Alberta’s Joe Nolan delivers a taste of what the gutsy, fresh wellspring of talent the legendary coffeehouses of the ’60s must have offered. The transplanted Edmontonian brings a grit and wisdom to his music that is at once confessional, complex, subtle and far beyond his 22 years. He shrugs off the label “old soul” but the depth of his lyrics and the emotion of his instrumental interpretation suggest a worldliness not often found in one barely past legal drinking age.
Listen for shivers of the blues, the darker rumble of rock and roll, and sometimes the shimmy of something close to pop in his gruff, sensitive voice and his complex guitar work. This young troubadour’s self-effacing charm is part of the package; during his live shows, his sincerity and honesty match his musicianship and charisma note for note. Just to make Nolan even more appealing, he doesn’t even take credit for being the source of the material in his haunting compositions, claiming he is “like a radio – like the song comes from somewhere and I send it out.”