Franz Nicolay readies second solo album with haunting song 'This is Not a Pipe'

Although his departure was certainly a loss for the Hold Steady, it’s proven something of a productive bonanza for keyboard player Franz Nicolay.

In addition to releasing last year’s “Major General,” his solo debut, Nicolay collaborated via his band Guignol with another group, Mischief Brew, on last year’s “Fight Dirty”; wrote a book of short stories; hit the road as a touring member of Against Me!; and somehow found time to record a second solo record.

“Luck & Courage,” out Oct. 12, follows the characters Felix and Adelita, through adventures in songs whose sound was inspired by disparate sources: Lyle Lovett’s “I Love Everybody” and 16 Horsepower’s “Low Estate.”

The free song, “This is Not a Pipe,” certainly has an arid, mournful country sound, abetted by sweet male-female vocal harmonies, pedal steel guitar and the steady plink-plunk of a banjo. It’s a haunting song from a musician who continues to demonstrate just how valuable he is as a front man and not just a side man.

This is Not a Pipe mp3

Photo by Miles Kerr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *