Award-winning singer-songwriter Nick Earle isn’t singin’ the blues on his new album, a strong and confident debut solo effort, Breaking New Ground
At 19, Nick Earle has his entire life and career in-front of him. The sky’s the limit, as they say, and with talent and drive to spare, for the ultra-impressive guitar-player and vocalist who carved out a niche in the Canadian blues scene as one half of award-winning duo Earle and Coffin, alongside longtime partner Joe Coffin.
Now, branching out solo as so many often do, Earle stretches new creative legs on the aptly titled release Breaking New Ground.
“I’m floating right now. It’s very positive vibes from everyone,” Earle shared with The Herald following the release of his debut solo record. “We played the release show at The Ship and that just felt like a home game… Just to have so many people out in support, to hear new material and hear music that they’ve never heard before, especially something that’s different from me, it’s just pretty amazing.”
Hybrid folk rock
Breaking New Ground is a decidedly more modern album than his fans are used to, a hybrid folk rock record that sees the talented multi-faceted songwriter co-write with the likes of Quote The Raven, Christian Howse and Rachel Cousins.
“I kind of want to move to a broader market and just be able to appeal to a larger audience,” Earle says of the albums sound.
“Of course the blues element is still there and in my live shows the blues element is very much there as well because I love jammin. I like having the high energy kind of folk rock stuff and then kind of simmer down a little bit and have more of a songwriter’s approach to a few songs than no problem kicking up to a big blues jam and I mean that’s the vibe that I want to deliver. And it’s also the most fun I’ve had. The CD release show is probably the most fun I’ve ever had on stage. It was just such a good vibe and it’s so different playing these new tunes, but I’m really happy to be doing it.”
It came as a surprise to many that Earle and Coffin, seemingly well on their way to dominating the national blues scene following MusicNL and Canadian Folk Music Awards wins, parted ways this Spring. Earle shares that the split was entirely amicable, with Coffin opting to pursue life outside of music.
“What actually ended up happening is Joe just came to me and said he didn’t really want to do music anymore,” Earle recalls. “He didn’t really want to pursue it anymore. Obviously I respect him and his personal life and that stuff comes first. He’s kind of done with music for now and doesn’t really want to tour or work at it anymore, which you know I respect that decision and now I just have to put my all in on this project and I’m very very excited to be doing that. I already have a fair amount of gigs booked now for the rest of the year and I’m just super excited to be pushing on.”
Earle looks back on his time in the acclaimed blues duo with great fondness, realizing that occupying a foothold in the difficult to master and often overlooked blues genre provided the then teenage duo a rare opportunity to stand out where so many of their contemporaries were ignored.
“It was definitely the most phenomenal learning experience possible. I mean there’s so many things, places and people that I’ve met, so many artists that I’ve seen. They’re experiences that I probably would never have got any other way,” Earle admits.
“Some people totally believe everything happens for a reason and I think musically that’s kind of the case now. It just kind of feels right. The award shows and everything like that is just a phenomenal experience. We wouldn’t really have gotten it any other way. And you know blues is still a big part of my life and I really do believe we’ve got to keep blues music alive. And don’t be surprised if I cut a strict straightforward blues record in the next couple of years just to keep that going.”
As for what’s next, Breaking New Ground is a prophetic title for Earle. He’s all in on his life as a career musician, willing to take the next necessary steps and chances, continuing to chase the dream.
“This is my life and this is the path I want to take,” says Earle. “The way I look at it, I mean I’m 19 now and I can be all in on it. I have no problem taking risks whether it’s business decisions or not and just going for it. I’m going to push as hard as I can for the next few years. If I could viably make a living at it I’ll stick with it. And if for some reason I gotta go do the very strict school route and go be a full time student then go get a normal job I’ll be happy to say that I worked at music for so long.”
For more on Nick Earle and ‘Breaking New Ground’ visit his official social medias and nickearle.ca