JJN at Black Heart Photo Credit: Phil Honley


The Nashville based Wisconsin-born JARED JAMES NICHOLS, the singer-songwriter, guitarist, and Gibson brand ambassador, played a special one-off performance  at The Black Heart in London on February 22, 2023.

Jared James’s special guests were BAD LUCK FRIDAY featuring vocalist and leading blues-harp desperado, Will Wilde.

The London concert follows hot on the heels of Jared’s forthcoming self-titled Eddie Spear produced (Slash, Rival Sons) full-length album, released January 13th via Black Hill Records. The album features the singles Down The Drain and Hard Wired.

the superstring guitar-play transfigured [this] from a dark groover to a bashing screamer…

Raw Ramp Music Magazine

The new album showcases every side of the multi-talented guitar hero, often described as one of the top-ranking guitarists of the twenty-first century, and it touches upon the various genres that JJN grew up listening to, grunge, blues, and blues-rock, the sounds that influenced his authentic mood.

Songs such as its Easy Come, Easy Go with its Black Key’s style riff  is as glowering as a mist hanging over the Menominee River; with the guitar glumfully grated behind a blueish-moonless vocal. And though this number was dark as crow feathers and talked about the faded coal embers of lost love, the superstring guitar-play transfigured the piece from a dark groover to a bashing screamer. Fantastic!

Resembling Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun to begin with (in a good way) very soon, ‘Down the Drain’ adopted a new direction and started to morph into a hard-trucking riff-rock song with powerful bass notes and beefcake chords.The voice fire-filled vivacity into this sensationla number with tight fortitude.

And the guitar cried out like an angel that had fallen into flames. Yeah, this song truly showed all these is to know about unbreakable love and unending (self) forgiveness. Truly super-applausable!

JJN at the Black Heart, London Photo Credit Phil Honley

The grubby screechy crunchiness of tone was continued with ‘Hard Wired’ that’s a song about changing oneself from the inside, out, perhaps to become more compassionate than modern society expects. Therefore, it was a Zeppelinesque rocking blues number. Slow footed, but with triggering flings of fiery guitar power. 

And there were pure blue tones ballads too, like ‘Threw Me To The Wolves’ which were tender, skulkingly menacing, but although smoky-bleakish with chunks of Bad Company style rhythmic chords abounding, the slower numbers never became groundhog dark because they always contained piping hot guitar licks and sprucing vocals. That’s the magic of Jared James: no matter how bad life can be, how blue things can get, (and we should all know that by now!)  there’s always luminosity on the horizon. 

For encore there were crowd favourites ‘Down In A Hole‘ and Jared James’s even more blackened-than-black version of Sabbath’s War Pigs.

As a live musician Jared James Nicolls is totally intoxicating. With power and energy in every fibre, he thrills the audience with every note.

File alongside: Mick Ralphs, Jerry Cantrell

Photos Credit: Phil Honley

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