Darrell Nulisch

Darrell Nulisch
Just for You

Severn Records

By Rachel Lee
January 2010

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So you are cozying up to the fireplace with a certain someone and you are looking for something to listen to. You’re looking for something new yet retro, something soulful and slightly bluesy. Just for You from Darrell Nulisch might be just what you are looking for.

For this sleek effort Nulisch (who co-produced with David Earl and Steven Gomes) put together more musicians than can possibly fit in one recording room, including Johnny Moeller of the Fabulous Thunderbirds on guitar and Severn Records stablemates like Benjie Porecki on keyboards and Gomes on bass.

Folks who are familiar with Darrell’s work won’t get too many surprises, but what impressed me is the production quality. More Memphis than Mississippi, his blue-eyed soul aims for the retro sounds of Hi Records. It’s really all about the Hammond and the horns.

I love the swelling brass on the opening track “You Don’t Know Me”. The next track, “The Woman Don’t Live Here No More”, a Hi records cover earlier sun by Otis Clay, is a real downer with implicit confessions of spousal abuse.

Continuing with the homages to Memphis soul is the song “Work for Love,” which was written by the Hi production team of Bill Sparks and Don Bryant and was covered by Lou Pride in the 70’s. Interestingly enough, Pride is listed as a backup singer on this new recording.

The title track “Just for You” is the recording’s slow climatic tour de force, with Darrell singing in a high nasally register. His nuanced vocals add a luster to this song earlier recorded by Slim Harpo. The mellow “All The Love We Had,” with its shimmering wah-wah style effects, puts the time machine back to the early '70s.

I recently saw Darrell at the Regattabar playing to a full house on the eve of the 2009 Boston Music Awards, where he was nominated for Blues Act of the Year. He held the audience captive. Though he didn’t win the award the next night, he is nominated for two 2010 Blues Music Awards, including one for Just for You.

Darrell is proving that he isn’t just getting older, he’s also getting better.


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