Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian
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Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Duo Blues Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Stephen King Takes Shining to Toronto Blues Singer"

Published On Sun Aug 15 2010
Paul McLaughlin Special to the Star

When Nicole Christian was in Grade 5 in Rochester, N.Y., her teacher asked the students to write a letter to their hero. Christian chose horror writer Stephen King, whose books she was devouring.

“My teacher was a little miffed,” Christian says. “Everybody else was writing to world leaders and presidents.”

Remarkably, King wrote back. He thanked her “for taking the time to enjoy my work.” Christian had the letter framed and it hung in her bedroom until she left home at age 18 for the University of Toronto to study the concert flute.

Now married and living in Toronto, the 28-year-old works as a waitress in the Beaches while pursuing a career as a blues singer and songwriter. She performs around Toronto in a group called Nicole Christian and the Caravan.

A few months ago she once again wrote to King, although she felt sure he would not respond to her new request: She wanted to use his words.

A self-described “huge Stephen King fan,” Christian has read most of King’s 50-plus books, many repeatedly. “I read It, which is about 1,200 pages, every couple of years,” she says. Another favourite is Bag of Bones. “It has no cover, like a lot of my King books, because they’ve all been dragged over hell and earth.”

A central character in Bag of Bones is a blues singer who was murdered in the 1920s. King wrote some song lyrics in the book. “He would write a line and maybe 50 pages later another line, but there isn’t a complete song by him,” Christian says.

A few years ago, she got the idea to take what King had written, add her own lyrics and melody, and create a song. It took her two years to come up with the melody, which came to her one night this year while re-reading the book at a Pizza Pizza.

By May, as she was starting to work on a new CD, her third self-produced collection, she was ready to record the King-inspired song, which she called “Barn Dance.”

Then it dawned on her that she was likely violating King’s copyright. “I’d say the lyrics are 60 to 70 per cent Stephen King,” she says.

Christian searched the Internet for a way to contact King, a task that proved difficult. She finally sent a message through A day later, Marsha DeFilippo, King’s assistant, replied saying that the request had been forwarded to “Steve.”

Buoyed by the quick reply, Christian began recording the song. By late June, with her money already spent laying down tracks in the studio, Christian had not heard back.

She posted another message on the fan site (it doesn’t allow direct email contact to DeFilippo) repeating her request. Once again she received an answer within 24 hours. This time, however, it came from her hero.

“She can use the words, but I don’t get the sole credit,” King wrote via DeFilippo. “She and I share, with her name first. Steve.” He didn’t request any financial compensation.

“I flipped out when I saw that,” says Christian. “All my life I grew up wanting to be a writer and now I can put on my resume that I’ve co-written a song (which can be heard here) with Stephen King!” - Toronto Star

"Nicole Christian....Run Rabbit Run"

With a voice mildly reminiscent of Sue Foley, Nicole Christian delivers a unique and hauntingly beautiful Debut Album, filled with a special style of homegrown roots and blues music, the likes of which we do not often have the good fortune of experiencing.

You could perhaps call Nicole Christian a struggling young singer/songwriter/musician, but those struggles have really started to pay off, especially when she is able to use little bits of her lifes stories to make such fresh and engaging music.

"Run, Rabbit Run" consists of 11 Tracks, 10 of which were written solely by Christian, and 1 (Barn Dance), that was co-written with Stephen King, yes that Stephen King. How exactly that came about is quite a story in itself and I urge you to check out the following article, titled, Stephen King takes shining to Toronto blues singer .

All the Tracks on "Run, Rabbit Run" really have a rich home cooked feel to them, thanks in part not only to Nicole's, amazing voice and instrumental work, but also because of the many other elements she has brought to the table, via a group of musicians she calls The Caravan. Consisting of 11 Artists, The Caravan brings together another 18 instruments to the mix, including, believe it or not, Deer Toes. This mix of Talent along with Nicole's voice and expertise on the Ruby Resophonic, Gibson 12 String, and Acoustic Guitars, make for a incredible musical experience that if this Album is any indicator, must just sound amazing at her live shows.

