Nathan Quick. Photo: Jeffrey Heyman
The thing about Houston’s music scene is that I feel like we don’t really push the blues sound that our scene was all founded on. Artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins once walked the streets of this city back when the Peacock label was still a thing, and Mance Lipscomb recorded his album Trouble In Mind here. Today, we rarely get many straight blues acts, but rather more blues rock acts instead. While many seem to miss the point behind the genre, one artist here, Houston’s Nathan Quick, has really dug deep to offer up some of those Southern blues tones that we so rarely get to hear anymore. After multiple sold out shows at Mucky Duck and a set at this year’s FPSF, Quick has returned with a new single, “The Sound,” and it’s a doozy. On the track, he dances around traditional blues, psych blues, and rock n’ roll to craft a sound that’s a mix of the three and something all his own. Free Press Houston was more than pleased to have the chance to debut the song, found exclusively here.
Starting with a thunderous bass drum that feels like it was recorded in the same hallway that Pixies’ “Bone Machine” was, the guitar squeals and meanders in before Quick adds some harmonica that feels closer to sixties era psych rock. When the slide guitar meets the echoing vocals of Quick’s howl, there’s a deeper connection with Southern blues formed in-between the notes. Utilizing that muddy Rio Grande gargle tone that Billy Gibbons seems to employ, the song has a dark quality filled with Quick’s despair in his reverb tinged vocals, like he’s calling out into the night for an answer. His solo, the mix that includes a thunderous beat, and that twangy harmonica find themselves flickering all over the song like lights that won’t seem to go out.
This song brings Quick’s sound full circle, where he does what he does best, play straightforward blues rock. “The Sound” feels like Nathan Quick at his best as a songwriter and as a recording artist, while adding to his mystique as an artist. You can hear “The Sound” live when Nathan Quick performs at Raven Tower on Saturday August 13th. The all ages show will feature a set from The Beans as well as Otis The Destroyer with tickets between $10 and $12.