Nick Venturella
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Nick Venturella


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"Reviews of Nick Venturella's 2006 Sweetsonic album"

Kiki Schueler, Rick's Cafe, Aug. issue

Remember the dancing-in-the-library scene from The Breakfast Club? In one of the movie's most memorable sequences, the detentionees bop and boogie on tables and atop bookshelves with delightful abandon while Karla DeVito's "We Are Not Alone" plays. The opening track of Nick Venturella's SweetSonic, "1,000 Years," makes me want to dance like that every single time I hear it, whether I'm listening in my living room (where I've admittedly given in to the temptation) or on the bus (where uninhibited dancing is frowned upon).

Truth be told, at least half the tunes on the CD have that very same effect. The Waukesha native’s fifth release finds him discarding some of the pretensions that weighed down earlier releases and channeling his inner BoDeans’ hometown, he also shares their penchant for the ridiculously infectious pop song, especially the half penned by Kurt Neumann. "Everybody Knows" is a "Closer to Free"-style head-bopper, while "What Will Be Will Be" has the syncopated percussion of their "Texas Ride Song."

While Venturella occasionally trips on a clunky lyric, e.g. "You’re feeling watched because I’m looking at you" (from "Everybody Knows") or "Going out getting ready / meeting the guys for something heavy" ("Inside My Head"), he never quite falls, balancing them with almost too-clever one-liners like "Out at the club, I’m drinking for love" (also from the latter). Sure, it’s a song about hooking up ("Looking for more than simply a score / But today just won’t be the day") but it comes off as sincere instead of sleazy.

The cubicle-dweller’s complaint of working for a living, "So I Go," details the familiar cycle of work-party-sleep-work: "So I go to the movies / where I can loose myself behind those doors / To the bar where I can drink myself / Right down to the floor / Back to work again / So I can pay for it all." It has the same charming familiarity as the Bottle Rockets’ "Gotta Get Up."

Fortunately, Venturella’s strategy of interspersing the dance parties with the reflective ballads and mid-tempo strummers gives you a chance to catch your breath. The best of these is probably "These Days," which recalls the barefoot folk of Toad the Wet Sproket’s Glenn Phillips, as does the optimistic closer "You and Me Against the World." It is remarkable that the record invites comparisons to major-label artists since, as with all his previous releases, he did everything himself, from the songwriting to the artwork (appropriately enough, a Dum-Dum lollipop entwined in the strings of a guitar). When he notes, "I’m happy with this album because of what I was able to accomplish in spite of my limitations, which included using only two microphones, a digital mixer, MIDI controller and Apple’s GarageBand music software," he’s not bragging. It seems he’s even impressed himself.

SweetSonic album review...

The Onion, A.V. Club, Madison, WI Aug. 17th issue

SweetSonic is Nick Venturella's fifth do-it-yourself album, but his music is far from introspective bedroom pop. Venturella constructs full heartland rock anthems with crashing drums, careening guitars, and multiple vocals. Optimistic songs of love pursued, obtained, and lost dominate the proceedings, with Venturella's raw but reassuring voice setting a tone of confidence and urgency.

SweetSonic Album Review...

Kent Palmer, Madison Magazine Jan. '07

Nick Venturella's SweetSonic, his fifth solo release (OatMeal Records), combines energetic sticky pop with reflective ballads to render tales of life and love. The duel between head and heart runs throughout the album.

Self-written, performed and produced, SweetSonic is light and quick, not staid or overdone. The fresh acoustic guitar and clean vocals bring me back to my folk music days where all of the energy comes from you and your instrument. Venturella plays with love and emotion as he fingers the frets in energetic, fiery songs like "1,000 Years" and "Everybody Knows," to the cool contemplations of "These Days" and "Love by Satellite."

Living in Madison, originally from Waukesha, Venturella has a loose personable style that speaks of many influences including Ryan Adams, Patty Griffin as well as the Refreshments. Providing insight through observations and experiences, Venturella tells stories of joy and sorrow, of laughter and tears.

