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Johnny Nicolas, Bluesman Extraordinaire at the Odeon Theater
Saturday, October 29
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 • Posted October 12, 2011

Johnny Nicholas, bluesman extraodinaire, will perform for one night at the Odeon Theater in Mason, Texas. The Hill Country icon and our Hilltop Cafe neighbor to the south will bring his show to the Odeon Saturday October 29 at 8:00 PM. Admission for the show is $15 per person. Johnny formed his first R&B cover band in 1963 and lost little time jumping into the fertile blues/R&B scene. Playing with Fran Christina (the Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Steve Nardella as the Boogie Bros, they backed up some of the greatest blues men ever. In 1978 he moved to Austin, Texas where he landed a gig singing and playing piano for famed Western Swing band Asleep At the Wheel. But in a few years, he returned to the blues, forming his own band Johnny and the Ethnic Lovers.As you can see, Johnny’s latest CD, Future Blues, has a long blues pedigree behind it. Future Blues is the first collection of new Johnny Nicholas material since 2005s Livin with the Blues. Many of the songs that appear on the album, including the playful, sexy Mr. Moon, the shuffling dance floor groove of Hey, Hey and the tough, growling take on Dylans (Its All Over Now) Baby Blue, have already become crowd favorites. “I wanted to showcase these songs and express what was deep inside me,” Nicholas emphasized. “I love doing all the traditional stuff that I know, but to be able to do my own songs is invigorating and exciting.” So far, people have really dug the material, and that sure doesnt hurt! “I just started messing around with Baby Blue one day and put it onstage and people liked it”, says Nicholas. “It was kind of like Jimmy Reed meets Bob Dylan. What could go wrong?”What could go wrong, indeed, with the cast of stellar players Nicholas and producer/bass player Hughes assembled for the Future Blues sessions. They enlisted steel and slide guitarist Cindy Cashdollar (Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Paul Butterfield), drummer John Chipman (Band of Heathens), accordion and keyboardist Joel Guzman (Joe Ely), guitarist Scrappy Jud Newcomb (Ian McLagan, The Resentments) and long time friend and blues guitarist par excellence Jimmie Vaughan.Now listeners have a chance to dig the material, too, from the eerie careening groove of Graveyard Blues to the New Orleans-style triplets on Thats the Price You Got to Pay, to the gospel groove of Steadfast and the playful and sly, Pass Your Tender Lips. All that and more, LIVE, at the Odeon Theater. Its Johnny Nicholas at his best, and that’s saying something indeed. Make advance reservations for this special show for all ages by sending your $15 per person donation to Concert, P.O. Box 1599 Mason, Texas 76856 by October 25. Make checks payable to the Odeon Preservation Association. For more information or reservations please call Dennis or Kay Evans at 325 347 6781 or email at Reservations are not confirmed until they have been paid in advance. Concessions will also be open and you may bring your favorite beverage. The Odeon Theater Concert Series is a fund raising event to renovate the oldest continually operated single screen movie theater in Texas and to make it into a multipurpose facility for movies and performing arts. The OPA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.Johnny is the first performer in the Odeon Theater’s stellar fall concert series lineup. On November 19 the Odeon presents Americana chart-topping, national touring artist Slaid Cleaves. New York Times-lauded Cleaves as “one of the finest songwriters from Texas”. Oh, yeah, and the 2001 Austin Music Awards named Horseshoe Lounge, written with childhood pal Rod Picott, Best Song of the Year.The Odeon will present a special holiday show with the first couple of Austin’s roots music scene, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis Friday, December 2. More surprises are in the works for January and February.

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