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Music Review - `Rope The Wind ` by Nick Justice (gb)

Nick Justice- Rope The Wind  (click on image to watch video)

7 April 2021

 

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Don't toss Nick Justice in the country bin. Although there's enough twang hanging around to qualify for a cowboy hat and some cattle, he prefers a troubadour handle, walking a blurry line between folk and Americana. Lured by the cowpunkery output of bands like the Blasters to San Diego in the '80s, the transplanted New Yorker sharpened his skills on the streets. But the business part of show bidness wore him down in the late '90s, and he took an18-year sabbatical, re-emerging in 2014 with Cry of the Street Prophet. But the country was still lurking in his music. On “Just A Kiss Away” he sounds like Steve Forbert backed by Buck Owens' band, folky/punk/country replete with twangy steel guitar backing.

2019's Between a Laugh and a Tear found him back straddling the folky/Americana line with the Dylan-esque cut “Moving Ahead Without You” assisted with bongos and an acoustic guitar.

His latest, Rope the Wind, mashes up a bunch of styles and genres on his all original offerings. Justice sounds like a mellow Merle Haggard on “Travelin' Man,” with a oohing and ahhing chorus that sounds like it could have been lifted from the 1961 Ricky Nelson hit, with guitarists Richard Bredice and Richard Stekol adding some nice guitar figures to the conversation.

“Billy the Kid” is a crusty bio of the famous young outlaw, Justice sounding heartbroken as he relates the tale of Billy's ambush by Pat Garrett accompanied by Bredice's mournful banjo plunking

“Love Is On the Run” has a Marty Robbins feel, Justice warbling country style soul backed by the loping twang of the Bredice/Stekol guitars.

“Cant You See” is not the '73 Marshall Tucker Band hit, but more like Neil Diamond trying on a country song.

Even though Justice plays down his country style, he can't escape it on this latest outing. Its not the pop rock that passes for country today, but an old school visitation that blurs boundaries for a leisurely, nostalgic ride through a vanishing musical landscape.

 

 

Music Reviewer - Grant Britt
Grant Britt ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) has been writing about music since the earth cooled a while back. A staff writer for No Depression, his work also appears in BluesMusic Mag and the Greensboro News and Record

 

To Read All of Grant B's Reviews, Click Here

 

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