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Nichol Robertson joins Cameron House Records
Cameron House Records is pleased to welcome Nichol Robertson to our Roster. Nichol’s debut release, “Stranger Things,” is a brilliant piece of work, in our opinion. Evidently, others seem to agree. Read these reviews and pick up a disc at the Cameron House or order one from our online store.
“The country record that is getting the most buzz right now from the critics is called Stranger Things by Nichol Robertson. Robertson — an instrumental guitar player and member of the cultish Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People — has made an album that sounds out of time, as if was recorded in 1950s in Nashville, and Merle Haggard and Buck Owens were about to take the Grand Ole Opry’s centre stage.
Of course, having Robertson release a popular country album today only makes sense. In 2012, country music may be the new hip-hop, and any one of these popular performers have the licks and the attitude — the swagger — to become the next Ian Tyson or Stompin’ Tom.”
The new album Stranger Things from Nichol Robertson is a timeless treasure. This old-school guitar slinger lays out a compelling example of the rarely-seen instrumental country/surf/riff playing that can only be hatched from a musical mind seasoned by hours and years of live gigs.
Nichol is a musician in it for the long haul, and he certainly plays lots of gigs (with everyone from Friendly Rich to The Woodchoppers). The songs and production harken back to an earlier time that may remind you of a young Les Paul, early Lenny Breau or even teenage Jimmy Page.
This rock solid album relentlessly pleads its wordless case for more clean melodies and razor-sharp licks. It will make a believer out of indie rocks fans, jazz heads and country hippies alike. You will not be disappointed by this album.
Even though country music is maligned for the often-homogenous sounds of its top-selling artists, the genre remains home to some of the best instrumentalists in the world. It’s always interesting when those players get a chance to stretch out on their own, and it’s in that spirit that this Torontoguitar and banjo virtuoso has made his debut solo album. Robertson has been an in-demand sideman for years, and the 14 instrumentals on Stranger Things clearly prove why. Accompanied by other top-notch names on dobro, pedal steel, string bass and drums, Robertson creates a party atmosphere right from the first notes, and the versatility of the group soon becomes head-spinning as they weave their way through a wide range of classic country and bluegrass themes. Sprinklings of Latin lounge (“Yoodoo Juan”) and pure twang (“Pentagram Rock”) add further intrigue. Any fan of the Sadies needs to hear this record.
This Toronto guitarist cut his teeth as a sideman to dozens of performers in the city’s country, folk and avant-garde scene (he’s an occasional member of Friendly Rich’s Lollipop People and Dave Clark’s Woodchoppers), but on his debut solo album he dives deep into instrumental country music of the early ’60s. Not just stylistically — he’s an obvious disciple of Chet Atkins, and an heir to Shadowy Men’s Brian Connelly as a brilliant player combining technique and melodic reach — but aesthetically as well, as every amplifier and pedal used here is unmistakably vintage, as is the 50-year-old long-lost convention of using wordless male backing singers in instrumental music. And yet unlike, say, the raw new Fred Eaglesmith record or the ragged psychedelics of the Sadies, Robertson’s recording is decidedly modern. He employs some of Toronto’s top players, including bassist Victor Bateman and pedal steel guitarist Burke Carroll, but Robertson is the clear star here. His music may be far out of fashion, but that doesn’t make Stranger Things anything less than a stunning debut.