Americana Highways presents this double premiere of two Gary Nicholson — a.k.a Whitey Johnson– songs from his two upcoming releases. For decades, Gary Nicholson has been actively producing, performing, and writing songs of which more than 600 have been recorded by folks like Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Ringo Starr and many others. And although he has not released many of his own albums, Gary Nicholson has played dual music roles for years: one, as himself (as a folk songwriter) and the other as blues performer Whitey Johnson. And thus his twin releases follow suit: The Great Divide (a folk record by Gary Nicholson) and More Days Like This (a blues album by Whitey Johnson), are both due out on June 7th on Blue Corn Records.
Here are two premiere tracks: “Trickle Down” by Gary Nicholson, and “The Blues Is Alive And Well,” by Whitey Johnson. “Trickle Down” is a tongue in cheek folk song: “when the rich man’s cup runneth over we’ll all move to higher ground.” The lighthearted humor of the genre is as familiar as its message is snide, here. The Great Divide promises to be the perfect intelligent motivational album of the summer.
“The Blues Is Alive and Well” is a low down groovy blues tribute to a lover’s suspicious behavior. This counterpart album, More Days Like This, taps into the more fundamental emotional side of our humanity.
This pair of releases together accomplishes the delightful feat of capturing both our hearts and our minds on the nearest and dearest of the human experience.
“The Blues Are Alive And Well” was co-written with Tom Hambridge who produces, plays drums, and writes songs for Buddy Guy’s most recent records. (It won the Grammy and Blues Music Award for 2018) I take many of my blues song ideas to Tom because he understands Buddy and knows how to get great performances from him. When I started playing blues as a teenager in Dallas, my first guitar hero was Freddy King, then BB, then Buddy, so it’s such an honor and thrill to have him record over twenty of our songs. He’s on the road constantly at 82, and the blues are alive and well.
“Trickle Down” was written to have some fun with the fantasy theory that reducing taxes on the wealthy will benefit everyone. It came through spontaneously after Trumps tax cuts were passed. It is Will Rogers who first used the term, which later came to describe Reaganomics. It has also been referred to as the rich pissing on the poor.