The CMJ Music Marathon first started in 1980 with a modest amount of…
- Posted on Aug 29th 2010 11:00AM by Emily Tan
"I haven't played shows in a couple of months because I was working on a new record," Nicolay announced. "If it looks like I forgot some of the lyrics, It's because I probably forgot the lyrics."
Dressed in black jeans, a sky blue button-down and pinstripe blazer with green satin pocket square, the mustachioed multi-instrumentalist surrounded himself with a guitar, banjo and accordion -- an instrument that Nicolay says has been collecting dust in an attic in Ithaca, N.Y. for 35 years and which considered selling at first, but decided to play instead. 'This is like the '57 Les Paul of accordions," Nicolay said. "And this is when I realized I would trade the accordion until I need a few months rent."
While many may have heard 'This Is Not a Pipe' via the Web, Nicolay also gave everyone a taste of 'Job 35:10,' 'Luck and Courage' and 'Rock, Rinse, Repeat' -- a bonus track.
Being the eccentric and creative individual Nicolay is, it wasn't a surprise to find out that his new album is based on two people he made up in his head. Before performing 'Felix and Adelita,' he revealed that the idea of these two people came to him one night. "And I went to my laptop and wrote it out then work up the next day and realized I wrote it," he said. "I didn't change a thing from what I wrote that night."
Aside from the new stuff, Nicolay revisited the classic favorites like 'Jeff Penalty,' 'For My Next Trick I'll Need a Volunteer' and 'Cease-Fire or Mrs. Norman Maine.' And of course, each song had a story attached to it. "This is a mariachi tribute to disco,' and I think this is the only one that exists," Nicolay said as he adjusted his accordion to play 'The Ballad of Hollis Wadsworth Mason Jr.'
Instead of ending with something of his own, Nicolay ended his set with 'Moon River' by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini. He introduced it by saying, "I want to sing this beautiful song that I didn't write. I didn't write it, but I wish I had."
Before 'Luck and Courage' comes out on Oct. 12, Nicolay will be playing two New York shows -- the Highline Ballroom on Sept. 2 and Vino in Vino on Sept. 26 -- to give fans a hint of what to expect from the record.