Monday, May 17, 2021

Jeb Loy Nicholas: from Wyoming to Wales, then Finland...

Great soul groover from Timmion: "Straight out from the green hills of the Welsh countryside comes Jeb Loy Nichols, the newest sensation in Timmion's growing roster of soul-fuelled vocalists.

And we certainly have a double sider of the highest calibre on offer. A seasoned and versatile music scene veteran with a major label past, Jeb has everything it takes to polish Cold Diamond & Mink's rough grooves into shining gems.

The A side gives us a rolling southern-style soul banger, which the Wyoming-born singer attacks effortlessly with his praise for an honest dance. Jeb's talent for clever song writing shines through in the lyrics which connect to our current reality, where truth has become an endangered species.

The slower flip side kicks off with a Sunday afternoon worthy duo of organ and acoustic guitar before Jeb shows us how a story is weaved from minimalistic ingredients. From the rural beginnings to pastoral hardships, he lays it all bare for the listener.

In addition to this single, Jeb and Cold Diamond & Mink have a whole album of soulful gold dropping later this year. Make sure to be there to catch it when it drops." (7" single out 30 April, album out 12 June)

Nicols also did a country/reggae album with On-U-Sound, in 2010. The story behind that goes back to the beginnings of that label in the early 80s...

Producer Adrian Sherwood on Long Time Traveller:

"In early 1981, as we were preparing to release the first On-U Sound album, I was living in a squat in Battersea, South London with Ari Up, Glenmore "Junior" Williams, and a 16 year old Neneh Cherry.

One day Jeb Loy Nichols knocked at the door. He had just arrived from the United States and was looking for Neneh. Jeb had been living in the same New York apartment block as her and her family (Don, Moki and Eagle Eye Cherry, as well as members of Talking Heads) and had come to see how she was doing staying in London with us lot.

Jeb came originally from Austin, Texas, but as a 17 year old had got a scholarship to a prestigious art school in New York and had moved there. Jeb was now 20 and making his first trip to London, a short visit during a break from studies. I really liked Jeb’s voice and took him on his first venture into a recording studio where we recorded two tracks, "Hostage In Iran" and "Things that made U.S.”.

On his last night in London, in the kitchen of our squat, we talked all night with Junior Williams and Ari’s ‘father-in-law', John Lydon. Early next morning Jeb headed off to the airport in a tired/wired state. Jeb must have had a really good time as he returned to London some eight months later and started making plans to resettle in the UK, which he duly did.

In the following years Jeb continued with his art, and while based in London established himself as a great singer/songwriter, releasing to date some ten albums. Although I remixed the track "As The Rain" for him, and even though we remained friends and often talked of working together again, it would be 30 years before I got him back in a studio. The result is this album.

I had "baked" lots of the old On-U master tapes of Roots Radics/Dub Syndicate recordings and also recorded a batch of brand new recordings with "Style" Scott, Franklyn "Bubbler" Waugh, George Oban and Vince Black. Jeb chose the rhythms he most liked, voiced all the tracks in one day and we overdubbed and mixed the whole album in three, old school style and most enjoyable…so enjoy."

And he also did artwork for reggae reissue label Pressure Sounds. Clever chap!

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