Give Rob Nance a full band and an empty stage, and he’ll rip through a handful of rootsy folk-rock originals that pay tribute to artists like Neil Young and The Band. Give him nothing more than an acoustic guitar, and he’ll strum some stripped-down tunes that owe more to Guy Clark and Bob Dylan. On Lost Souls & Locked Doors, the North Carolina native builds a bridge between both styles.
“This album kind of runs through both ends of that folk-rock spectrum, in terms of going from folk to rock,” he says. “There’s a good balance of full songs versus stripped-down songs. Later on, I think the plan would be to expand this thing with more of a full-band sound... but the intention with this one was to record a singer/songwriter album in a way that allowed all the songs to be fully realized.”
Nance strummed his first chords at home, covering old country songs with his brother and father. Those casual jam sessions left an impression on Nance, who began writing original songs while in college. Blending a fingerpicking guitar style gleaned from Doc Watson with a casual vocal delivery reminiscent a young Jackson Browne, he started making a name for himself at bars and coffee shops around the North Carolina area.
When it came time to record Lost Souls & Locked Doors, Nance chose to keep things local by reaching out to a group of friends -- including his brother, upright bass player Jordan Nance, drummer Sean Leary, and Mike Runyon (keys). The offering was recorded over five days at a small studio in Boone, NC with engineer Scott Haynes. Some songs required all of the musicians to layer their parts; others focused on Nance’s guitar and voice alone.
The result? A modern album that could’ve been recorded in the 1970s, complete with swooning harmonies, honking harmonica and solid fretwork.
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