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Johnny Nicholas is an incredibly gifted and hard-working bluesman, as he says, he can remember the lyrics and music to more songs than anyone in the world, but he can't remember his wife's anniversary.
He has the coveted Grammy win, but more importantly, he's paid his dues in music and in life. His music has given him a voice when his blues transcended words and he holds that deep-seated love of music in common with the legends he left home to follow and apprentice with—Johnny Shines and Robert Jr. Lockwood—the only two men who ever got close to the King of the Delta Blues, Robert Johnson.
He brings that deep understanding of the history of blues—what it is at its deepest level and what it costs to tap into it—to this interview. What does paying your dues look like? Where does the ability to play the blues come from? We're honored to have this conversation with an amazing man—the ever-humble, soulfully-talented Johnny Nicholas.
Music from the albums Future Blues, Back to the Country, Slide Show, and Golden Triangle. Also, the song Kind Hearted Woman Blues performed by Robert Johnson.
The Golden Triangle Swamp Blues
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It's good to talk.