Nicky Egan
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Nicky Egan

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States
Rock Soul

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Nicky Egan is a Boston-based soul singer who has absorbed the influences of earlier generations of female vocalists — people like Sarah Vaughn, Janice Joplin and Bonnie Raitt.

Egan grew up in Philadelphia, came to Boston to study at the Berkeley College of music, and formed her first band when she was just 20.

She’s just released her debut album called “Good People” — a mix of soul, r&b rock and a voice that sounds more soulful and world weary than her 23 years might suggest.
- NPR's WBUR Radio Boston


RECORD REVIEW: Nicky Egan
Good People
By: Kristen DeTroia

Nicky Egan and her band know how to provide heaping doses of soulful R&B. Egan's debut, Good People, is raised on gospel and soaked in blues. Listeners will experience a healthy balance of captivating ballads and high-energy anthems of love and life, delivering a punch of modern blues and rock.
Egan's vocals are seductive and sweet. She can belt like Janis Joplin and warm your heart like Etta James. Each track delivers confident and optimistic lyrics through adventurous arrangements. Tracks like "Getaway Lady" and "So Bad" showcase swinging melodies and raw, pulsating horns, while clean guitar work and light keys set the stage for stripped down songs such as "Price I Pay" and "Good People." Garnished with funk and marinated in soul, this music will connect with you on a level you never knew existed. (Self-released)
- Performer Magazine


Nicky Egan, Le Poisson Rouge, 7PM

by Kelsey Paine

Having gone to high school back in Massachusetts with two of Nicky Egan's band members, I knew I had to check out their soulful set at Le Poisson Rouge. Originally from Philadelphia, Egan recently graduated from Berklee School of Music in Boston where she formed her band. The group's sound blends old school funk, R&B and rock, all intertwined with Egan's strong and smokey vocals, a cross between Etta James and Janis Joplin. These kids are serious about their music--Egan bangs out notes on her piano with a power and confidence far beyond her age, and Johnny Simon's guitar solo on an Aretha Franklin cover was sexy and electrifying. Look for Nicky Egan's debut solo album Good People to come out soon. - joonbug.com


Since the trip to Baltimore for our last Music Monday concert didn't seem quite far enough, this week we traveled to Philadelphia to see Nicky Egan and her band at The World Cafe Live. The trek up I-05 was well worth it however, as the band gave a spirited and soulful performance of authentic sounding original songs and excellently arranged covers. Nicky and most of her band are still in college (a school for music, not surprisingly, in the Boston area) so they don't get to travel too extensively outside of New England but they were able to bring a full band, including horn section and backup vocalists to this New Year's break show, nearly doubling the usual lineup.

Though still students, Nicky and her band definitely know how to put on a fun and interesting show. They obviously know each other very well, both on and off the bandstand, and perform very well together. Their musical training and education is also evident, as they all appear to be excellent artists individual of the band. Moreover, the diversity in songs and styles begs and educated musical background. As Nicky says, the prevailing musical style through every song is 'soul' but every song has a secondary style (or two) as well, such as r&b rock, folk, or the blues. No matter which genre(s) they played, the band performed it excellently together.

The concert was in the downstairs performance space of a large building on the banks of the Schuylkill river which houses a total of two performance spaces (upstairs and downstairs) and the University of Pennsylvania Public Radio Station, amongst other things it would appear. Don't discount this space however just because it is downstairs- it is a huge space with a good sized bar and a large open dancing/seating area in front of a wide stage. There was a large crowd, partially since Nicky and others in the and are from the Philadelphia area, but whether they had a previous familiarity with the band or not, everyone seemed to love the show.

As did I. I really had a great time and think that this is an awesome band with a great future that is well worth knowing. Find out more about them through their MySpace page- http://www.myspace.com/nickyegan

Besides for the interview, we recorded nearly the whole show and are happy to share several songs with you. Be mindful that this is a playlist, not just one song, so once you are finished with the first make sure to check out the other 5 (which you can browse using the thumbnails at the bottom of the player). Enjoy! - Danny Power of sumofchange.com


Nicky Egan may be new to Philadelphia's music scene, but it was the young singer-songwriter's old soul that exhilarated a packed crowd at World Café Live on Saturday.

Egan, 20, of Yardley, ably showcased her syrupy voice, which frothily mixes jazz scats with fiery R&B gusto, on a range of numbers, backed by a talented seven-piece band she brought down from Boston to play the City of Brotherly Love. Although her raucous set was full of well-received crooning over bluesy grooves and rock-tinged anthems, Egan's career wasn't always destined for the club circuit. In fact, many of her high school classmates would have pegged her as a future Mia Hamm instead of the next Janis Joplin.

At Pennsbury High School, where Egan graduated in 2006, she was known more for her skills on the soccer field than the stage, playing striker for the Falcons squad that landed in the state semifinals her senior year. Always a talented vocalist and pianist during her childhood, which she recalls was full of Joni Mitchell and classic rock, Egan never focused full-time on her passion for music until she began attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston two years ago.

Berklee, best known for its string of famous alumni, from John Mayer to Quincy Jones, was the place where Egan finally put down her spikes and picked up the mic. "At first, I had a different idea about music school," said Egan in our interview this weekend. "I thought it would be overwhelming. I missed playing soccer and having sports in my life." Fittingly, during Egan's first semester, Berklee made her transition a bit easier when the school, which traditionally has never participated in athletics, added a hockey team that fall. "I made sure to rally all of my friends to the first game," she laughed.

