Ross Nickerson returns to Pinecastle Records with the re-release of two solo albums available today. Let’s Kick It is now available digitally and on CD through Pinecastle and Nickerson’s original Pinecastle release Blazing the West is now back in print.
On Let’s Kick It, Nickerson enlisted the help of musicians Shawn Lane, Tim Stafford and Wayne Taylor of Blue Highway. The album is mostly instrumental tunes with two vocals (“Little Maggie” and “John Henry”) included for good measure. “Even if Nickerson weren’t that good a banjo player, he has surrounded himself with highly capable individuals…,” said Bluegrass Unlimited, “But Nickerson is that good of a banjo player and this project sizzles from the first note to the last.” Radio Programmers can download the album from AirPlay Direct.
Blazing the West is Nickerson’s original Pinecastle release and is fully instrumental with backup from Tim O’Brien, Darol Anger, Butch Baldassari, Mike Bub, Jason Carter, Joe Craven, David Grier, Rob Ickes, Laurie Lewis, and Peter McLaughlin. The album is a collection of cowboy and western songs that Nickerson wrote or adapted for banjo. “A successful merge that should encourage others to explore Bluegrass in the Cowboy way or should I say Cowboy music in the Bluegrass way,” said Bluegrass Now. True West Magazine named Blazing the West the top Bluegrass CD of 2003 in their annual “Best of the West” issue. Country Music Television voted it a top 10 album. The album is available to radio via AirPlay Direct.
Over the years Nickerson has earned high praise for his talents. “Nickerson’s playing is tasteful, so carefully arranged, so very very thoughtful and complex,” said Banjo Newsletter. TheTucson Citizen said, “No matter what mood or genre Nickerson has the chops to pull it off with brilliance and taste, and the sidemen to compliment every match and turn.”
Both albums are like banjo (or just instrumental in general) masterclasses. Nickerson is a well-known banjo teacher and founder of BanjoTeacher.com where students can take online banjo lessons as well as learn from various books, DVDs, and CDs that are available from a master of the instrument.
Both albums are also available at rossnickerson.bandcamp.com