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.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.