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and others, until striking out on his own. He performed in various bands around Southern California until 1996, when Los Angeles-based blues legend Smokey Wilson practically plucked him off the stage for his first tour. It was at this time that Andy abbreviated his given name to the stage-friendlier Andy T. In 1998 Andy also began playing with Guitar Shorty, a Houston native known for his blistering six-string attack and on-stage acrobatics. During his 7 years on the road with Smokey and Shorty, Andy learned how to back up a vocalist with economy and perfection as he honed his own playing style, developing a clean, mile-wide tone that cuts to the essence of every song he plays with absolute precision. Andy relocated to Nashville in 2008 and after meeting James “Nick” Nixon and watching him perform, Andy knew that they would make an unstoppable combination.
Their 2013 Delta Groove debut release, “Drink Drank Drunk,” produced by Texas blues legend Anson Funderburgh, was embraced by hundreds of radio stations, reaching number two on Sirius/XM radio’s million-subscriber “B.B. King’s Bluesville” and climbed the Living Blues radio chart. Critics have praised their tasteful and authentic approach in the Nashville Tennessean, Elmore Magazine, Living Blues, Blues Bytes and a host of other mainstream and specialty publications. And — most important — the fans have fallen in love with their dynamic, rooted live performances, making Andy, Nick and their backing quintet of veteran musicians an in-demand act at festivals and clubs across the world. These include Arkansas’ historic King Biscuit Festival and the Moulin Blues Festival in Oslo, Norway, and such prestigious venues as Phoenix’s Rhythm Room, B.B. King’s on Memphis’ Beale Street, Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco and Knuckleheads in Kansas City, Missouri.
After storming the international blues scene in the year since their debut album on Delta Groove, the Andy T - Nick Nixon Band wasted no time in knockin’ out another spirited and rousing effort with their sophomore release, “Livin' It Up,” which once again falls under the guidance and direction of iconic Texas blues guitarist/producer Anson Funderburgh. Blending together the regional influences of Memphis soul, Texas blues and New Orleans R&B, Andy, Nick and the band dish out ten new original compositions, along with three choice covers selected from the songbooks of T-Bone Walker, Alvin Robinson and Delbert McClinton. Rounding out this offering is a pair of accomplished Dallas-based musicians making a return appearance from the previous album, including Austrian born multi-instrumentalist Christian Dozzler on piano and accordion and saxophonist Ron Jones. “Livin’ It Up” received widespread critical-acclaim upon its release and was nominated for a 2015 Blues Music Award for Traditional Blues Album.