Venturella regularly plays locally and throughout the region. For more information go to, [and to purchase the album visit Venturella's online store at].

SweetSonic Album review...

Rich Albertoni, The Isthmus, Madison, WI (Aug. 11th issue 2006)

“Sweetsonic is the Madison singer-songwriter's fifth solo release, with the emphasis on solo. The album was entirely written, performed, recorded and produced by Venturella at his home studio… Venturella's lyrics are personal and accessible, telling stories of emotional endurance through the challenges of typical days. There's a lot to like about Sweetsonic…”

SweetSonic Album Review...

Venturella takes a different road on new disc

by Tyler Casey,, Aug. 16, 2006

Singer/songwriter Nick Venturella is trying to branch out with his latest album, "Sweetsonic." While his previous four albums have had a more introspective, traditional "singer/songwriter" feel, his latest effort is decidedly more upbeat and pop.

"Someone asked me once why I never have any happy songs," Venturella said. "The singer/songwriter part of my music is always going to be there, but I wanted to grow musically."

That change is evident on the 11 acoustic guitar driven songs that make up "Sweetsonic." The opening track "1,000 Years" brings to mind Glen Phillips or The Pretenders. "World Of Illusion" sees Venturella mixing catchy melodies with clever writing and "You And Me Against The World" is downright joyous...

- various reviews and authors

"Review from Stumpjack Coffee Co. performance, April 28, 2008"

We have the absolute most fun when Nick Venturella comes to town to perform at Stumpjack Coffee. Nick has a wonderfully earthy and upbeat musical style, that comes across as very immediate and spontaneous. That impression is a testament to his stage presence and competence, because with over 14 years of performing experience and a half-dozen CD's under his belt the man is as prepared and professional as can be. But that's the old saw isn't it...the people who make it look easy are most often the ones who work the hardest and are the best prepared. And Nick does make it look easy. He's got a great sense of humor and wonderful ability to connect with his audience, and if you check out the pics from last night that I just placed on Flickr you will see an awful lot of smiles and laughs in the house. I defy anyone to not have a good time at a Nick Venturella concert and to not immediately like this guy. This might sound a little corny but Nick is just a heckuva decent guy, without pretense or conceit, and generous with his knowledge and time...a straight arrow, as they say. It's a real pleasure to work with someone of his character and talent. And the music is pretty dang awesome too!

I just woke up from a long nap on the couch at the's been a long couple of weeks and I'm going home now to go to bed early, but I wanted to get this post in and put the pictures on before hitting the hay. We're working on having Nick back sometime this summer and will hopefully post the date in the next day or two...when we do, make sure to mark it on your kitchen calendar and set that night will be glad you did, guaranteed.
- David Smith, owner of Stumpjack Coffee Company

"Linear Cycle of the Seasons CD review"

"Here's my advice: If you like singer/songwriter stuff, buy this CD. It's good...Buy. Listen. Enjoy...The record peaks almost exactly in the middle. Track eight, 'Another Day,' has a surprising kick to it, with electric guitars and tambourines, but it's the altered-voice break in the middle ('Lift me out/Let me in/Let me find out who I am') that really sells it. When it comes to a sudden stop, the ballad 'Rut' picks up the pieces with its chorus of 'No more, no less, we take the best and cut our losses.' Smooth. The influence of local hero Willy Porter is as apparent in the lovely strummed plea 'Stick Around' as in the funky 'Soapbox,' with its handclap percussion. Final track 'Lori's Lullaby' is just that, a sweet old-fashioned ode to true love...At twenty-five, Venturella may be too young to be attempting a concept album, especially one this lofty, but his songs about life and love show more maturity than one would expect."
- Rick's Cafe, Madison, WI

"College Performance testimonial - Feb 2008"

"Nick is always a pleasure to work with, and he is able to connect well with the audience."

