Mr. Nick & The Dirty Tricks

Mr. Nick & The Dirty Tricks
Oh Wow!

Self Release

By Georgetown Fats
March 2012

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I’ll be honest, normally when provided with a West Coast or Jump Blues act to review, I pass. It is not that I dislike the style, I just find that west coast/jump sound to be done far too much by musicians without the chops for it. And then, there is MR. NICK & THE DIRTY TRICKS.

Whether booking benefit blues festivals for Jeannine David, Mr. Nicks’ Aunt who suffered brain injuries in a car accident three years ago, working the local comedy scene, promoting live music or fronting The Dirty Tricks, Mr. Nick David is a fountain of boundless energy. The man can work a room and a stage with a genuine non-manufactured ease and his level of energy is infectious. From the moment Mr. Nick announced his Kickstarter campaign I was curious to hear the results of the recording. In the right hands with the right producer, Oh Wow! could offer MR. NICK & THE DIRTY TRICKS a chance to gain some much-deserved national attention. Having read news that both Bruce Bears and the great Curtis Salgado would be handling production work, I knew Oh Wow! had a chance to be very good; but I had no idea Oh Wow! was going to be this good.

The Dirty Tricks are Mr. Nick David on vocals and harmonica, “Lonely” Gus Carlson on guitar, Ted “Teddy B” Bukoski on bass, and Rick Rousseau on drums, with guest appearances by Curtis Salgado on harmonica, Bruce Bears on piano and organ, Junior Watson on guitar, Mark Earley on tenor sax, Jimmy Laitley on baritone sax, Scott Aruda on trumpet and Mark Paquin on trombone comprising the talent assembled on

From the opening bars of the title track “Oh Wow!” MR. NICK & THE DIRTY TRICKS capture their high energy vibe and sound on disk. Featuring tight horn arrangements and Scott Aruda and a complimentary tenor sax solo by Mark Earley, the Oh Wow! track is pedal-to-the-metal for a tidy 3.08 minutes. Probably the best part of this track though has to be the fact that, though the horn line is a large complement to the overall track, it is easy to hear MR. NICK & THE DIRTY TRICKS pulling this track off live in smaller iterations of the band.

On “Stripper,” the band starts off the track with some tight barbershop quartet harmonies before flawlessly pulling off a New Orleans second line groove. Summoning the spirits of Cab Calloway and Big Joe Turner, Mr. Nick flawlessly plays the role of the blues shouter with a hilarious but cautionary tale of questionable dating practices. While all of the assembled Dirty Tricks shine on this track, special kudos to trumpet player Scott Aruda for his SCREAMING trumpet solo. Risk the blown speakers and the chance of tinnitus on this one, and crank this track repeatedly.

On the closing track “It’s All Over Now,” written by Bobby and Shirley Womack, Mr. Nick shares vocal duties with Salgado, swapping verses while The Dirty Tricks provide an updated rendition of The Valentinos classic. Without a doubt it, the entire band does this classic proud.

With 10 tracks on Oh Wow!, five originals and five cover songs, probably one of the best compliments of I could possibly give is that it sounds as though there were very limited overdubs and MR. NICK & THE DIRTY TRICKS recorded it in a somewhat live state. Given the quality of music recorded on Oh Wow!, with just the right break, 2012 should be a very good year for MR. NICK & THE DIRTY TRICKS as this CD should be the lynchpin to national exposer for the band.

Do yourselves a favor: buy yourself a copy of Oh Wow!, turn it up and enjoy. It is almost as good as checking out MR. NICK & THE DIRTY TRICKS live.

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