I'm really excited to feature a new song written by the very talented singer/guitarist Nick Hexum of the rock band 311 with a little help from some of his friends. I'm sure many of you are fans of 311 already, but here's some background on them -- just in case.
How did his first solo record materialize, you ask?
A desire to improve his guitar chops and then form "a for-fun kind of jam band" has turned into a full-blown new musical adventure for 311's Nick Hexum.
The group's frontman released "My Shadow Pages," the first outing by the Nick Hexum Quintet, on Oct. 1 via his own What Have You Records label. It's also an outgrowth of some collaborative songwriting he and his brother, multi-instrumentalist and Quintet member Zack Hexum, began doing with colleagues such as Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin, Sugarcult's Tim Pagnotta and Sam Hollander from S*A*M & Sluggo.
"We were writing pop songs for other people -- attempting to, anyway," Nick Hexum tells Billboard. "It was a fool's errand; you get A&R people blowing smoke, but nothing ever comes of it most of the time. But I did learn a lot and started collaborating with some new people and made some good new friends, and then we decided these songs would be for this for-fun jam band Zack and I had been plotting -- thus the Nick Hexum Quintet."
When I talked to Nick about his new venture, I asked him if we could host one of his new tunes and he immediately agreed. He then said this about the song.
"Just Give it to Me" is one of my favs from my solo record. We were going for a Bill Withers kind of thing with the funky wah clavinet and busy drum beat. Lyrically, it's about being supportive of someone when they are in need. It's a lot of fun to play live. I'm really looking forward to our mini-tour in January that we are getting ready to announce."
The entire album is chock full of great grooves, tight playing and filled with wonderful vocals and guitar riffs. His brother Zach also plays a mean sax solo on Sideways. (I always have to give props to my fellow reed players)
You can buy My Shadow Pages at Amazon, iTunes or wherever you get your music from.
Update: I've just received the new tour information.
1/23 Thursday Vienna, VA (DC area) Jammin Java Music Club The Nick Hexum Quintetw/ special guest Franchot Tone
1/24 Friday Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony The Nick Hexum Quintetw/ special guest Franchot Tone
1/25 Saturday New York, NY Gramercy Theatre The Nick Hexum Quintetw/ special guest Franchot Tone
1/26 Sunday Cambridge, MA (Boston area)The Sinclair The Nick Hexum Quintetw/ special guest Franchot Tone
Visit: http://bandsintown.com/thenickhexumquintet/facebookappfor tour and ticket info. And to RSVP.