While I toured nationwide for the release of my self-titled solo album “Nick 13”, I’ve been too busy doing things like writing and making videos to appear locally much since the album’s release. My shows at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on July 20 & 21st will be my first proper live appearances in Southern California since the album came out a year ago.
The scene for country music in California may have diminished somewhat since it’s heyday in the mid-1940s through the 1960s but it’s still here, it’s just gone underground. Los Angeles hasn’t always gotten the credit that it deserves for being a focal point in country music history, but its roots run deep – back to an era when venues like Riverside Rancho or The Palomino were in full swing.
In excitement and preparation for the upcoming shows, I decided to create a sort of primer for the California country tradition that has nurtured and inspired my own music. Some the artists were born here like Merle Haggard or Johnny Horton; some of them lived here during their greatest periods of creativity and musical achievement like Buck Owens and Wynn Stewart; at the very least the songs were cut not in Nashville but Hollywood, as in the case of Tennessee Ernie Ford. Every song or artist here has an important link with the Golden State. If I could’ve, I’d have included Tommy Collins, The Farmer Boys, Bob Morris, Maddox Brothers & Rose and Cliffie Stone as well. I hope you enjoy these songs and I hope you’re inspired to check out more West Coast Country, present and past. See you at the shows!