Thursday, August 19, 2004
In some ways, San Jose’s Nitecry is a typical blues band. On songs like “If You Don’t Love Me,” “Run for Cover,” “Blue Night” and “Troubles,” the band addresses common blues themes like deteriorating relationships, bad women, and lonely, alcohol-filled evenings.
But, on numbers like “Step to Window ‘B,’” “Imitation Ice Cream Blues” and “Son-In-Law,” the group tackles unconventional, humorous subjects that are not readily identified with the blues genre. “Imitation Ice Cream Blues” is about a fellow hooked on all the different artificial flavors of ice cream, while the target of “Son-In-Law” is a loafer who announces to his mother-in-law and father-in-law that “I’ll be moving in with you all.”
“Step to Window ‘B’” describes the mood of an out-of-work family man waiting in line at the welfare office. For anyone who has spent an afternoon entangled in the bureaucracy of government offices— and who hasn’t?—the song nails the feelings of frustration.
René Solis, Nitecry’s guitar player, sees humor as another way to draw listeners to a song. “The main thing is that you are telling a story, and people can relate to humor,” he says.
He also believes that the band’s different takes on the blues is a result of having three songwriters in the band. “All three of us have completely different styles of writing,” he says.
The first version of the band came together in 1985. Solis says the group’s original band members were fixtures at JJ’s Blues, a San Jose club that the band describes in their song “Blues Party.”
Steve Siacotos became the band’s lead singer in 1990. When he left the band in 1999, the other musicians continued in Nitecry for another year and a half before calling it quits.
“We didn’t think [the band] was going to come back together,” Solis says.
Even though Solis had his own band, René Solis and the Persuaders, he missed the magic of playing with his former bandmates. So, at the start of this year, Solis and the rest of Nitecry talked Siacotos into rejoining the group.
One month after restarting the band, Nitecry won the Monterey Bay Blues Festival’s “Battle of the Bands” and secured a spot on the main stage at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival.
“When we won the contest that was the seal of approval,” Solis says. “That kinda inked the deal.”
Next month, Nitecry plans on recording a dozen new songs for a new album. Let’s hope they bring their trademark sense of humor to the recording sessions.
Nitecry plays Sly McFly’s, located at 700 Cannery Row in Monterey, at 9pm on Saturday. 649-8050.