There's a lot of good things about SoCal native Nick Waterhouse. Like myself, he is a man of style with an impeccable sense of fashion (he got a nice one-page spread in GQ). He makes no qualms about recreating the Ray Charles sound. His new debut, Time's All Gone, has all those throwback 60s R&B/soul sounds. There's deep groove cuts and some serious stompers. Even though I'm not an expert on mastering, but its sounds great with the antiqued, old timey studio feel. Since he's a California kid, you know he was into Swingers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Cherry Poppin Daddies and Squirrel Nut Zippers back in the 90s. So if you dig all those retro-soul acts like Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields and Eli Reed, then Nick is just another fine addition to your repertoire.
Then why did I feel let down by his set last Saturday? It could that he stood out from all the indie rockers and that a line-up with a similar sound to his would suit him better. It also could be that he's meant for a small, more intimate setting. He did play Maxwell's the next day. The production on the album is what makes it enjoyable, and you can't re-create that in a live setting. You really need to belt it out and be a hell of a performer. I felt that he could have chosen his more uptempo sounds for his set, rather then replying on some of his slow jams. He seemed a little passive on stage.
I'm going to see him again next time he comes around, because I dig his overall package (hey now). A full-set where he can control the vibe might be the way to go.