Blues musician Buffalo (Carl) Nichols is performing at the Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green on Saturday, Sept. 9 in support of his new album, The Fatalist.
Milwaukee born Nichols is Fat Possum’s first blues signing in nearly 20 years.
His first self-titled LP in 2021 became a critically acclaimed record that earned him his television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, many festival performances, an interview with NPR Music, Rolling Stone Magazine and a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.
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His new album is coming out on Sept. 15 and he has released his first lead single which is a new take on Blind Willie Johnson’s “You’re Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond,” as well as his original single, “The Difference.”
Nichols’ voice is soulful with heavy blues influences and interesting guitar rhythms that differentiate the music from classic blues to now.
He says he started making music before he thought about making it a career, and it made sense for him to continue on the path. Nichols “leaned on his years of experience as a DIY musician—and the songs themselves—to guide him,” according to Chromatic PR.
Nichol’s says those who listen to his set at the Black Swamp Arts Festival can expect all brand new songs from his second album, as well as songs that have never been released.
“I play a lot of songs that I haven’t recorded or released. I always make a point to put new material in my set,” he said.
He says he’s excited to see the other bands play during the festival and to be in Bowling Green.
“I haven’t spent a lot of time in that part of Ohio. I’m excited to see what the people are about,” he said.
Nichols said he doesn’t know much about the festival, so he’s “always up for a new experience.”
Nichols’ second album is claimed to catch listeners off guard, as he does new things with the blues.
“There’s a consideration of the fullness of the sonic stage and the atmospherics of blues music that can only come with a long engagement with electronic music. But this is no gimmicky hybrid or attempt to turn the blues into 21st century music by simply dressing it with skittering hi-hats,” according to Chromatic PR.
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He says this album is “a bit more experimental” and a continuation from his last album.
“It’s just something different and you won’t really know what to expect from track to track and it’s an exciting experience,” he said.
Chromatic PR explains “the stakes throughout this album are largely personal, rather than social; Nichols is singing about his life in the first person, and about his desire to forge his own individuality in a world and a music industry that make it nearly impossible to do so.”
Nichols explains when it comes to music, “life in general inspires me to make music. I don’t know any other way.”
Attendees can see Buffalo Nichols’ set at 4:30 pm at the Main Stage.