Nic Chamberlain has spent many years as a “back-up” man with various local acts. He drummed for Sam Payne, J. Michael Bailey, Jerone Wedig and the Lawn Darts. He plays banjo for Stillhouse Road and picks lead guitar for Casey Lofthouse. Through it all, he still plays with the Chamberlain Family Band and can often be seen in a bluegrass show with Ryan Tilby. Most recently he has been touring the country with Ben Hale, playing old time country and pre-Beatles pop. He plays flat-pick guitar and mandolin, Scruggs-style banjo, harmonica and, of course, the drums.
Always attempting to play his own songs, he never quite had the time or resources to do it. After finishing law school in Buffalo, New York, the reason he left the local music scene for a few years, he began operating his own law practice in Utah and Idaho, now living in Hurricane with his family.
Lately however, Nic Chamberlain has finally found himself able to concentrate on his own project. He’s been writing songs for decades but, at age 37, he has made his first full-length album, Watch For the Wolves. After spending the last year recording it in his basement, playing all the instruments and singing almost all of the vocals, he finally released it in early November, 2016. The sessions were engineered by his wife, Paige, and the record was mixed and mastered by Tilby at Spiral Studios It has lead to some exciting shows in the West, such as The Mint in Los Angeles and others in Utah and Nevada. Wolves began a rotation on Pandora and has started to make some modest sales.
Born in Southern Utah, Nic calls Toquerville his home town. Raised by his mother to love classical and jazz and his father to love old rock n’ roll, his influences spanned from Sousa to the Rolling Stones, Beethoven to the Beatles or even Tchaikovsky to the Kinks. Of late, he has been even more inspired by the old guard Americans like the Band or the Flying Burrito Brothers, and of course Dylan.
Because of his age, he has no illusions of pop stardom but looks to other, more seasoned examples for a success plan. Artists such as Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price or Sheryl Crow inspire him because they all hit a great career stride in their 30s. While he’ll take whatever success he can get, he aims to make a living in auditoriums and medium size clubs, showcasing a tight catalogue of songs evoking life experience and struggle.
Chamberlain identifies his main problem is genre definition. Listening to Watch For the Wolves, you can hear anything from the hard-driving punk rock of “Take Me Back” to the folk-bluegrass of “Product of the Past.” Listeners will soon discover, his “problem”is a solution in creating a mix offering fresh sounds with every track. The album has everything in between, finally settling into clear rock-country, bar band textures.
While he can’t settle on one particular musical style, he’s clear on his goal: take his songs to world.
“Nic Chamberlain played opening night in the new venue for The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden at Green Gate Village. He delivered a spectacular performance exceeding all expectations. Having seen and been familiar with Nic’s extremely talented music skills, I knew to expect a high quality show. His mastery of multiple instruments and vocals are renowned locally and nationally. However, my experience with Nic has been limited to seeing him mostly in backing musician or more subtle performances. Seeing him lead had me taking double takes all night long. There is a music animal that has come alive turning Nic into a high-energy front man with a drive and purpose incredibly exciting to witness. I was sincerely blown away with Nic’s command of the stage. Every single song was delivered with precision and perfection making the experience non-stop musical bliss from start to finish.” George Scott, The Desert Pulse.