BEN NICHOLS (of LUCERO)
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Ben Nichols is the front man for the Memphis-based alt-country band Lucero. Lucero formed in the late nineties and the band has released seven studio albums and a couple of DVDs since 2001, each earning critical praise for the group’s gritty, rootsy and almost punk approach to country-rock as well as for Nichols’ emotive, whiskey-soaked vocals. During breaks from Lucero, Nichols began recording more acoustic-based material and an EP featuring a stripped-down trio of Nichols on acoustic guitar, Rick Steff (Cat Power) on accordion and piano and Todd Been (Glossary) on pedal steel and electric guitar appeared under Nichols’ name in 2009 from Liberty & Lament Records. Titled “The Last Pale Light in the West,” the EP’s seven songs are all based on characters and situations drawn from Cormac McCarthy’s novel “Blood Meridian.”
“…Nichols has gone from raw talent to a blistering, diesel train of a singer and a songwriter of rare versatility. He brazenly evinces both of these traits on ‘Pale Light,’ his very literal seven-song companion to Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.” – austinist.com
“Nichols doesn’t stray far away from the formula that brought his band, Lucero, success. However, ‘Last Pale Light’ delves deeper into Nichol’s personality, playing less on the crazy drunken nights and more on the life-examining next day hangover.” – Westword’s blog
“The album…would make Wilie Nelson proud. The stripped down songs allow you to focus on how talented Nichols really is as a songwriter…” – hearya.com
MIKE HERRERA (of MXPX)
Mike Herrera is an American musician most widely known as the vocalist and bass guitarist for the Punk Rock band MxPx. Mike has been touring all over the world as a solo artist as well as with his rock bands, MXPX and Tumbledown. He takes his songs, new and old and does acoustic arrangements that bring a fresh perspective to the songs. He does some pretty good drinking songs too.