Nick McAlley
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Nick McAlley


Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


"Review Sunny Side Up"

In my review of his first album "Wanna Stay Connected" I used the word ORIGINAL. To his latest album "Sunny Side Up" I wanna add the word VARIATION. This cd is so diverse in styles in country music. Every single song remains fascinating.
The album opener "Keep On The Sunny Side" lingers on in your head and you can't stop yourself from singing along.
Nick is not only a singer but a competent musician as well and he wants you to hear that in "Mandolomania", a mixture of Dueling Banjos and Egyptian Reggae.
This album is the perfect marriage between music for country music lovers and linedance lovers.
JP Onsia (B & NL Online) - JP Onsia (B & NL Online)

"About The songs on Sunny Side Up"

About the songs on "Sunny Side Up"
Dear listener and/or reader,
These are the songs that I like, songs that inspired me, made me feel good, songs that express hope faith and love, songs that keep my sunny side up….
I’d like to tell you some stories about the history of the songs. Some of them came a long long way and as you listen to them, they start to live again. Yes in your mind and isn’t that amazing? Who made these songs up in their minds, who played them, what stories do they tell, what is their gift to you. Yes I’m a philosopher at times… But as you find out more about them you’ll begin to listen to them in a different way, more conscious I hope.
Ready for some history?
The opening tune is “Keep on the sunny side” , first recorded by the legendary Carter Family in 1928. It was their signature song. Along with Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family were one of the first country music stars. The Carter Family sang a pure, simple harmony that influenced not only the numerous other family groups of the '30s and the '40s, but folk, bluegrass and rock musicians like Woody Guthrie, Bill Monroe, the Kingston Trio, Doc Watson, Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris, to mention just a few. It's unlikely that bluegrass music would have existed without the Carter Family. A. P., the family patriarch, collected hundreds of British/Appalachian folk songs and, in arranging these for recording, both enhanced the pure beauty of these "facts-of-life tunes" and at the same time saved them for future generations. Among the more than 300 sides they recorded are "Worried Man Blues," "Wabash Cannonball," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "Wildwood Flower," and "Keep on the Sunny Side." This song is so simple but it makes me happy every time I sing it. Makes me wanna get up and dance….

“500 Miles” is a traditional as well. It’s about a man who is painfully far away from home. It became well-known through Peter, Paul and Mary's version on their debut album from 1962, and country-singer Bobby Bare's crossover hit from 1963. But it was folksinger Hedy West who recorded it first. She learned this song from her grandmother, who learned it from her parents. I played this song when I was 13 years old on my first guitar. I had a music book with American traditionals and 500 Miles was one of my favourites. This song really travelled more than 100 years and 500 miles. And it’s still alive. Ever been homesick? This song knows all about it.

“Join” is my personal attempt to write a song in American folk-style. It’s about a preacher who is eager to convert you after he had a religious dream. I was inspired to write it halfway along the Afsluitdijk, the longest Dutch “dijk”, exactly at the place where they closed the “dijk” in1932. It is a place that gives me a deep feeling about myself and who I am. I don’t know why really. It just happens every time I cross it. You can hear native Canadian Mike Shannon as the “voice” of God in Johnny Cash-style. Michiel reaches the point of ecstasy with his solo guitar at the end of the song.

In the autumn of 1979 Willie Nelson recorded one of the most beautiful songs he ever wrote, “Angel flying too close to the ground”. On the 11th of December 2003 I sent him this e-mail: “Hi Willie,I'm a singer/songwriter and I recorded "Angel flying too close to the ground” for my new album "Sunny Side Up". I made a rumba-like version of this little shiny jewel of a song. The lyrics are so simple and so deep at the same time. I do a lot of gigs for linedancers here in Belgium and Holland and they love it to pieces as well as I do. If you're interested in hearing my version I'd be happy to sent it to you. I wish you good luck and all the best for 2004”. Sincerely yours: Nick McAlley from Holland. I hope all is going well with him, cause he didn’t answer up ‘till now.

I have a new musical love in my life: the mandolin. You can hear me play it on almost each and every tune on this album. “Mandolin picker” was the first thing I learned to play on it. I grabbed the song from the internet, practiced it for a week and recorded it immediately. Dennis Hunt, one of the members of the Montana Mandolin Society wrote it. The Montana Mandolin Society was organized in 1999 as the resurrected orchestra from 1902s Bozeman Mandolin Club. With their mandolin picking they try to bridge the gap between the high-tech world of the 21st century and an era when people really took the time to appreciate musical beauty. These ‘bridgers’ are helping to revitalize one of America’s most charming musical traditions, the mandolin orchestra. This is my humble contribution to the “bridging”…

Do you know what a nickelodeon is? The introduction of film in the late 1890s first sparked the creation of "Nickelodeons" - flat floored structures with little ornamentation that projected early short silent films quite cheaply. Nickelodeons often mixed films with other forms of entertainment, and used bed sheets as projection screens with a loud piano a - Country Gazette


"Sunny Side Up" 2004
"Wanna Stay Connected" 2002


Feeling a bit camera shy


My music is a mixture of bluegrass, folk ,country and pop music and got some fine reviews in the music magazines like Country Gazette.I do perform the songs live in my concerts and people seem to like my new music a lot, allthough the style is quite different from my previous album "WANNA STAY CONNECTED", which is pure country music with the steelguitar and fiddle.
I teach linedance in Purmerend near Amsterdam every monday night.I love to entertain people who like country dancing. I'm doing that for the last 10 years and with great pleasure!
In the seventies I was a rocker with the famous Dutch band "Dizzy Man's Band" with Top 10 hits like The Opera and The Show. In the eighties I played saxophone, flute, guitar, banjo and keyboards in several musicals. In the nineties I played country & western with a duo. Since 2001 I' m on the road with my solo-act for countrydancers and country fans in Holland and Belgium. In my live act I sing and play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, flute and saxophone.
I have my own studio in which I produced and recorded 6 albums for artists like the Black Hills Country Band - JJ Johns - Mike Shannon and Dirk Box. I'm writing and recording new material at the moment. I love producing and recording and I can record 16 tracks at the same time in my fully equiped little studio in Belgium.