For this Acoustic Guitar Session in Place, Nichols Ox performs “How To Love” on a King Tricone recording. The track appears on Nichols’ self-titled album, which received favorable reviews in our January / February issue, read our review below.
Extract from the January / February 2022 issue of Acoustic guitar | By Kenny Berkowitz
Born in Houston, Carl Nichols took a winding road to the blues, passing through a long series of concerts at the Baptist Church, Milwaukee bars, European cafes and tours in West Africa before returning to the States. United, to break up his folk duo and land solo in Austin. Now posing as Nichols Ox, he writes songs that channel the music he heard growing up into a weary, deeply-lived vision that focuses on “putting more dark stories” into the acoustic blues.
Deep down, he’s a storyteller, confessing the blues in tales of broken promises, gunshot wounds, traffic stops gone bad, glances in the mirror, and nightly visits to Hell. of people who swear they “are going to find out how bad things can get.” Really bad to be sure, and despite all the pain, there is a smoothness in Nichols’ playing, which relies on an open C # tuning, a brass slide on its ring finger, and some raw, mule-ready resonator guitars. and King of the record.
After years as a companion, playing everything from country to death metal, Nichols distilled his influences into a decidedly contemporary and punchy blues, calling on the ghosts of RL Burnside, Elmore James, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell , Bukka White, and a long line of blues-rock guitarists. On that surprisingly good start, Nichols came up with a new name and style, finding a voice that fits the moment perfectly. And like the speaker in “These Things,” he’s ready to face the future head-on, knowing “I’m beaten and I’m broken / but I’m coming back for more. ”