Nick Earle & The Reckless Hearts Review
By Tom Faddis
Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Nick Earle is a Canadian rock-blues artist from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Earle began his career in the music industry as one half of the nationally recognized duo “Earle and Coffin.” As part of this duo, he has received two Canadian Folk Music Awards, two MusicNL Awards, and a multitude of ECMA, Maple Blues, and MusicNL nominations. Earle began making a name for himself as a solo artist in June of 2019 when he released his debut solo record, Breaking New Ground. He has since generated much success with his new musical endeavors, along with his band “The Reckless Hearts.” He is bringing his unique combination of soulful vocals and unorthodox guitar playing to a new effort, which has been released on April 24, 2020, the self-titled album Nick Earle & The Reckless Hearts. The musicians are Nick Earle: Guitar & Vocals, Clare Follett: Bass & Vocals, and Dan George: Drums.
“Out of My Head” is a rock/blues vibe set to a medium tempo with Follett and George creating a pad for Earle’s vocals and guitar playing. Follett’s bass tone blends with Earle’s guitar tone to create a full sonic wall of sound that fills the space for a trio. Earle’s vocal style is a matter of fact, and the blues tradition can be heard in his phrasing. The riff is catchy, there are certainly elements of ’70s rock in here. Earle’s guitar solo is highly active and played over the riff. The band is in the pocket and turn in an impressive opening cut.
“Crosscut Saw” shows Earle’s understanding of the blues repertoire. His singing and playing have a much more blues-influenced sound than rock on this one. The opening figure is a sliding figure that will perk your attention. The shuffle feel by Follett and George is terrific. The melody is sung in the blues tradition, and Earle’s solo on this cut is highly musical and shows a wide range of textures and techniques.
Nick Earle & The Reckless Hearts strikes a balance between blues and rock that is enjoyable. Earle’s singing and playing are refreshing, and The Reckless Hearts are spot on. The songwriting and covers are all well-done. Go ahead and sample all nine tracks, you will undoubtedly grab the majority for your collection.
Release Date: April 24, 2020
Label: The Citadel House
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