Pinning done a specific style or genre of music is not really that easy, because, to me anyways, "Run, Rabbit Run" is more of a Mosaic that fully and uniquely captures a wide number of styles which are mixed together in such a way that it truly becomes a style all her own. A little bit of Roots, Blues, Canadiana, and Alt Country, all thrown in the blender and coming out the other end as simply magic.

My introduction to Nicole Christian, via "Run, Rabbit Run", was an absolute pleasure and I for one cannot wait to listen to her next release, with many more to come from this exceptional talent.

"Run, Rabbit Run" is an Album chalked full of new and refreshing sounds, and is one which I highly recommend.

Review By John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network) - Blues Underground Network

"Shelter Blues a Resounding Success!"

News and Events
Top Stories
Shelter Blues a Resounding Success!

It was a packed house last Saturday as The Savannah Room on College street played host to a hip evening of music benefitting The Toronto Humane Society. And what a benefit it was, raising $500 to help Toronto’s animals in need.

The evening of folk, rock and blues was called Shelter Blues by its organizer Nicole Christian who is a musician and part-time dog walker here at the Toronto Humane Society.

Performers at the event included Undadogg, Flickershow, Nicole Christian and the Caravan, as well as surprise guest Arthur Renwick who played with Peter Verity.

Various local bands and businesses donated merchandise that was given away as door prizes. Those included: $70 worth of merchandise from Danforth-based pet boutique Bark ‘N’ Scratch, $60 worth of tickets from The Bad Dog Theatre Company, a $50 gift certificate from Murphy’s Law Irish Pub on Queen Street East, as well as jewellery from Dragonfly Design on Adelaide, and CDs from local musicians.

Thanks to Nicole Christian who organized the event, all the performers, The Savannah Room which donated $100, and of course to all those people who came out to support The Toronto Humane Society and hear some great music at the same time!

It’s due to the generosity of people like this that The Toronto Humane Society is able to keep helping all of the animals from Toronto and across the GTA! - Toronto Humane Society Newsletter


Alfie and Nicole

Come on In My Kitchen (2014)

alfie (solo) Sometimes the Rain (2011)  Brass and Steel (2008) Flesh and Bone (2005) Buckshot Blues (2003) Alfred John Smith (1998)

nicole (solo) Run Rabbit Run (Sept. 2010) Abode of Crows (April 2007) Last Day to Fall (2004)



Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian

"Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian are old-style slide guitarists, multi-instrumentalists and a blues duo not to be missed. Featuring Alfie's belting baritone vocals mixed with Nicole's sass and jazz flute, they bring you blues, roots and songwriting in a way you have never heard before. Recording together for the first time as a duo with their debut album, “Come On In My Kitchenâ€? is an unfiltered, live-off-the-floor album that melds Delta blues and Southern Rock, folk lyrics with glockenspiel accents, back porch banjo with fife and drum tradition. Come on into their kitchen, and you won't be disappointed."         

Alfie Smith 

Alfie Smith is a prolific songwriter who has recorded 6 albums over his 20 year career. Known    best for his resophonic guitars, brazen slide licks and uncompromising vocals, Alfie is endorsed by several luthiers including Goodman Guitars (who have recently named a guitar model after him) and Goldtone Banjos. He has been nominated for a dozen Hamilton music awards including Best  Male Vocalist and Best Guitarist, and has represented Toronto in the Memphis International Blues Challenge. He performs constantly, and has been a featured performer   at Mariposa, Festival of Friends, Home County, Eaglewood, Mill Race, Red Rock, Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival, to name a few.      

Nicole Christian 

Nicole Christian is a little roots, a little country and a whole lot bottle-neck blues. A multi-instrumentalist who specializes in flute, piano and resophonic guitar, Nicole released two solo albums before heading to the studio to record her most recent, Run Rabbit Run, which was voted The Best Debut Roots and Blues Album of 2010.  In 2011 Nicole was selected as a finalist for the Toronto Blues Society's Talent Search and was nominated for two Hamilton Music Awards, Best Female Vocalist and Best Blues Album. She appeared on an episode of Toronto Talent and won a Hamilton Arts Award for Performance in 2012. Nicole performs regularly throughout Southern Ontario, and whether solo or as a duo with Alfie Smith, she's sure to get your feet tapping.  

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