Franz Nicolay, probably best known as the former keyboard player of The Hold Steady, has just released his second solo album Luck and Courage. I’ve had a really hard time trying to write this review and describe this album, because I really haven’t listened to anything else like it, so I don’t really have anything to relate it to.

The songs have a real folk element to them; pianos, banjos, slide guitars, harmonicas, and accordions all help shape songs that aren’t all that similar to much of anything else. Nicolay’s voice carries the lyrics in an incredible way – his singing is very nearly talking, which helps the story-like feel of the lyrics hit home better. It’s tough to call any of the songs standouts, because the album is really at its best when listened to all the way through, from start to finish.

Fans of The Hold Steady may want to check this album out, to see what Nicolay’s up to, and really anyone that wants something different and new should absolutely give this album a try.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Felix & Adelita
02. Have Mercy
03. This Is Not A Pipe
04. My Criminal Uncle
05. Z for Zachariah
06. Job 35:10
07. James Ensor Redeemed
08. Anchorage (New Moon Baby)
09. The Last Words Of Gene Autry
10. Luck & Courage
11. Rock, Rinse, Repeat (Bonus Track)

Run Time: 36:37
Release Date: 11.02.2010