Jared James Nichols Displays Blues Power at Beat Kitchen

By Justice Petersen

There needs to be more blues in the music scene. To start, take notes from Jared James Nichols.

Nichols is a true pioneer in blues rock and the new wave of classic rock. Having performed with everyone from Zakk Wylde to Billy Gibbons, it is clear that Nichols is up there with the greats.

In 2021, he became a global ambassador for Gibson Guitars. The only other musicians to receive this title are Lzzy Hale, Slash and Dave Mustaine.

Now, Nichols is on tour promoting his recently released self-titled album and on Thursday night, blew the roof the Beat Kitchen.

Before the show, Nichols and his bandmates hung out around the bar talking with fans. It was interesting to see that the majority of attendees were heavy metal fans. One man wore a battle vest sporting Mercyful Fate and Exodus patches. Two women I spoke with were huge fans of Black Label Society, but had seen Jared James Nichols numerous times before. Usually a genre known for its unwavering fans, to see metal fans appreciate a blues musician is a cool thing.

As Nichols started performing, the entire room was hooked. It’s no wonder Nichols is up there with other Gibson greats. Nichols plays a Les Paul like it is supposed to be played, tearing into it and shredding it to pieces with his signature pick-less playing style, creating unimaginable sounds that are so sleazy and dirty, yet come out so flawless.

Nichols played his recent album from top to bottom. Notable tracks include “My Delusion” and “Hard Wired”, heavy and distorted blues rock songs sung by Nichols with charismatic grit.

Throughout the show, Nichols performed with radiant positivity and a smile on his face. His fellow bandmates also deserve praise. Diego is an extremely talented bass player, pounding on his Gibson SG with carefully calculated impact and interacting with the crowd and his bandmates. Dennis on drums also plays with great precision and rhythm.

Sometimes, with Dennis’s drumming, the solo bits went borderline thrash. Perhaps this slight hint of heavy metal is why metalheads appreciate Nichols.

After playing through their album, Nichols performed an intense cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”. To hear such a brutal song performed in a small venue was a beautiful thing. Fans sang the verses with the passion of an entire arena, and hearing the song performed to such perfection was a religious experience.

Jared James Nichols Displays Blues Power 1

For this show, Nichols invited special guest Peter Dankelson, of Lake County rock band Pete’s Diary, to play alongside him for a few cover songs; “Crossroads” by Cream and “Going Down” by Jeff Beck. From watching Nichols perform with Dankelson, it is clear that not only is he one of the greatest guitar players ever, he’s also one of the kindest.

After the show, Nichols hung out at the merch table and took the time to talk with every fan that met him. He signed CD’s and vinyl, and even called one fan’s dad and talked with him on the phone, much to the amusement of everyone who saw.

If learning nothing else from a Jared James Nichols show, you will learn that he is a positive and down to earth person.

When Nichols performs, it demands your full attention. It is so raw and captivating; to hear a Gibson played in such a way causes one to feel almost possessed.

What is this strange feeling we get at a concert? When we feel like we have no choice but to succumb to the music? Is it really possession? Maybe it’s blues power.

Read more reviews here!



Official: https://www.jaredjamesnichols.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jaredjamesnichols
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JJNicholsMusic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaredjamesnichols/