Nichols explains “The Fatalist Blues:” “A song rejecting the ‘bootstrap’ myth: capitalist greed is an omnipotent force which can not be willed away by an individual. Certain things, systems and institutions cannot be reformed – only destroyed. This was inspired by the line from an old spiritual which I believe holds this same sentiment… ‘If I had my way, I would tear this whole building down.’”
Following an extensive American tour, Buffalo Nichols will embark on one of Europe and the UK in 2024, including a headline show at London’s The Lexington on 30th January. A full itinerary is listed below, and tickets are on sale now.
Thursday 25 January – The Prince Albert – Brighton, UK
Friday 26 January – The Cluny 2 – Newcastle, UK
Saturday 27 January – Celtic Connections – Glasgow, UK
Sunday 28 January – Sneaky Pete’s – Edinburgh, UK
Tuesday 30 January – The Lexington – London, UK
Wednesday 31 January – GC De Wildeman – Herent, BE
Thursday 01 February – Tivoli/ Vredenburg – Utrecht, NL
Friday 02 February – Der Aa-Theater – Groningen, NL
Saturday 03 February – Metropool – Hengelo, NL
Sunday 04 February – De Doelen – Rotterdam, NL
Monday 05 February – Americana Mondays – Eindhoven, NL
The follow-up to his 2021 self-titled critically acclaimed debut LP for Fat Possum, ‘The Fatalist’ sounds unlike any blues record you’re likely to hear in 2023. Nichols digs deep in search of answers to ever-more-complicated questions around responsibility and self-definition, and his plainspoken lyrics are both cutting and refreshing in their sincerity and refusal to accept pat solutions.
On ‘The Fatalist’, Nichols does things with the blues that might catch you off guard. There’s 808 programming, chopped-up samples, washes of synth. There’s a consideration of the fullness of the sonic stage and the atmospherics of blues music that can only come with a long engagement with electronic music. But this is no gimmicky hybrid or attempt to turn the blues into 21st-century music by simply dressing it with skittering hi-hats. Nichols’ vision for the blues is of a form of music that’s intimately tied to everyday life in 2023, something that’s reflected not only in the choice of instrumentation but in the complexities of the songwriting and the grey areas his lyrics explore. This is music that comes straight from the present and, as such, it’s a reminder that the same shit that drove the first blues singers to pick up a guitar is still present behind the throbs of deep bass hits today.