-Monique Minkens
Assistant Director of Student Activities / Summer Events Coordinator
Edgewood College
Madison, WI - Edgewood College, Madison, WI

"Closure album review"

Nick Venturella stands out among the multitude of singer/songwriters by combining other artistic mediums into the musical presentation. Venturella's latest, Closure, plays more like a short story, telling the tale of two conflicted lovers through the P.O.V. of a broken-hearted young man. Vocals eerily conjure up a younger, cleaner-sounding Jon Bon Jovi, yet an overall style might be influenced most by local favorite Willy Porter. Kick off your shoes and relax with this multifaceted talent. - Shepherd Express, Milwaukee, WI

"Voices of Home CD release performance review"

“'Voices of Home' was satisfying simply because it was something we all could relate to, and it reached every member of the audience in some specific way…and of course Venturella’s unparalleled talent in all aspects of the arts.
- On The Edge, Madison, WI

"Praising Nick's Music"

And just a quick note about [Nick's] music... I've been [running sound at] these 'Groovin Grounds' events at the coffee house for a few years now, and Nick is DEFINITELY my favorite performer.

Jason Strazishar
sound tech
Groovin' Grounds (the on campus coffee house of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)

- Sound Tech from University of WI-Green Bay

"College Performance testimonial - Oct. 2004"

[Nick] your music is great, students enjoyed it, you are easy to work with, you provided publicity, you connected before the show, and followed up.... You're awesome! :)

-Rachel Sigwarth
Student Activities Coordinator
University of Dubuque - University of Dubuqe, IA

"College Performance Testimonial - Oct. 2005"

"Nick Venturella was VERY easy to work with...I liked that he allowed a student to perform before his act. I liked his personable nature and how he really bonded with the audience. I liked that you could tell that he really enjoyed his music and performing...[It was a] great performance [with] a big turnout for an evening event at Stritch...I would DEFINITELY hire Nick Venturella again."

-Jenni Kiekow
Director of Student Activities
Cardinal Stritch University
Milwaukee, WI

- Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, WI

"College Performance testimonial - Feb. 2006"

“I would work with Nick again anytime. He makes it easy for the program coordinators…He also socialized with the audience, which is always a plus….UW-Green Bay would hire him again.”

-Brian Jicinsky
Program Development Assistant
Office of Student Life at University
of Wisconsin-Green Bay
- University of Wisconsin-Green Bay


Nick Venturella - Moments Vol. 1, 2009
Nick Venturella - Premium Blend (live album), 2007
Nick Venturella - SweetSonic, 2006
Nick Venturella - Linear Cycle of the Seasons, 2004
Nick Venturella - Closure, 2003
Nick Venturella - Voices of Home, 2001
Nick Venturella - Me, 2001 (EP)



Nick is a folk-rock/garage/pop singer-songwriter who delivers smart songs with simplistic savvy.

Nick has been writing and performing his music for a little over a decade. His music stems from personal experiences and observations of life, relationships and self-awareness.

Nick’s acceptance of various influences allows his sound to be versatile and forever evolving. Plus, with a loose personable performance style, often including impromtu live songwriting and a cheesy joke challenge, Venturella connects well with his audiences making each show a memorable one.

Originally from St. Louis, MO Venturella got his musical start in Waukesha, WI, later moved to Madison, WI, spent a recent stint in Milwaukee, WI, but now is back in Madison, WI (did you catch all that?). Nick performs throughout the upper Midwest at colleges, coffee shops, restaurants/bars, hotels, and private parties.

Music has afforded Nick Venturella the opportunity to open for and work with some other outstanding college market performers, including: Jason LaVasseur, Copeland, Catchpenny, Life in General, Fade 2 Shade, John Hermanson (of Alva Star and Storyhill) as well as local favorites: Mark Croft, Sean Michael Dargan and Ryan McIntyre (formerly of EXIT).

College radio, word-of-mouth ( and “through the grapevine” fan distribution are growing a loyal following for this Midwestern D.I.Y. independent.

Here at Nick Venturella's Sonicbids page you have the opportunity to listen to a few full songs, enjoy, and be sure to contact Nick with any questions or to book a gig at your college.

Websites: (copy & paste into your web browser) (official music site) (online store) (musician marketing service site) (MySpace)

Short MySpace Video Clips: