The new single from Nichols & Phillips features gorgeously warm guitar over which there’s a genuinely characterful vocal from Jeb Loy Nichols. Multi-instrumentalist Clovis Phillips supplies guitars, bass, mandolin and Wurlitzer. His fine musicianship and layered, textured sounds are a great platform for Nichols’ distinctive voice. In the middle of the song, a lovely finger-picking solo, a melodic, meandering interlude, is a beautiful highlight. At just over six minutes, ‘Three Fools’ is an extended song that feels like gentle journey through a long summer’s day; there’s a laid-back, easiness to the song that is really appealing and is reinforced by the video, made from footage of a banger car racing meet in the August sunshine.
‘Three Fools’ is the title track from the pair’s brand new album, which was released on 6th March. Fans should look out for the hand-signed, hand-numbered vinyl with a letterpress insert, limited to 300 copies, available here. There are eleven original songs, along with a cover of a little-known song from Donnie Fritts. The album is Nichols’ first studio album since last year’s ‘The United States of the Broken Hearted’, another rich, soulful folk record. The duo also released a live album together last year, recorded in Germany. Nichols, a former member of Fellow Travellers, was born in Wyoming, and raised in Missouri. Having lived in Spain, New York and London, he now lives amongst the rolling hills and natural wonders of rural Wales. It’s a perfect environment in which to focus writing songs, painting and other creative endeavours. Nichols’ songwriting benefits from that worldly experience, a life lived, and there’s an extensive back-catalogue to explore. Check this out – excellent songcraft, brilliantly performed.