Jared James Nichols’ new EP, Old Glory and the Wild Revival, is one of the best new EPS of the year, and one of the best rock records of the year overall. It only boasts five tracks. But if those five tracks are any hint, then the future is very bright for this young guitar virtuoso. The EP’s opener, ‘Blackfoot’, is a powerful first impression for Nichols and his band mates. This blues-rock infused song will have any listener moving right from the first notes. Nichols himself sounds almost like fellow blues guitarist Johnny Lang in his vocal style on this song. The solos are blistering to say the least. And considering that Nichols is only in his twenties and is able to smoke the strings in such impressive fashion is mind blowing. Together with his band mates, Nichols will have audiences instantly comparing him not just to Johnny Lang, but even to the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and even Derek Trucks if not the master himself, Stevie Ray Vaughn.
The fun bluesy guitar licks don’t end with the EP’s opener. Listeners will instant get thoughts of Foghat, Ted Nugent and so many other famed guitarists of days gone by when Nichols and company launch into ‘Can You Feel It.’ This up-tempo rocker is just as certain as ‘Blackfoot’ to get audiences moving whether in their homes or even in their cars. It’s a nice piece for those Summer road trips. It’s just as great for a weekend party in the warmer months of the year. Its energy is evident not just in the musical side of things, but also in the lyrical side. Nichols and company come across as singing about a woman here. The chorus singing together late in the song, “Don’t you need it/Babe can’t you feel it” will most certainly have listeners singing along happily. It would be so easy to see this song being performed live if only because of that. And that’s a good thing. It’s one more element that makes it such a fun song.
Things let up only slightly after ‘Can You Feel It’ in the EP’s penultimate song, ‘Sometimes.’ This song is slower than ‘Can You Feel It’ or ‘Blackfoot.’ But it is still another nice, heavy blues based rock song that is just as certain to become a favorite with its solid musicianship from Nichols and his band mates. It is a straight up blues influenced song all the way through, from its music to its lyrics. Nichols writes about overcoming life’s tough times as he writes, “Take the backseat baby/Cause I found my way/Gonna ride into/A brand new day/Gotta hold on tight/to the things I love/Kiss the ground/And thank the lord above/Don’t think you’re the only one/Your day don’t end/When darkness comes/ Sometimes you cry/Sometimes you lie/Sometimes you gotta reach up for the sky/And look for the full moon/To carry you home.” That positive sentiment mixed with the influences from the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Lynyrd Skynyrd makes this one more impressive piece of the overall puzzle that is Nichols’ new EP.
Jared James Nichols takes his listeners on quite the trip with his ne EP over the course of the record’s first four songs. It ends just as solidly as it began on ‘Take My Hand.’ The song starts off slow and gentle with just Nichols singing and picking a steel guitar. That slow open eventually builds into another blues based song that rocks just as hard as the other songs on this record. The control that he and his band mates have throughout the song absolutely demands this song be part of Nichols’ live set. One need only close one’s eyes, and one can see the lights shining bright on stage, highlighting every single note as audiences pump their fists in the air. Simply put, this song could not have been better placed in this record. It leaves audiences wanting more in the best possible fashion by the time it hits its final notes. Nichols’ new EP is available now, and it can be ordered online at http://www.facebook.com/jaredjamesnichols and http://www.reverbation.com/jaredjamesnichols. Fans can also check out both websites to check out Jared James Nichols’ latest tour dates. Audiences will have their chance to experience this outstanding new EP live as Nichols will be performing live tonight in Sturgis South Dakota at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Festival. And then on the 8th and 9th, he will be in Salt Lake City, Utah before moving on to Boise, ID on his way to the West Coast.
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