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Nicholas Tremulis Band: In Search of the Woodfoot

Nicholas Tremulis
In the fall of 1999, singer/songwriter/bandleader Nicholas Tremulis decided to release his fifth album, In Search of Woodfoot. The Chicago native had already garnered good reviews for his unique mix of rock, R&B, and pop and his dazzling live shows. Born in 1960 to a jazz piano-playing father and a blues-singing mother, Tremulis grew up in the city's Greektown and in suburban Northbrook. The household was full of music and visiting musicians, influencing Tremulis to pick up the guitar as a teenager. After years of playing in clubs, he started the Nicholas Tremulis Band when he was in his twenties. The 13-member group played an engaging combination of rock, R&B, and soul, becoming one of the top bands in Chicago. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, signed the band to his label in the mid-'80s, releasing two LPs: The Nicholas Tremulis Band (1985) and More Than the Truth (1988). Asking for a contractual release from Island, Tremulis trimmed down the number of members in his band and released an EP, King of the Hill on Monsterdisc, and the LP Bloody Show on rock group Shoes' label, Black Vinyl. In more recent times, Tremulis toured Europe, backed blues musicians on guitar, and started doing jingle work. He also was involved in a videotaped multi-artist benefit concert (titled The First Waltz) for Neon Street, a non-profit organization that helps troubled teens which featured the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan (and Rick Danko) among others. Joining with engineer/producer Rob Fraboni (Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Rick Danko, Bonnie Raitt), whom he knew from his Island years, Tremulis formed the QRS label. Their debut release was the 13-track In Search of Woodfoot issued in October 1999.

Though the horn section on In Search of Woodfoot is not as prominent as it was on previous releases, Tremulis sticks to doing solid multi-layered songs and his uncanny talent of alternating vocals between growling good-time bar room gruffs and sensitive, vulnerable tones. The album starts out with the steel pedal-guitar instrumental "Woodfoot" and quickly drifts into the off-the-cuff wisdom of country rocker "Sacrifice," delivered with a light drawl by Tremulis. There are also country influences on the driving "Rising Sun" that feature horns that recall the Stax/Memphis Horns section. NTB slows it down on the ballad rockers "Disappear" and "Jeanine." The pumping "Fire of Love Pt. 2" sounds something like Huey Lewis and the News' "Workin' for a Livin'." "Had It Rough/Doin' Fine" outlines some of the travails that the group has endured on their long and winding rocky road in rock music. With some talk of rock dying out due to its own lack of inventiveness, maybe the powers that be oughta give the Nicholas Tremulus Band a listen.
--Ed Hogan, All Music Guide

Rick Danko sings on the third track "Disappear" on In Search of Woodfoot.


  1. Woodfoot
  2. Sacrifice
  3. Disappear
  4. Town Killer
  5. Hound Dog Taylor
  6. Jeanine
  7. Rising Sun
  8. Barbed Wire Clown
  9. Methadone Saves
  10. Fire of Love, Pt.2
  11. Heart Full of Soul
  12. Had It Rough/Doin' Fine
  13. Just Drive

Nicholas Tremulis Band - In Search of the Woodfoot - 1999 - QRS Recordings CD 9901

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