Los Angeles-based Nick Waterhouse is my kind of artist. He worked in record stores (remember where you could lose almost half a day?), built up his own collection of 45’s, met Ray Charles and Nat King Cole and then nonchalantly started making rhythm and Blues with a preference for recording in analogue.
Nick Waterhouse is his fourth album and whilst it’s easy to call it retro or throwback it is something much better. Each track has the power and the possibility of a hit single with catchy guitar, piano, horns, saxophone solos, staccato girl-group harmonies and his own Van Morrison-influenced delivery.
There’s no blood in his veins just rhythm. “I’ve been strolling on the Strasse, strolling on the boulevard” he growls on Black Glass and I can’t help swaying like Ray Charles as I’m driving. The music is crystal-clear as if the band is right in front of you. You don’t just hear the walking bass on Which Was Writ, you feel it. It’s impossible to keep still to this album until Nick’s voice softens and slows for the emotional depth of the ballad Thought and Act.
The instrumental El Viv is as catchy as Tequila (the Champs) - with an extra shot, before Wherever She Goes with its girl harmonies, completes an enjoyable recording offering plenty of variation on the rhythm and unpredictability in the vocal.