Born and bred in the south of Belgium (in an area called Gaume to be precise) NICO G now lives near Stirling, Scotland, where he continues to make music. He is an instrumentalist; a guitar player and a very good one at that. His most recent offering of songs is in the form of a five track EP, titled The Road Book. The format is simple, one man and his guitar – and it works wonderfully.
Four of the five tracks are originals, with the exception of an intriguing arrangement of Rolling Stones’ classic, ‘Paint it Black’ which opens the disc. It’s not overbearing or forced, in fact, it fits the record’s mood perfectly, as similar shades and approaches continue to be found in the folkily fingerpicked ‘From The Beginning’ and its equally folkie companion, ‘No More Questions’. Written in Austria, this is quite possibly the most beautiful track on the disc. It has a wandering, bitter-sweet summer feeling to it, created through its simple melody…that isn’t actually all that simple at all. It has the flowing qualities of classical guitar techniques, as well as those of the folk revivalists. Bowing out on some lovely harmonics, we are gently ushered into the twists and twangles of the penultimate ‘Jour 100’, before Piedmont-esque styled ‘The Wee Blether’ concludes the recording.
It is ironic that a ‘blether’ should end a collection of instrumentals, and indeed a collection of instrumentals might not appeal to everyone, but believe me, this is simply beautiful. Nico’s talent is obvious and this taster of his work only leaves you wanting a little bit more of the uplifting melodies, pitch-perfect harmonics and beautiful guitar playing which make up The Road Book.
Born and bred in Belgium, guitarist Nico G is a traveled veteran who has toured all over the UK, mainland Europe and Canada to demonstrate his craft to anyone willing to give him their attention.
Now based in Scotland, he recently released his second EP – The Road Book – which perfectly showcases what he brings to the table.
A noticeable feature that is persistent through all the pieces is Nico’s ability to take on a range of styles. One minute, he can elicit a lot of energy and produce toe-tapping rhythms – especially prominent in his re-imagining of The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black – the next, he plays it smooth, and at another moment takes it down at a softer tone.
Throughout, his performances are very slick, and the acoustics are pleasing to the ears. On the whole, the Road Book is a nice humble record from a talented fella that makes for a good easy-listening experience.