Jimmy Nick Interview
By: Dennis M. Kelly
DK: Good day Jimmy, thanks so much for taking the time with us today! How is it going?
JN: I’m great! Thank you for featuring us this month as the Featured Band of the Month, I am honored.
DK: You’re most welcome Jimmy, you’re truly a talented performer and we definitely want the world to know more about you. You’ve been creating quite a bit of a stir here in the Chicago area with your awesome music and performances. I’ve been so happy to have been able to capture some of them on video for people to enjoy. When did you first pick up that guitar there?
JN: I was about 15 or 16 years old. I had gotten one from a friend but didn’t really touch it till I was freshmen in high school.
DK: When did you realize your gift with the guitar and singing and decide to pursue it professionally?
JN: I’ve wanted to do this since I was 3. I would always listen to my parent’s records or the oldies station and I was so into it, it gave me a special feeling. When I started playing and performing, I knew this was the only gig for me.
DK: You can definitely see it too while watching you on stage, it is like there is no other place in the world you’d rather be than on stage. When did you meet up with Lowell Todd, Joel Baer, Ben Thompson and Natalie Lande?
JN: I met Lowell Todd when we were both 16 and sophomores in high school together. Ben and Joel in I met August 2012 and Natalie about 5 months ago.
DK: You really do have a great group of musicians there and they all compliment what you do very well (and vice versa, of course). At what point did it become Jimmy Nick and Don’t Tell Mama?
JN: In 2011, though at that time the band was in high school was just known as “Don’t tell mama” but after members kept changing in and out do to college and other reasons, I decided to put my name up front. Then right after I changed it to Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama I put my first album out “Whiskey N Rain”.
DK: How were you received at the Kingston Mines, Rosa’s Lounge and Blues on Halsted?
JN: Right away the players knew I had a knack for performing but that is where I really picked up pointers on playing and leading a band. It really was my school. My brother Rick and I would go down 2 or 3 times a week sometimes.
DK: It sounds like it must have been fun too.
JN: It was.
DK: Is anyone else in your family musically inclined?
JN: My cousin David Goffron, he has an amazing voice and is the lead singer of the rock band Sudden Dark.
DK: We’ve featured Sudden Dark a few times before, great band indeed! How supportive were your parents early on?
JN: They always knew I loved it so there was always support there, but now they are 100% behind me and I wouldn’t be where I am without their love and support.
DK: That is always great to hear when the parents encourage their children with their dreams. Tell us about some of the awards you won, that has to be exciting, eh?
JN: 2013 River City Blues Society winners for the IBC (International Blues Challenge)
2013 Chicago Blues Guitar Slinger
Best Band Under 21 twice in Suburban Nite Life 2006-2007
It’s always excited to win awards but I care more about putting on the best performance for my fans every night I play.
DK: Understandable and it definitely shows. How about the bands you’ve shared the stage with over the years, tell me a little about that.
JN: I’ve come across some great players and performers and it’s always an honor to share the stage with them. I always learn something from watching another great band.
DK: You’ve recently released Rare Breed late last month, how has it been received so far by your fans?
JN: The fans seem to really like it a lot. To me it’s the best sounding album we’ve put out and has the best songs and performances. We also had blues hall of famer Eddie Shaw play sax and sing on my version of his song “Greedy Man”.
DK: That is awesome! It is a great ending song for the album too! Your previous release, Who Ya Kiddin’ was also an amazing release, but there is a marked improvement on the musicianship as well as the overall sound quality. What are your thoughts on the album?
JN: I agree with you 100%. Chris Radostits at Cinnamon Sound Studio made it easy and fun to record and he knows his stuff. Also the performances were great. My band is so talented and creative and our goal is to keep getting better each time. I personally love this album.
DK: Yes, Chris did an amazing job on the album, as did the band, it really captures the “live feel” while retaining a very clean and sharp sound. Did you do anything different in the recording of it?
JN: Not really. Most of the guts of it was done live…
DK: Ah, well that explains it then.
JN: Then we just Then did vocals and guitar solos and are guest spots.
DK: Do you have a personal favorite track of the album?
JN: I like Rare Breed and Wolf in Me
Listen to Rare Breed here:
DK: As I understand it, “I Got Mama Drunk in Memphis” was based off of an actual event; do we want to share the details??
JN: Sure! When the band and I were in Memphis we played a gig at the Hard Rock, it was our last gig so we celebrated with our families and for the first time my mama drank with me!
DK: That had to be a lot of fun, eh?
JN: It was actually.
DK: I am glad to hear it! So, where can people get this great album?
JN: I’ll have them with me at shows and on CD Baby, Amazon and Itunes.
(Pick them up from CD Baby right here)
DK: Are you actively seeking management at this time?
JN: Yes, we’re looking for the right person to take us to the next level and I can be reached directly at: email@example.com.
DK: What are your hopes for your career for the remainder of this year?
JN: To get the new album in to as many hands has possible.
DK: That shouldn’t be too difficult, it is a very strong effort and I expect it will be in high demand for you. Where can people find you online?
JN: Online links are as follows:
DK: Well, thank you once again for your time, especially given your busy schedule, I really do appreciate it!
JN: The pleasure is all mine, thank you!
Jimmy Nick is an old fashion, guitar-slinging blues prodigy who was developing his chops in famous Chicago clubs when he was only sixteen. That time spent at places like The Kingston Mines, Rosa’s Lounge, and Blues on Halstead, combined with his boundless energy and stage presence, has developed him into a force that is taking the Chicago club and blues scene by storm.
During this short time, Jimmy has won many accolades, including Finalist in the Chicago Blues Guitar Slinger Challenge (2012), winner of the River City Blues Society’s blues competition, competing at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and being voted the best band under 21 in 2006 and 2007 by Suburban Life Magazine.
Jimmy has also shared the stage with some of the best talent in the industry, including John Mayall, Ted Nugent, Los Lonely Boys, The Bo Deans, Pat Travers, Savoy Brown, Gov’t Mule, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and many more. In June, 2011, Jimmy Nick released his first album Whisky N’ Rain, which features ten original songs that pull deeply from both his Chicago Blues influences as well as groups like George Thorogood and the Destroyers, ZZ Top, and AC/DC.
Backed by his band Don’t Tell Mama, which includes Lowell Todd (bass), Joel Baer (drums) and Ben Thompson (Sax), Jimmy Nick combines his massive talent and stage theatrics with high-energy blues and rock and roll for one of the best live shows around.