Nick Gravenites - Rogue Blues

$12.00

Recorded in 2022 and 2023, Rogue Blues features special guests Charlie Musselwhite, Jimmy Vivino, Barry Sless, Wally Ingram, and Lester Chambers of The Chamber Brothers. Pete Sears co-produced the record and is featured throughout. Renowned illustrator Thomas Yeates designed the cover and photo art and is also a co-producer. The record features 7 songs many never released.

You can listen to a track here.

The seven songs on Rogue Blues are personal favorites of Nick’s that he would often play live but which have mostly not been previously released. Against a spare and naturalistic band, Nick’s weathered vocals and phrasing carry along songs that move from plaintive to cheeky to ironic. Encountering them is like hearing the irresistible sound of a honky tonk in the dead of night from outside a cloudy window. You must follow it and, when you do, you enter a smoky world of reminiscence, brimming with tortured lovers, down-and-outers, hard-luck scammers, and those simply looking for a good time. Though Nick no longer plays guitar due to arthritis, his iconic voice and craft-forward songwriting carry the day here, a fitting addition to the body of work of a songwriter who has helped shape the American blues canon over more than six decades.

I’ve known Nick since 1961–and have always admired his singing and songwriting—this record really shows off his stuff beautifully—his music is grounded in the classic Chicago blues of the’50s and ’60s, but he does to try to imitate anybody—is always just himself—the songs are well written and strongly sung—always come at you from a totally unique angle.  Charlie Musselwhite adds some way cool touches on harmonica—the production, by Pete Sears (who also plays piano and bass) is spare and tasty and really complements Nick’s voice perfectly—there’s a beautiful flow to the whole thing and I love it.

Elvin Bishop

Nick Gravenites is such a great no-nonsense artist….a huge part of the blues scenes of Chicago and California, in the 60s! Great songwriter and STILL performing and singing as great as ever! I’ve known Nick for about 60 years and he’s always been an inspiration and by golly, he continues to be!!!! I AIN'T LYIN’!!!"
Charlie Musselwhite

It’s been seventy years since a scruffy, rebellious, wicked smart local Greek kid wound up hanging around Chicago’s south side club scene with friends and fellow blues enthusiasts Michael Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, and Paul Butterfield. Soaking up legends like Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Otis Rush, Nick began composing and playing songs of his own. As Nick himself has said of that time, “Man, it was blues heaven in Chicago in the late fifties and early sixties, and I was an angel in residence.” When Butterfield recorded Nick’s composition “Born in Chicago” on his 1965 debut album, the world was introduced to the blues according to Gravenites, and the rest is history. In 2006, and in 2015, Nick was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, respectively, for his songwriting contributions. Currently, Nick lives in Northern California, playing the occasional gig.


                                                           

    


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