NICK MILLER & THE HUSTLE STANDARD – ‘THE BRAVE ABRAHAM JUDAH’
In a six-track, meat-and-potatoes blues-rock concept album, Nick Miller & the Hustle Standard create an epic of the fictional life of The Brave Abraham Judah and his murderous adventures across the Wild West. The duo barbecued up a medley of American roots music: rock & roll, blues, Americana and western for the fourth installment of The Hustle Standard collaboration series. With howlin wolf yowls bouncing off hard-hitting drums, sludgy guitars and body-rocking grooves, Miller sounds like a time-honored, broken blues-man, while Hustle keeps the rhythm fresh and tight. They’re channeling classic rock with a twinge of something out of a film noir Western and modernizing it with relentless, syncopated beat twists. The final product yields an ace-high sound that’s effortlessly vintage-cool, like a time capsule for what the blues-infused genre of rock & roll used to be.
The album kicks off with ‘The Ghost’, a rockin, badass tune full of danger and swagger that paints the perfect picture of The Brave Abraham Judah. An authentic sound is captured with wailing slide-guitars, pounding percussion, gravely, low-fi vocals, kaleidoscopic guitar riffs and the appropriately featured cowbell. ‘At the Bottom’ takes us on a pulsating ride to hell with no hope in returning. A galloping drum line, irresistible guitar melodies, claps, gang vocals and a searing, shoot-em-up harmonica solo propel the song to epic heights. Drawing comparisons to Jack White and Arcade Fire, Nick Miller & the Hustle Standard keep things interesting as the record progresses, adding distinct psychedelic-rock elements of the Led Zepplin or Pink Floyd persuasion on ‘The Water’, ‘Stormin’, and ‘No Crosses’, augmenting dark-hearted fuzz blasts with sleek yet baneful choruses and Seventies-glam flair. From start to finish the album churns out an ominous, piston-driving, blues-rock sound indicative of the down-and-out Rust Belt territory.
‘The Brave Abraham Judah’ is co-produced, co-written, and co-engineered by Nick Miller and Charley Hustle, with Nick playing electric guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, accordion, and wooden spoons on the record, and Charley filling in on percussion, guitar, and organ. Both songwriters showcase impressive dueling lead vocals alongside plenty of “whoa-ohs” and “na-nas” from the pair and their army of taunting back-up singers and a SWAT team of hand claps. Each of these fellas lend their various musical expertise and unyielding creativity in the album’s creation resulting in a finished product with no samples, no synths, and no packaged loops:
“In a time where everything is so slick and tuned, we wanted to make something that was organic. We wanted to prove that it could still be done. We used the gear to its max, every preamp, EQ, and compressor we could get our hands on was used on this EP. And Nick has amazing guitars: ’69 Guild Bluesbird, ’73 Les Paul Deluxe, and ’57 Reissue Fender P Bass. We also had a Gibson Custom Shop R9 Les Paul available at the studio, and a ’69 Fender P bass. We were also able to record thru Neve 1073s from the 70s – a lot of vintage stuff on this EP.” – Charley
The Brave Abraham Judah
Abraham Judah, a gun-slinging cowboy from the late 19th century Wild West, was known to mosey the range donning his Stetson and spurs while brandishing his pistols. The outlaw was not one to be outwitted or afeard and brought many a quick grave in a bone orchard to those who crossed him. He felt no remorse and had an uncanny ability to beat the devil around the stump, evading responsibility and capture from Johnny Law by hook or by crook. In a moment of clarity, Abraham foresaw his impending demise and realized there was no turning back on his marauder ways. With a shot of firewater and a hand on his thumb buster, Abraham coppered a bet on his life and continued down the river.
Nick Miller, originally hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a now New York City based producer/songwriter/engineer. His full-service studio, Nick Miller Music, specializes in all types of audio recording and mixing including Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B, Classical, World, Reggae, House, Musical, Choral, etc… and has experience in audio post production for film, ADR, Voice Over, Scoring to film, and Animation Over-Dubs for TV or Film. He’s been collaborating with Charley Hustle since 2008, on various writing, production, and engineering projects. The two met while they were both engineers at Skyline Studios, and now spend most of the time at Mercy Studios.
Charley Hustle, founder of The Hustle Standard, is a producer and songwriter based in New York City. He has written with many established songwriters such as Andrea Martin, Syience, Frankie Storm, Cannon, Dvlp, and Fraser Smith. Under The Hustle Standard label, Hustle has collaborated on four EPs since 2011: Jay Kill’s ‘New Men Old Boys’; LaRaisha’s ‘Drums and Sass’; Rob Bailey’s ‘Battle Tested; and now Nick Miller’s ‘The Brave Abraham Judah’. The next release will be Jay Kill’s untitled follow-up to their 2011 release, is currently in development and set to drop in late 2012.
The Hustle Standard
The Hustle Standard was founded in 2011 by New York Producer/Songwriter, Charley Hustle. What started out as a desire to write & collaborate with artists on original projects without the lengthy timelines, The Hustle Standard accidentally found itself in the category of production company/record label. With four EPs already under its belt (New Men Old Boys; Drums and Sass; Battle Tested; The Brave Abraham Judah) and two more on the way, The Hustle Standard is fast becoming a label that prides itself on its new-found role, producing albums with diverse influences from indie-rock, electronic, dub-step, hip-hop, hardcore, alternative and pop. Since getting its start, The Hustle Standard has released a series of projects that each include a 4-6 song album, accompanied by photographs, videos, interviews and other social media, underscoring the labels passion for using various creative platforms to feature both the artist and the music.