• Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

JARED JAMES NICHOLS Zia Records in-store review/feature

ByTaylor T Carlson

Mar 4, 2023

In recent years, Jared James Nichols has been making a name for himself as one of the top blues rock guitarists out there, continuing to grow a worldwide following. Upon hearing he’d be doing an in-store event at Zia Records at 1:00 PM on Saturday, February 25 (he’d done a concert the previous night in Vegas at Backstage Bar), I knew I’d be there.

My familiarity with Mr. Nichols is fairly limited. I believe I saw him open for an artist at Vamp’d several years ago pre-pandemic, though in all honestly I can’t verify that. I’ve been playing catch-up ever since, loving everything I’ve heard by the guy. This guy’s got some fantastic blues rock albums out, and there’s no doubt I need to add more of them to my collection in the future.

Zia’s event was slated to run from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. When I arrived (probably around 12:45 PM), Mr. Nichols had already arrived and was socializing with the folks present. Right from the get-go it was clear that, despite his talents. Nichols was an all-around good guy who was appreciative of his fans. The crowd that assembled consisted of probably around 20 people or so (despite his humorous claims no one would show up), with patrons of all ages who were clearly happy to see him do his thing.

Nichols claimed that he was used to performing as part of a trio on stage, and that not having a timekeeper and performing with a band was an adjustment for him. Despite that, he did some great renditions of songs, including a few from his brand new album (the one that the in-store appearance was intended to advertise). Nichols was fantastic at engaging his audience; one of the most entertaining moments of the event was him trying to get a shy young girl in the crowd to strum his guitar.

He further engaged the audience with a “Name That Riff” game, playing a few riffs from various rock songs, trying to get them to guess the song – this rock and roll fan may have, unsurprisingly, hogged the game though! He even turned the tables and tried to play songs requested by the audiences, delivering on more than a few. The performance concluded with a cover of Mountain’s classic rock album “Mississippi Queen.”

Following the performance, Nichols took the time to sign CDs and memorabilia for fans, while also taking photos with them and engaging with them for further conversations. Getting to see Nichols in a smaller more intimate environment like this was a fantastic experience; hopefully Zia will be able to attract more artists for events like this one in the coming weeks and months!

Jared James Nichols is someone you’ll want to keep your eyes on. He’s a killer blues rock guitarist with an amazing sound all his own, and I have no doubt his career and reputation will continue to grow. In the meantime, pick up his latest self-titled CD, which I have a feeling will be landing on my eventual Best of the Year list.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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