First Listen: Nick Blaemire and The Hustle … journey into NerdSoul

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by Chris LaMonica
December 14, 2012

"We are a bunch of music nerds to be sure," asserted Nick Blaemire explaining of his band's sound to be, "for the kind of people that miss Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder," categorizing The Hustle's 'nerdsoul' as, "a new kind of cool that's coming out of the music we're trying to make ... helping bridge the gap between styles."

Together just over a year, the nine member band's fusion of soul, funk, jazz, R&B and pop is garnering bi-coastal acceptance having already performed before sold out crowds in New York City's Webster Hall, Mercury Lounge and Knitting Factory as well as the Hotel Café in Los Angeles.  "We put on a really, really fast and fun show and it's become our way to relax," explained Blaemire expressing the live performance to be a "binding" exploratory experience rooted in a "trust of musicality and each other,"  serving as a release from the constructs of the studio recording process, "finding new stuff each time."

Preparing an early 2013 re-release of their debut EP, entitled Nick Blaemire and The Hustle, the band enlisted world renown drummer and Grammy Award winning producer Mike Mangini to re-mix and re-master the introductory seven track effort.

"Truthfully ... it was abject fear for the first couple of days," revealed the lead singer/songwriter when asked as to first hearing his sound interpreted by the record holder in five different World Fastest Drummer (W.F.D.) official categories.  "He was really open to whatever thoughts that I and my collaborator Jesse Vargas [had]," offered Blaemire of the partnership with Mangini, attributing the former ten-year Berklee College of Music Percussion instructor's 'musically freeing' process with, "letting us do the thing that we're loving about making our version of 'soul meets dance music' and he really tapped in to that and found a lot of ways to take it further than we had ever thought it could go."

Citing a myriad of musical influences ranging from legends such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles to contemporaries such as Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Justin Timberlake, Blaemire's aim is, "making something that is as musically fulfilling as it is fun and easy to remember," crediting the aforementioned with "doing incredibly complicated things with time and with changes," while still remaining able to, "reach a large number of fans by writing really catchy melodies and writing about really relate-able subjects."  And striking that complex balance of artistic integrity and commercial viability admits Blaemire is, "The world that he wanted to figure out how to straddle."

Additionally, what would make the young performer's musical goals complete would be, "to bring people to a music that they didn't know before and a style they didn't know before," stated Blaemire hoping to have his music serve as an introductory conduit, a 'harbinger of discovery' for musicians such as Wonder and Hathaway, added, "I think that's what music is all about; is finding a way to get people to feel something and also getting them to open their mind up to what else might be possible."

And if you're ready to 'bridge the gap' and explore the musical possibility of Nick Blaemire and The Hustle, New York area music lovers can do so for FREE this Monday, Dec. 17 at Rockwood Music Hall's Stage Two at 8:30 pm.

Blaemire, with Broadway musical and television credits to his name, including Godspell and DogFight  and NCIS and The Good Wife respectively, the musician/actor is cast in a mid-season recurring role this coming January 2013 on ABC's Zero Hour, starring Anthony Edwards, which he describes as the "Da Vinci Code for television."

FAST LIFE FIRST LISTEN: Dare to open your mind and watch the new video and current Nick Blaemire and The Hustle single entitled "Complete."

Follow @nickblaemire on Twitter.

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Purchase the Nick Blaemire and The Hustle EP direct.