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Music Review - `The Dance at Dawn` by Nick Justice (lz)

Nick Justice -- The Dance at Dawn   (click on image to watch video)

11 April 2019



When an artist like Nick Justice comes along, one has to wonder why he’s never gotten notice before. Indeed, Justice seems to have tapped into a vintage form of expression -- one that blends the essential elements of archival country, folk and blues while avoiding the confines of any one of those genres in particular. It’s a combination that’s reverent and reliable in its delivery, without feeling the need to fit any contemporary context.

Indeed, Justice seems content to pattern himself simply as a journeyman musician, one whose acoustic trappings are tailored towards simplicity as opposed to any frivolous embellishment. There’s an absolute sincerity imbued in his sentiment, and on songs such as “It Takes Two,” “Wicked Lies” and “Fight My Way Back Home,” he allows those ernest intents to set both the tone and the timbre. The sparse arrangements often create a sobering sound -- one that resonates most decidedly on entries like “Remember Me” and “Sometimes It Falls On Me,” each offering an approach that’s so convincing, no elaboration is even needed. Likewise, the bluesy “Dancin’ Shoes” delves even deeper, again allowing the feelings to come clearly to the fore.

That’s not to say Justice lacks levity. Far from it, in fact. The easy amble that accompanies the title track and the obvious affection invested in “She’s My Lover” demonstrate a decided charm and engagement. Yet Justice clearly isn’t interested in putting on airs, and given his unfettered approach, it would be fairly fruitless for him even to try. It’s evident at the outset that he and producer/engineer Richard Bredice much prefer to rely on their traditional trappings, ensuring that honesty and integrity resonate throughout. Suffice it to say, whatever attention Justice receives is decidedly deserved. 


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

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