Thursday, February 28, 2013

OldJack swings into Coppertop

Dan Nicklin sounds like he doesn’t try to overcomplicate things.

“Any time you have two guitars, a bass, and drums, you get rock ’n’ roll,” he says, and that’s what is at the heart of OldJack, the band Nicklin sings and writes for. Playing around Boston for the past few years, OldJack has been described all sorts of ways, but Nicklin says it all boils down to basic rock ’n’ roll.

Of course it looks like Nicklin isn’t trying to keep things simple, either, as OldJack in full force consists of eight members.

“I always loved a wall of sound,” he says. “The more people on stage doing what they are supposed to do, the better.”

Given this big-but-basic sound and Nicklin’s broad songwriting, OldJack has room to roam_ hence the various ways people categorize the band. “Green,” for instance, has a country twang to it, while “Hey Miss” is all rock ’n’ soul swagger.  (And for a sense of raw showmanship, I tossed in the cover of the Black Crowes' "Sometimes Salvation" performed above with Will Dailey.)

Now there’s no way all of OldJack can pack itself into the Coppertop, so Nicklin will show up with a couple of pickers, a drummer, and maybe another singer when the band plays from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday. There are plenty of occasions, Nicklin says, when not everybody can make it to a gig, so OldJack is good at adapting.

OldJack has been at work on a full-length album due for release in the fall. Like many independent bands, OldJack is crowd-funding the project and putting together different incentives for contributions, so check back on its web site to see what’s shakin’ as the project moves forward.

Old Jack has already released an E.P. and some singles, working with various producers around Boston over the past couple of years.

“We’ve been touched by a lot of musical minds,” Nicklin says. “We’ve learned a lot from other people, now it’s time to try our own thing. It’ll either be great or break us up.”

In this case, I trust Jack.

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