Starting last week, we overhauled the bar and restaurant music listings in Scene. As part of that upgrade, we’re posting listings weekly at IdahoStatesman.com. Plus, I’m recommending a few shows.
After 13 years with sibling band Trampled Under Foot, Nicole went solo in 2015. Her Concord Records full-length debut, “Wolf Den,” is a modern-blues blend of rock, soul, R&B and funk. Anders Osborne produced the album and played guitar. Stanton Moore hammered drums. Luther Dickinson offered a guest guitar spot, too.
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That’s a heavy-duty recording lineup.
“I was just, like, grateful to be there,” Nicole, 33, admits, phoning from her Kansas City home. “It was beyond my wildest dreams, it was so much fun.”
Nicole can definitely hold her own. She’s the only woman ever nominated for the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for “Best Instrumentalist — Bass,” which she won in 2014.
But it’s her vocals that kill: gritty, sassy, versatile. Nicole is honored by comparisons to Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi, “but my favorite thing is when people are like, ‘You sound like yourself.’ ”
Still, she admits a No. 1 influence: “Etta James, all the way,” Nicole says. “Her fire ... the emotionality, just everything about her. Her style and the way she sings as well, and just her embrace of just putting herself completely out there.”
Nicole toured this year opening for George Thorogood and Buddy Guy, but she’s ready to pay her dues headlining bars. Here’s hoping that Boise blues fans show up. However, the number of fans won’t affect Nicole’s house-shaking show.
“Five or 5,000, I still have a great night,” she says.