Scott Nolan
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Scott Nolan

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Roots vet Scott Nolan has proved he can rock out, but his latest album is a restrained offering that evokes both the windblown prairie, where he was raised, and Texas, where it was recorded with producer Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams/Mary Gauthier).

Receiver/Reflector is filled with hushed tones, subdued drumming from Joanna Miller and slow grooves. For his part, Morlix helps out with the occasional pedal-steel flourish or guitar solo, but never oversteps his welcome.

There are glimpses of Nolan's more rambunctious spirit sprinkled throughout, most notably on the country shuffle of Open Spaces, the mid-tempo look back at love gone wrong on All Over Now and rollicking album closer Thirsty Thursday, but for the most part, the talented multi-instrumentalist sticks to slower tempos and sparse arrangements that allow his strong storytelling skills to take centre stage.

Nolan says he crafted the album as a cohesive whole to fit one mood. Mission accomplished

-- Rob Williams

- Winnipeg Free Press


Nolan was working on an uptempo follow-up to No Bourbon and Bad Radio when he and drummer Joanna Miller happened upon an opportunity to work with Gurf Morlix, the guitar-playin' producer who helmed Romi Mayes' last release. The result of their five-day session is an album that recalls the quietest moods of Kris Kristofferson and John Prine. There's depth in these slow-moving grooves, and Morlix, Miller and Nolan are wisely content to let the tunes unfold once they've hit upon the essence of each. Opener Bad liver/Broken Heart, delivered in Nolan's whispered drawl and punctuated by keening pedal steel, offers a commentary on life that informs much of this album: "You come in clean and leave torn apart, with a bad liver and a broken heart." Over the course of the next nine songs and 32 or so minutes, Nolan and his cohorts explore that mournful lament to its fullest.

-- John Kendle


STYLE: Rootsy ruminations on ruined romance.

SUBSTANCE: There are songs that are made to be played on bright Sunday mornings over brunch, or to be blasted out of the car on the way to the beach. Those are not the sort of songs Scott Nolan serves up on his latest album No Bourbon and Bad Radio. Admittedly, the singer-guitarist with the high-lonesome drawl can crank up the amps and dish out his share of raw-boned Crazy Horse roots-rock or raucous hillbilly boogie. But for the most part, Nolan prefers to turn down the lights, pour another shot and hang out at the smoky end of the bar drinking to forget. But forgetting the dark beauty of his melodies, the world-weary sadness of his lyrics and the lazy, no-frills vibe of his songs is easier said than done. Even if you might want to leave them off the brunch menu.

STANDOUTS: Daytime Moon's Jamaican lilt and shoo-wop vocals add a little Caribbean spice to the proceedings, while the gnarly blues of the title cut is a winking toast to a local watering-hole that shall remain nameless but rhymes with Hella Mista.

Darryl Sterdan
- Winnipeg Sun


Winnipeg is the centre of North America and was the historical hub of Canada. Much has gone through this unassuming city over the years. Indeed, the current music scene simmers with wonderful diversity. Scott Nolan emerges from this hearty stew with ingredients from the many travels and Postcards provides glimpses of what Nolan has soaked up. "Famous in Texas" reflects well on the songwriters of that state, while Neil Young echoes in his compatriot's voice, particularly in "Leavin' Vegas" and Charlie Daniels serves merely as a template to the gritty tale of "Clint Duty." Nolan sheds shards of light on the characters he paints ("Corinna Sad Eyes") in the scuzzy bars of this transient's town. Great backing players fill out his strong songwriting, which will serve him well on his next tour of the back alleys and dark corners.

Carol Harrison
- Exclaim Magazine


is a wondrous place. Canada’s finest musical export, Neil Young, was born there. It is the geographical and, in many ways, cultural fulcrum of Canada, acting as the East’s “Gateway to the West.” And you can’t forget the Jets drafting Dale Hawerchuk in the first round of 1981. Add Scott Nolan to Winnipeg’s long list of accolades.

The former mercenary rocker – who was once with the New Meanies and Nathan–has now honed his natural talents as a solo singer-songwriter. Playing with long-time musical partner, drummer Joanna Miller, the two-piece has established a sound of their own and are taking it on the road.

“We just had our pilot run last night,” says Nolan of the first official show of the tour. “Joanna has been playing with me right from the start and now we are traveling as a two-piece. We have incorporated different instruments to help smooth it out, but mostly it is just the two of us. We can cover a huge backlog of music and nothing ever seems to be the same way twice.”

