Creating a community through song
Last year, Albert Nicholas was playing a show at the Silver Moon Brewery in Bend and wasn't sure where he would spend the night. Some of the employees heard he was looking for a place to stay and invited him to their hostel.
"I sat at a bonfire in Bend with people at 3 a.m. It was a lot of fun," he said.
For Nicholas, connecting with people like this is one of his favorite parts of being a musician. The Molalla resident will come to Estacada at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at The Cazadero, 352 S.E. Highway 211.
The Estacada News spoke to Nicholas about his upcoming album, songwriting and playing in town.
Estacada News: How did you get your start as a musician?
Albert Nicholas: My cousin was in a band, and that was a big influence on me in high school. After I graduated from high school, I toured with the band on the road. There was lots of family influence.
I started playing open mic nights to get confidence in front of a crowd. I play all over the state now. I try to cover as much ground as possible.
EN: What's your sound like?
AN: It's Americana. Kind of country, and kind of bluegrass.
AN: I released it in 2017. There's a lot of influence from the outdoors and hiking. It was my stepping stone to getting more shows. In a lot of ways, it was like a demo. It has seven tracks and was very DIY. I burned copies and printed the cover art.
I'm working on a full length album, "Red Tail on the Line." It was inspired by traveling around Oregon and playing different shows.
EN: What are some of the differences between "Mountain Moon on High" and "Red Tail on the Line?"
AN: The first one is more bluegrass. The one I'm working on now is more singer-songwriter and sentimental. There's an emphasis on the lyrics, and there's accompaniment.
EN: Tell me about your songwriting process. What's your favorite song that you've written?
AN: I end up writing a poem and adding music to that. My favorite song is "Another Round." It's about drinking too much. I had fun with the wordplay.
EN: What's the best part of playing live shows?
AN: Building community. Music has always been my best way of meeting people. I like going to different towns and get a feeling for each town's community.
EN: What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of being a musician?
AN: One of the most challenging parts is keeping up with social media. I just want to play guitar, but I have to take pictures and make flyers. Most rewarding is the whole of idea of community and meeting people, and going to towns I wouldn't necessarily otherwise go to.
EN: Tell me about what you're looking forward to about playing in Estacada.
AN: Getting friends to come and see me. I used to work for Clackamas River Outfitters, and I work at Clackamas River Growlers. I'm looking forward to hanging out with the good people of Estacada.