Houston Music

Nathan Quick Turns Toward the Blues on "The Sound"

For the better part of the past decade, Nathan Quick’s music has been entrenched in the folk genre. Both his 2011 EP Coming Home and 2014’s The Mile were folk albums at heart, with blues and classic rock peppered into the mix for emphasis.

But with last year’s City Lights, a 13-minute roller coaster of rock and roll, Quick evolved into a much more aggressive sound, one that has brought him such recent successes as a slot at Free Press Summer Fest 2015 and an upcoming single release party at the newly minted Raven Tower.

“I’ve gone to my roots a lot more,” Quick says of his new single “The Sound,” adding that he has evolved his singer-songwriter routine into more of a blues-influenced outfit. “The Doors come to mind for a lot of people.”

Under the guidance of his father, Quick grew up listening to the likes of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, which nurtured his bluesy roots. Meanwhile, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter contributed to both his style of guitar playing and his affinity for the instrument.

“I’m taking my blues influence and melding it with my songwriter twang, trying to find the sweet spot there,” he says of the new single and his upcoming album, which he hopes to release around the turn of the year. “I think I’ve come to that by merging the songwriter aspect with a blues foundation to make my own weird subgenre, I guess.”

The blues, Quick laments, is a sound that is absent from most popular music these days, though he believes it to be closer to the pulse of modern-rock outfits than many think.

“The Black Keys have an album that most people don’t realize is a cover album,” Quick says, referencing the duo’s 2006 release Chulahoma. “It’s a cover of this artist named Junior Kimbrough, who was a big artist for me when I was 14 or 15 years old.”

Noting similar guitar riffs and syncopation, Quick says the Black Keys' sound was likely influenced quite a bit by Kimbrough's music.

Quick's performance this weekend will be “a taste of what the full-length album is going to be like,” and the Houston native is excited to share his new wide-ranging sound with new and old fans alike.

“There’s a few singer-songwriter tracks, some acoustic and bluesy songs on there, and then we’ve got the full-on band,” Quick says. “The singles coming out are still gritty, rock and roll and blues…but as far as the full-length goes, there are definitely some twists in there.”

As a nod to the days of old, “The Sound” will be a two-track release, incorporating both the aforementioned song and a B-side. Both tracks will also appear on Quick’s upcoming album, alongside the three tracks from City Lights.

“[The album] is supposed to be 13 or 14 tracks,” Quick says. “I’ve been grinding, and I feel really confident about the songs coming out, so I wanted to package them all together into a full-length and start really pushing (my music) in a bigger market.”

Though he doesn’t have an exhaustive tour planned yet, Quick will be spending some time performing in Austin and Fort Worth in support of the new single.

“There’s this bar [in Fort Worth] called Shipping and Receiving that I’m really excited about,” Quick says. “Leon Bridges got his start there, and he got really popular playing in that area.”

But before he leaves town, Houston fans will have a chance to catch Nathan Quick perform with local favorites The Beans and Austin’s Otis the Destroyer at Raven Tower.  Doors open at 7 p.m., and the music kicks off at 8.