It is a departure from Nolan’s previous gigs as a freelancer. His solo career allows him to strive for more depth and breath lyrically, unfettered by the often confining collaborative process a band requires. “When I’ve been in a band I’ve always been on the sidelines a little bit,” says Nolan. “I mean, I wrote and contributed, but once I started putting out records like this, that was it.”

Nolan has found his niche in terms of the business side of the music industry as well. Opting out of the do-it-yourself business model to release his last record, No Bourbon and Bad Radio, he signed with Transistor 66, a small indie label rooted in Winnipeg. Working with the label has made touring and publicizing that much easier, not that he intends to veer from the word of mouth publicity that got him to where he is today.

“Before Transistor I was just really doing it out of the trunk of my car,” Nolan muses. “I like what they [Transistor 66] do. They are just really there to support us and make things go smooth. And for myself, I really thrive on someone else’s energy, and there is a lot of positive energy there.”

The new album may be owed to Nolan’s penchant for finding synergies with other musicians. On a tour through Texas – a place where, according to Nolan, songwriters are revered by children like guitar heroes or star rookies of the Hawerchuk variety – Nolan and Miller stopped into a friend’s studio to record a song or two. Five days later, Receiver/Reflector, Nolan’s forthcoming new CD, was cut, astounding everyone involved.

“Yeah, it was last November and we had some shows down there, and when the shows were done we went down to a friend’s house and just meant to cut a couple tracks. He ended up being the third man and we cut the whole record in five days.”

While his writing and recording has been prolific, the touring has been sporadic. But with Miller he’s able to access a long history of music that provides the duo with a solid foundation. Have songs, will travel – Nolan is now determined to tour relentlessly.

“We have built up such a large body of work that we can now tour non-stop and go to all those places we have had to skip over,” says Nolan excitedly.
The prospect of the road also suits Nolan’s temperament. Introspective and observant, he’s not satisfied with just playing to crowds of fans in intimate venues across the continent, but he also captures the more subtle and memorable moments of touring, whether it be recording impromptu gigs with different musicians, or compiling footage of the tour into a documentary.

“The last year we went out, I had this project on the road and I made a record called American Hotel,” says Nolan. “We just set up in random places and invited musicians we met up with to play. I put this little bootleg out and it was surprisingly well-received.”

“So now the new project is a DVD,” Nolan says. “I have just been spending so much of my time doing this and I want to capture the things that happen out there.”

By Josh Markle
- BeateRoute Magazine


It’s a songwriter’s dream. Your second album, No Bourbon and Bad Radio, soaked up the No. 1 spot on the national campus radio folk-blues-roots chart, ahead of Corb Lund and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. You’re touring the album, sound-checking at the first of 40 road gigs, when in walks a pair of guys just looking to grab a meal. Next thing you know, you’re chatting with Nashville producer Miles Wilkinson and booking yourself back into the venue for a live recording.
In spite of the years Winnipeg musician Scott Nolan spent scratching out a living while the yellow lines of the highway matched the red ones threading his tired eyes as he troubadoured ’round the country, it was a rumbling stomach that brought him face to face with the acclaimed producer. By way of career highlights, Wilkinson engineered Anne Murray’s massive classic “Snowbird,” worked on The Band’s legendary The Last Waltz and captured Calgary’s beloved Co-Dependents at the Mecca Café. Those Mecca recordings remain two of the most listened to albums recorded within Calgary’s city limits.
Nolan’s trademark smoky, witty grit was, ahem, music to Wilkinson’s seasoned ears. Those ears earned a reputation while producing or engineering for Guy Clark, Willie Nelson, Long John Baldry and Great Big Sea, among others. “Tim Leacock (Co-Ds, National Dust) and I were heading to the Ironwood for a bite to eat, and Scott happened to be playing there that day.” Wilkinson says. “I said to Tim, ‘This is exactly the type of music I want to record.’”
Some might wonder why one of Nashville’s most experienced producers was even in Calgary, and what it is about Alberta that keeps drawing him back. “Well, it’s really hot in Nashville in the summer, so I learned it is much more pleasant to be out of town then,” Wilkinson says with no trace of irony. If you were to look at a stack of albums with Wilkinson’s name on the credits, there’s a suprising number of Alberta-based musicians. “It does seem like there is a concentration of outstanding talent within the province in general,” he says.
Wilkinson created a Transportable Audio Work Station (TAWS) to record talent in their accustomed settings, just like the Co-Ds at Mecca. Inside three large cases on a truck, he transports equipment that combines the warm sound of analog recording with modern digital methods. The TAWS has travelled from Austin to Alaska, and Wilkinson says he has a broker to pre-arrange all border crossings ahead of time. “I learned that one the hard way the first year, after being stopped and having to explain too many times.”
He and the TAWS were in town recording The Fates when he went for that crucial meal. Because it is a lot of work to set the mobile studio up, Wilkinson figured he might as well get two nights of recording out of the deal. Thus, as a bonus, Tuesday night sets by Calgary’s Lorrie Matheson and Jasmine Whenham will also make it to tape.
Wilkinson’s yen for Alberta sounds comes naturally. The Canadian-born producer’s home base was Toronto, where he was Anne Murray’s guitar player for years before moving to Los Angeles in the ’70s to work with Emmylou Harris producer Brian Ahern. Ahern had acquired an early form of the mobile recording truck, which Wilkinson helped design. During this era, he engineered remote recordings for the soundtrack to the movies A Star is Born and The Rose. He moved to Nashville about six years ago to continue the tradition.
For all his involvement with these legends, most Calgarians are curious about his work with the Co-Ds. “Well, of course it was amazing working with Billy just because of all he’s done in his career,” Wilkinson says. “He was always so professional when we were recording, a real veteran. But the thing about The Co-Dependents was you had three strong songwriters and singers in one band; it wasn’t just Billy.”
Wilkinson says that in getting ready for the upcoming Ironwood recording of Nolan, he has not listened to the two live albums previously recorded there, Kris Demeanor’s Party All Night, recorded in 2003, and Tom Phillips and the Men of Constant Sorrow’s King of the Broken Heart, recorded and released in 2004. Instead, all he needs is a few minutes alone with the room to gaze at it, think about it and understand its aural secrets. “Usually, when I get to a live venue, I just study it, study every surface in silence for about 15 minutes and then I know how it will sound,” he explains. “At the Mecca, the only change I made was to put up a curtain along the wall behind the band.”

