James Van Nuys was born in Whittier, CA, but has spent most of his life in Rapid City, South Dakota. James has a B.A. in music composition from Wilmington College (Wilmington, Ohio 1978). He has been involved in broad variety of musical endeavors ranging from Medieval and Renaissance consorts, Celtic, bluegrass, country and rock bands, and countless folk and blues solo gigs. James’s unique fingerpicking lead guitar style and witty lyrics have made him a favorite Black Hills performer since the mid 1980's.
Bob Fahey grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. An admirer of Elvis and the Beatles, he started playing guitar at the age of 12. He spent 15 years on the road with various touring rock bands before returning to the Black Hills in 1989 to raise a family. For the next twelve years Bob’s smoldering vocals and searing slide guitar were the driving force behind one of Rapid City’s most popular bands, “The Usual Suspects.” In 2005 he joined forces with his old friend, James Van Nuys, to form a powerhouse acoustic duo. He describes his music as “contemporary blues” and has been influenced by such artists as J.J. Cale, Robert Cray, and Robert Johnson.
Bob Fahey: vocals, rhythm and slide guitar
James Van Nuys: vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, banjo, piano
CD: One Dollar Blues, 2009
One Dollar Blues
Pearl Beyond Price
Gone, Gone, Gone
I've Got Love If You Want It
The Last Last Call
Love Is So Dangerous
Time To Hang On
Hell To Pay
[+ Show ]
What stands out, at first, is James' complex country blues picking and Bob's slide guitar, which ca... What stands out, at first, is James' complex country blues picking and Bob's slide guitar, which can be lyrical or blistering, or even blisteringly lyrical. Both men have fine voices and their harmonies are...well, harmonious.
Each contributed six songs to the collection. Bob's songs are, essentially, love songs told from the inside. James' songs purport to be observations from the outside and are as riddled with his famous irony as his discription of "The Last Last Call"...the song may actually be a hymn. On the other hand, it may be a simple song about a pathetic drunk."
Also on the other hand, James' observations are so detailed that the listener can't help sympathizing with the characters in his songs.
We're in blues country here: a land where we get over our hurts and disappointments by putting them in songs and singing them. We're also in entertainment country. Both of these guys are veteran bar and bar-band players. "A Lot To Win" is unabashedly hopeful and "Gone, Gone, Gone" is [a] good road-trip song...
We have three 40 minute sets of originals and covers in approximately equal proportion.
Originals from our new CD:
1. One Dollar Blues (Van Nuys)
2. Love is So Dangerous (Fahey)
3. Arrest That Gal (Van Nuys)
4. Prize Fighter (Fahey)
5. A Lot to Win (Van Nuys)
6. Pear Beyond Price (Fahey)
7. Gone, Gone, Gone (Van Nuys)
8. Poor Boy (Fahey)
9. Time to Hang on (Van Nuys)
10. I've Got Love if you Want it (Fahey)
11. Hell to Pay (Fahey)
12. The Last, Last Call (Van Nuys)
We have a broad selection of covers by artists including: J.J. Cale, Robert Johnson, Robert Cray, Hot Tuna, Eric Clapton, Mississippi John Hurt, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.