"By the time I was a teenager, I realized that the anger, frustration [and] disappointment [I felt] was supposed to be [excised through] punk rock music, but that wasn't it for me. I heard that in [...] R&B records."
Soul revival is a tricky thing. Too often, retro-revisionists seem to fall into one of two camps: those who coldly co-opt the past to make a quick buck, and those who make kitsch by parodying the personas of early rock'n'roll. But San Francisco's Nick Waterhouse is a different creature. While he bears a strong resemblance to Buddy Holly — horn rims, short hair, sharp suits — he makes music that transcends tribute. Listen to his recently released debut LP, Time's All Gone, and it's as if disco never happened. Instead, those old rhythm and blues somehow kept pushing forward on their own terms, made it to the year 2012, and planted a flag for kids who still grease their hair, carry switchblades and make out at The Point. It's a cynic-proof effort, one whose doubters need only see Waterhouse and his ace gang of instrumentalists do their thing live. Between the chattering keys, bomping saxes, gorgeous guitar tones and the bandleader's voice — which slides effortlessly from cool quaver to feral howl — the end result is pretty undeniable.
But it's not just the execution. Waterhouse songs seethe with angst and emotion, a fact that's clear as day in the clip below, the SPIN premiere of "Some Place," shot by the web session kings at Yours Truly. A brief interview at the start goes a long way to explaining Waterhouse's unique gift: "By the time I was a teenager, I realized that the anger, frustration [and] disappointment [I felt] was supposed to be [excised through] punk rock music, but that wasn't it for me. I heard that in [...] R&B records." Waterhouse will also be on the road in North America for just under a month starting in September. Those dates are below as well.
September 26 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
September 28 - St. Louis, MO @ Plush
September 29 - Indianapolis, IN @ White Rabbit Cabaret
September 20 - Nashville, TN @ Hi Watt
October 02 - Washington, DC @ Rock'n'Roll Hotel
October 03 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
October 04 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott
October 05 - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
October 05 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
October 08 - Toronto, ON @ Great Hall
October 09 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
October 10 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
October 11 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
October 14 - Seattle, WA @ Neumo's
October 15 - Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo
October 16 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore
October 17 - Portland, OR @ Star Theater
October 20 - San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo's
October 21 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey