By Brian Rock
Canadian musician Nudie (Canudian?) releases his second solo album this month, Everything’s Different In The Night. Nudie (named for legendary Nashville designer Nudie Cohn, not for any onstage exhibitionism) continues his troubadour stylings from his critically acclaimed debut. A true Marty Stuart disciple, Nudie sings earnest, earthy songs about love and loss with equal parts heart and humor.
Instantly recognizable, yet distinctively new, Everything’s Different In The Night is like stumbling across a secret, unreleased Johnny Cash/Marty Stuart collaboration. Chock full of broken hearts and ¾ time melodies, this album washes over you like a warm breeze from a fondly remembered past. “I’ve Been Here Before,” sounds like a Mariachi-inspired Folsom Prison/Badlands mash up. “I Had To Learn About Sheila The Hard Way,” breaks out the pedal steel to help tell the story of seduction and betrayal. As Nudie sings, “My friends all told me that she’d never stay. They heard stories from old ‘used to be’s.’ I thought things would be different with me;” you know the story will not end well. You can practically smell the sawdust on the bar floor by the time he reaches the chorus.
Sylvie Smith lends her vocal talents to the duet, “Mr. Why’d You Come To Texas?” Reminiscent of Some Velvet Evening, her clear, bright voice plays counterpoint to Nudie’s throaty, mellow baritone. They ask why someone would come to Texas hoping to find love if they can’t even dance; all the while the Texas waltz rhythm compels the listener to dance along.
The sonic diversity of this album keeps it fresh and inspiring, even after multiple listens. From the George Jones inspired, “That’s All That I’ve Got,” to the rockabilly of “Hearts & Flowers,” and the swampy, “Why’d Ya Do it?” the album delights and surprises with each new track. There’s even a hint of Mersey Beat in the humorous, “It Ain’t Gonna Happen Today.” Nudie confesses, “I’ll get another chance tomorrow. Start living life a better way. In the morning when my feet hit the floor, my bad habits will be gone to stay. But right now I’m here to tell you, it ain’t gonna happen today.” But if it’s his bad habits that inspire his songs, we can all be glad that he hasn’t given them up yet. And although everything may be different in the night, these songs are impressive 24/7.