SINGLE RELEASE: Nick Waterhouse – ‘Song For Winners’
WORDS BY CRAIG HOPKINSON
Nick Waterhouse certainly is an old-school rhythm and blues player; there is no doubt about that. Taking obvious influences from Jazz, blues and soul; this Los Angeles singer and songwriter hurtles the listener back, way back, back to when television was in black and white and a rumour of a new, taboo infused musical genre was afoot – rock ‘n’ roll – ‘The devil’s music’.
Nick’s latest single, Song For Winners, is exactly that, an original rock ‘n’ roll track and it sounds like it was recorded in a ‘wall of sound’ fashion, recording all the instruments in one take, like producer Phil Spector, one of the architects of modern music production and executive producer of the famous song Be My Baby, recorded with The Ronettes.
In terms of production, the instrumentation used on this track is off the chart. Nick and the production team at Innovative Leisure Records have graced us with a whole trove of awesome sounding sections; from brass, including a very sexy saxophone hitting the lower shelf every now and then, lovely backing vocal harmonies throughout, an array of jazz and soul influenced percussion sections and a drummer with more swing than Tarzan.
The use of a 1950’s Shurre 55 microphone, or the Elvis-styled microphone, if you will, gives authenticity to the piece. I’m also pretty sure that isn’t an effects plugin the producers have used to get that iconic, muffled microphone crunch on the lead vocal, it’s the real deal. To round it all up, Song For Winners has definitely won me over. Well done Nick, I’m a fan. It’s a cool sound, paying homage to the traditions of rock ‘n’ roll, recorded in the old Phil Spector, Wall of Sound-way. One take, all in one room. It has a great energy to it and really showcases Nick, the other musicians, and the production team, as the great blues players they are. It almost sounds effortless.