Music » Livewire

Nick Curran & the Nightlifes

With Split Lip Rayfield, Lords of the Highway, and the Capgun Cowboys. Thursday, July 1, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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There was a time when jump, blues, R&B, swing, and rock and roll were more the same than they were different. As some styles were fading in popularity and others just emerging, the lines that defined each from the other were not always so sharply drawn. It's from this delightful mishmash that Nick Curran concocts his distinctive and tasty brew.

Armed with a throwback voice and lyrical sense, the twentysomething Portland, Maine-bred singer-guitarist-songwriter crafts material that stands toe-to-toe with the vintage gems on his set list. Curran drives the point home on disc, making tunes with vintage recording gear the old-fashioned way: one take, studio-live.

Guitarist enough to make his living that way, Curran cut his teeth in his dad's blues band before going rockabilly, first with master Ronnie Dawson and then with Kim Lenz and the Jaguars, making his disc debut on the group's 1999 release The One and Only. Entrenched in the Texas scene, Curran additionally consorted with retro king Wayne Hancock and blues guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, and started on his own catalog. Just out is his fourth, Player, on which he glides with ease between Little Richard-style R&B raves, big-sound Texas blues, and a retro-fitted run-through of the Stooges' "No Fun."

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