Limited sports didn't deter Egan from embracing Berklee's close-knit music community. "I needed to go somewhere where music was going to be encompassing everything I did," she says. Soon after arriving, Egan, already a prolific songwriter, decided to collaborate again with keyboardist Eli Winderman, another Pennsbury grad studying at Berklee. Egan and Winderman had performed together in high school as members of Gibbus Groove, a short-lived outfit of Pennsbury students that Egan recalls "played two weddings and an anniversary party."

Both wanted to play more than cover songs and party jams, so they began developing many of Egan's original compositions into multi-instrument arrangements, guided by other Berklee undergrads seeking out a band. Egan quickly put together a tight ensemble of experienced jazz and blues musicians from surrounding dorm rooms, including her current guitarist Johnny Simon, drummer Mark Purrington and bassist Chuck Jones.


Before Egan's show at World Café Live, the cozy stage adjacent to WXPN radio studios on the edge of the University of Pennsylvania campus, she brought down her band for a week of rehearsals, where she introduced them to the wonders of Philadelphia cheese steaks and the Oxford Valley Mall.

"It's a perfect mix," Egan says of her band. "We're really great friends and keep it professional, which comes from all of us being driven." After playing a few practice sessions at Berklee, the group began to quickly mesh. "We got excited about playing and it all just kind of clicked," she says. "It was almost weird."

Egan and her band have played numerous dive bars around Boston, but this past weekend's show was the group's coming out party. Winderman, who also plays keys for Crucial, the Bucks County band that played an uplifting set of guitar-heavy reggae after Egan's set, was dazzling throughout each performance, tickling improvised scales on the ivories that elevated Egan's rich pipes and propelled Crucial's lively melodies. Still, it was Egan's songwriting that captivated the Saturday night crowd on Walnut Street.

Starting the evening with a James Brown medley that smoothly segued into "So Bad," a tune Egan just recently penned, her band ignited on "Lullaby," a sauntering, feel-good pop song highlighted by Egan's soaring wails and warm melisma. Nodding to one of her favorite chanteuses, Egan covered India.Arie's "There's Hope," an up-tempo number that had the audience clapping along. Egan also effortlessly executed on her ballads, most memorably on the wandering structures of the low-key "Good People" and "Sad But True."

Calling the World Café Live show the band's "biggest yet," Egan says the group wanted the gig to be more than just it showcase - they wanted to truly entertain. "We've played in small venues in Boston and know that there's a difference between playing and putting on a show," she said. "We wanted to put on a show."

Indeed, Egan and her "band of funky young gentlemen" as she calls them, did put on quite a show this weekend, raising more than a few eyebrows from curious Philadelphians who wandered into the World Café. Egan also elicited rousing cheers from a crowd of Bucks County college - Robert Costa of Phillyburbs.com


If you heard Janis Joplin perform in the 1960s and listened now to Nicky Egan, you'd think that the young singer could be part of the Joplin family tree. Egan is that good.

Nicky Egan and the Majority headline a show at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia tonight. Egan and her band have released a live album, but their first real album is still in the making.

"My live show is pretty much all originals," Egan said during a phone interview. "I do an hour-and-a-half set and usually have just a few covers. I'm performing a lot of the songs that will be on the new album.

"Hopefully, the album will be out by the end of 2009. We're mixing some of the tracks right now. We've done a lot of our recording in Boston and we have two tracks that we did in Brooklyn last year."

Boston is the home base for Egan and her band - Johnny Simon (guitar), Chuck Jones (bass), Mark Purrington (drums), Eli Winderman (keyboards).

Egan graduated from Pennsbury High in Bucks County in 2006 and is pursuing a degree in contemporary writing and production at Boston's Berklee School of Music.

"I'm home for the summer but I'm also back and forth a lot to Boston to rehearse with my band," she said. "This summer, I've been working as an intern at East Coast Recording Company, which is a recording studio in Warminster. I'm learning a lot about production work."

Not surprisingly, Egan cites Joplin as one of her main influences.

"We're a soul band with an R&B and rock mix," she said. "When I perform covers, I do songs by Janis Joplin and James Brown. Janis Joplin is definitely a big influence. I also like the jazz style of Sarah Vaughn and the music of Etta James.

"A lot of my influence comes from male singers like Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder and James Brown. My parents were big music fans, so I grew up with classic rock. My grandpa influenced me with jazz. I used to go to nursing homes and sing jazz standards for the residents."

What: Nicky Egan and the Majority

When: Aug. 6, 8 p.m.

Where: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia

Tickets: $15
- Denny Dyroff


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Originally from Philadelphia, Nicky Egan spreads her love for music through a sound that blends elements of soul r&b and rock. With her influences ranging from Candi Staton, Sarah Vaughn and Janis Joplin, to James Brown and Joe Cocker, Radio Boston describes Egan as having "a voice that sounds more soulful and world weary than her 23 years might suggest."
Egan formed her band in 2007 while attending school in Boston at Berklee College of Music. They've toured all over the U.S. in support of her debut LP, Good People, including stints at the famed
Whiskey A Go-Go, sharing the stage with other soul acts like Boston's Eli "Paperboy" Reed, and New Orleans' Charles Neville.
Dubbed a "soul songstress" by Phillyburbs.com, Egan is an accomplished songwriter and keyboardist and always commands the stage with captivating energy.

Nicky Egan released her debut album, a 12 song LP, she co-produced with band-mate Johnny Simon Jr, on January 7th, 2011. The album entitled, Good People, is "garnished with funk and marinated in soul." (Performer Mag).
Egan is now based in Brooklyn, NY where she continues to write, record and tour.

FOR TOUR SCHEDULE & OTHER INFO VISIT:
www.nickyegan.com