Scott Nolan

Scott Nolan

Scott Nolan


Baldwin County Public Records

It’s early yet, but if someone makes a more gorgeous sounding, evocative record than Canadian Scott Nolan’s Silverhill in 2017, I’ll be surprised. Nolan decided for his new album to recruit Alabama’s “supergroup” Willie Sugarcapps – Will Kimbrough, Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes and Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford- to provide backing and the result is wow.

Recorded live over two days at Anthony Crawford’s (Neil Young, et al) studio, the record is a near-perfect match of song and player, capturing in an instant the sort of easy grace that some strive entire careers to achieve. Take “The Last One”. Over low-key drums Nolan paints a picture of a town off the beaten track – “Beware of owner and keep the peace/You’re in the kind of place they don’t call the police” – and when Savana Lee’s harmony vocals chime in, you feel transported. Or the Hammond B3-fueled “Shake It Loose”, which sounds like it could go on forever, propelled by some inner rhythm, akin to the great J.J. Cale’s most funky moments.

Nolan co-wrote the title song to Mary Gauthier’s latest record, Trouble & Love, and he serves up his version here, and if anything, he sounds even more destitute and resigned than Gauthier, with his somber vocals atop a slow-plucked banjo. Exquisite. The combined talents of Willie Sugarcapps brings just the right touch to a moment, a pedal steel here, a righteous piano there. Kimbrough’s mandolin sounds so “in the pocket” on the last tune, “Leave it Alone”, co-written by Nolan and Hayes Carll, it can take your breath away.

There’s something special in the water in Alabama, and Scott Nolan dived deep and came up with one of the best roots record I’ve heard in years. A genius lyricist and a master of feel, Scott Nolan should be talked about in the same rarefied air as an Isbell or a budding Rodney Crowell. Yeah, he’s worthy. Pick this record up now, so you can say you knew him when. Perfection.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives