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Curran with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, 2007
|Birth name||Nicholas Michael Curran|
|Also known as||NickyKay|
September 30, 1977|
Biddeford, Maine, United States
|Died||October 6, 2012(aged 35)|
Rock & roll
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocalist, Guitar, Drums|
|Associated acts||Nick Curran & the Nitelifes, Nick Curran & The Lowlifes, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ronnie Dawson, Deguello, The Flash Boys|
Nick Curran (September 30, 1977 – October 6, 2012) was an American blues/rock and roll singer and guitarist. He has been likened to T-Bone Walker, Little Richard, The Sonics, Doug Sahm, Misfits, The Dinks, and The Ramones.
Nick began playing drums at the age of 3, showing an amazing ability to keep time even at such a young age. It was a daily ritual for him. He would turn on his radio and play along with the music. His dad, Michael Curran, taught Nick everything he wanted and needed to know with the guitar. Any "lick" that Nick learned early on, he simply asked Michael (Mike) to show him how to do it... and a few hours later, Nick would emerge from his room having learned and practiced it. He had phenominal musical intuition, as did his dad. When asked at a young age why he wanted to play so badly, he replied, "I got the feelin'." He had received no formal lessons for guitar.
At age 15, Nick played guitar and harp in his father's band, Mike Curran and the Tremors, and at the age of 17 played drums, again alongside his father, guitarist Michael Curran, in a band called The Upsetters based out of Portland, Maine. That same year, he also formed the Rockabilly band Nick Danger and the Sideburners, frequently playing at a number of clubs in the Portland, Maine area. At 18, Nick auditioned for James Montgomery.
Curran began his professional career at age nineteen, leaving Maine to tour with Ronnie Dawson, "The Blonde Bomber". Although Dawson was primarily a rockabilly musician, many blues and punk fans appreciated his performances. He taught Curran not to get pigeonholed. Curran toured next with Texas rockabilly doyenne Kim Lenz, moving to Dallas to join her backup band the Jaguars for two years, and performing on Lenz’s recording, The One And Only. Curran would stay with the Jaguars for two years. He is also featured on Lenz’s next CD, It’s All True, and toured with her in the summer of 2009.
In 1999 the Texas Jamboree label issued Curran’s debut solo recording, Fixin' Your Head. As he would do on all future CDs, Curran used vintage recording equipment to achieve the feel and sound of old 45s and 78s, and the LPs of the 1950s. To support the recording he formed the band, Nick Curran & the Nitelifes.
From 2004 to 2007 Curran played with The Fabulous Thunderbirds appearing on their 2005 recording, Painted On. Also during that time, Curran and bassist Ronnie James started the punk band Deguello, saying that it “sounded as if Little Richard sang with The Ramones.”
In 2008 Curran formed The Attitudes with Nick, singing and playing drums standing up, and with guitarist CoffeeBoy Johnson. "This band is like when you and your buddy wanted to have a band in high school and there was no bass player. We just play what ever we wanted to," according to CoffeeBoy Johnson. Their set consisted of covers of The Misfits, The Ramones, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Little Richard. "We wanted to give the black keys a run for their money."
After performing a solo show in November, 2008, Curran formed the rock ‘n’ roll roots band, The Lowlifes, who were critically acclaimed and became a mainstay on Little Steven's Underground Garage, earning three "Coolest Song In The World" titles with tracks from the album, Reform School Girl. Curran was also in the Austin-based punk/rock ‘n’ roll band The Flash Boys.
In 2009, Curran was diagnosed with oral cancer. In June 2010, he had been deemed cancer free, but by April 2011 the cancer had returned and underwent treatment. Curran eventually succumbed to the disease on October 6, 2012, at the age of 35.
- 2000 - Fixin' Your Head
- 2001 - Nitelife Boogie
- 2003 - Doctor Velvet
- 2004 - Player!
- 2010 - Reform School Girl
Allmusic gave four stars for every album.
- "Nick Curran (1977–2012)". Austin American Statesman (via Legacy.com). October 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- Lotosky, Serge (October 7, 2012). "Nick Curran 1977–2012". Greasy Rockabilly Views. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- "Maine guitar savant Nick Curran dies at 35 | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". Pressherald.com. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- Collar, Matt (2012-10-09). "Remembering Nick Curran, 1977-2012 : The AllMusic Blog". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- Collar, Matt. "Nick Curran - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-15.