Make no mistake: Johnny Nicholas knows from the blues. His credentials? Impeccable. Conviction? Immeasurable. And chops? If an instrument’s got strings, keys, or reeds he can play the hell out of it. He’s also a consummate songwriter and a great singer blessed with a warm, toasty growl of a voice that can roll from rumble to croon and back again with seductive ease.
Marcia Ball calls Nicholas “an extremely engaging innovative traditionalist” who “writes instant classics and sings them to break your heart and rock your soul.” But the key word there is “innovative,” because as deep as his roots go — and we’re talking about a cat who learned firsthand from the likes of Robert Lockwood Jr., Howlin’ Wolf, Big Walter Horton, and Johnny Shines (to name but a few of the legends he studied under early in his five-decade career) — Nicholas does not paint in one color.
“[Johnny] learned from some of the same guys I did and he sings and plays the real down home blues!”
– BB KING, 1976 –
“Johnny Nicholas is one of the best bluesmen ever, black or white.”
– Stephen Bruton –
“Guitar Johnny Nicholas is a bad mother______!”
– Jimmie Vaughan –
Heralded Austin-based blues/roots musician and songwriter Johnny Nicholas has reissued his long out-of-print 1977 album, Too Many Bad Habits, along with a special bonus disc of rare, previously unreleased performances. The two-disc set has been completely remastered and includes the liner notes from the original Blind Pig LP release in 1977. A new set of liner notes written by acclaimed author/music critic Ed Ward will also accompany the CDs and vinyl. Featured artists on the original sessions included blues legends Big Walter Horton on harmonica and vocals, Johnny Shines on guitar and vocals and Boogie Woogie Red on piano and vocals, as well as Ray Benson and other luminaries of the original Asleep at the Wheel lineup. Rated by Goldmine Magazine as one of the Top Ten Albums of the year!