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Gary Nichols named SteelDrivers' new singer

Friday, April 2, 2010 – Gary Nichols, a soulful singer from Alabama, is the new lead singer for The SteelDrivers. Nichols replaces Chris Stapleton, who left the driving bluegrass band to concentrate on family andsongwriting.

"The SteelDrivers are very happy to announce that multi-talented Muscle Shoals session pro, songwriter and guitar picker Gary Nichols is joining the band. He brings a seasoned soulful voice to the mix, and rehearsals have been going very smoothly."

"The first night we met Gary he had driven up to Nashville to audition and had been asked to learn four of our songs. He sat down, had a shot of brown, and launched into Blue Side of the Mountain. Around the room, eyebrows raised and sly glances were exchanged. By the time the harmonies blended for the first chorus, we all knew he had the gig. He then ripped off the other three songs with ease, sang a couple more of ours that had caught his ear and proceeded to teach us a couple of his. After he left, the vote was unanimous. Folks, we are thrilled to have Gary with us and it feels like we are picking up right where we left off. Gary is a guy who brings it from down deep, and you'll feel it like we did when you hear him. So, all is well. The torch has been passed. The music lives on, and we'll see you there."

Nichols was signed to the Universal label in 2004 and has releases songs, but never put out a full-length CD. His first single, Unbroken Ground, reached 39 on the charts in 2007. he had two more singles and left the label.

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The Muscle Shoals Recordings CD review - The Muscle Shoals Recordings
The SteelDrivers are a dynamic, driving bluegrass band, a five-piece with a sound and an approach completely their own. "The Muscle Shoals Recordings" is their fourth album and second featuring expressive lead vocalist Gary Nichols and mandolinist Brent Truitt alongside group founders Tammy Rodgers (fiddle), Richard Bailey (five-string banjo), and Mike Fleming (bass). Given Nichols' roots in the Alabama community, it is hardly a surprise that The SteelDrivers chose to record at »»»
Hammer Down CD review - Hammer Down
While you wouldn't know it from reading their press, there are many bluegrass bands with as good a back-story as The SteelDrivers, and as advanced songwriting and musicianship prowess, while having deeper professional bluegrass roots and longer track records with more significant lineup alterations over a relatively brief period of time. Not to begrudge The SteelDrivers notice they receive, sometimes it feels a bit over the top. But darn it, they know how to produce a mighty inspiring bluegrass album. »»»
Reckless CD review - Reckless
The soph CD from the appropriately named driving bluegrass band The SteelDrivers is a swan song of sorts. No, the band is not heading towards oblivion, but this is the last disc with lead singer Chris Stapleton because he has decided to go back to songwriting (perhaps with good reason as he penned Never Wanted Nothing More for Kenny Chesney, Swing for Trace Adkins, Your Man for Josh Turner, Keep On Lovin' You for Steel Magnolia and Come Back Song for Darius Rucker). That's too bad for »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Newport Folk Fest retains its beauty – With acts ranging from Ray LaMontagne to The Staves to Case/Lang/Veirs, the Newport Folk Festival ran the gamut from tried and true to not so well known to brand new (sort of) acts. And that was the beauty of day one of the festival in enabling attendees to sample a wide range of music and genres, albeit little of it folk as we once knew it.... »»»
Concert Review: Hensley, Ickes have a good thing going – Chances are strong that Dobro master extraordinaire Rob Ickes has used the line a time or two when he explained his instrument of choice as "a guitar played incorrectly." The line got the requisite laughter from the small crowd of about 25 in the intimate club. His sidekick, Trey Hensley, didn't offer any such comment.... »»»
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