by Mary-Lynne Wardle - FFWD Weekly


Produced by Gurf Morlix
and Scott Nolan.
Recorded at Rootball Studios
by Gurf Morlix.
Transistor 66 Record Co.

Official Bootlegs Vol. 2
Produced by Scott Nolan
Recorded in various spaces
across North America 2006-2008
Transistor 66 Record Co.

Produced by Scott Nolan
Official bootleg recordings.
Recorded in various spaces
across North America 2005-2006
Transistor 66 Record Co.

Produced By Scott Nolan
Recorded at Bedside Studio
by Len Milne .
Winnipeg, MB 2005
Transistor 66 Record Co.

Produced by Scott Nolan.
Recorded at by
Winnipeg, MB 2004.



Some have called Winnipeg-based songwriter Scott Nolan noteworthy, even acclaimed - but the smart money cites Nolan as a voice rarely heard this side of the century, a musician that shakes away any five-dollar-cover singer-songwriter motifs before he unsnaps his guitar case. Weaving between the twang of a parlour electric guitar and heavy-hearted dirges, Nolan's work offers up heady balladry alongside more muscular outflow. With five full-length recordings, two Western Canadian Music Award nominations and countless tours, "Bad Liver/Broken Heart" - a track from Nolan's latest record, Receiver/Reflector - won second prize in the International Songwriting Competition in 2008 in the Americana category. Nolan's latest album, Montgomery Eldorado, is slated for release in the Spring of 2011 on Transistor 66 Records.

"Scott Nolan's got a great knack for a turn of a phrase. Great songs, great sound, and one of the best bands in the land."
Gurf Morlix

"Scott can do more with an Art & Lutherie guitar, Silvertone amp and a few old school gadgets than just about any band I've ever seen and with Joanna on drums you can't go wrong. His songs are also as phenomenal as any I know."
Adam Carroll

"Scott Nolan live is like Paul Newsman in the Hustler,.....or Jack Nicholson in China town, like Brando in On the Waterfront.... a great night out at the picture show. His recorded music has me scrambling for the lyric's wonderin' how I'm going to fit the beat-box around them, cause I'm gone cover one or two."
C.R. Avery


* Scott recorded his song " Ain't Dead Yet" with the famed Holmes Brothers and will be doing more recording with the legendary American roots masters.

* "Bad Liver/Broken Heart", was the second place winner in the International Songwriting Competition for 2008, in the Americana category. ( Over 15,000 entries)

* "Bad Liver/Broken Heart" was recorded by Hayes Carll on his latest record "Trouble in Mind"* This song is in solid rotation in the USA and across Europe.

*Produced Adam Carroll's ( noted Americana/roots artist ) latest record " Old Town Rock and Rolll" . This record has received rave reviews and spent several weeks in the top 30 on the Americana music charts.

Scott opened for and collaborated with Hayes Carl ,of Texas, on his recent Canadian tour and also toured with Adam Carrol and Gurf Morlix in 2008.