Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ol' Saint Nik

I first saw Nik Freitas opening for Jason Lytle's "acoustic" farewell tour, right after he disbanded Grandaddy. I caught the show in Baltimore and the only reason I even was there early enough to catch his set, was because it was a first come, first served seating deal. The buddy who was supposed to go with me stiffed me (thanks again, Tim), so I wasn't really in the mood for an opening act, but didn't know the venue and didn't want to get stuck in the back, so there I was. I recall it being stiflingly hot and I had absolutely no expectations when the lanky guy took the stage with just his guitar and a mic. Suffice to say, by the end of his set, I was blown away.

A singer/songwriter in every sense of the phrase, NF was promoting Voicing the Hammers at the time. He was about as indie as indie could be back then, explaining to the audience, "I'm selling CDs in the back, but there might be a glitch on one or two of the tracks. Jason literally called me a few days ago to do this tour and I barely had time to burn these on my computer." Of course, I was one of the first in line (it was a REALLY small club) to snag mine and even at $5 a pop, he seemed genuinely amazed that I wanted to buy one. He actually thought I was trying to pick up some Grandaddy. Much to my delight, the CD arguably was even better than his performance, with a more rounded out sound.

Mr. Freitas is making his Team Love label debut with Sun Down on May 6. He's responsible for pretty much every note you'll hear, wearing multiple hats as writer, performer, producer and engineer. He's got a bit of a Paul Simon vibe going and if that's your bag, you will not be disappointed with the album's eponymous single.

Nik just finished a tour opening for Bright Eyes and has some upcoming dates in California. Hopefully, he'll make it to our neck of the woods before too long.

Sun Down



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