Nicole's distinctive bass work—which resulted in her becoming the first woman to win the 2014 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist, Bass—is the product of years of intensive roadwork. Although she had no experience with the instrument when she became Trampled Under Foot's bassist, now she can't imagine life without it.
"When I started doing my solo thing," she continues, "someone asked me if I was gonna hire a bass player. No, of course not! I picked up the bass to keep Trampled Under Foot a family band, but I really fell in love with it. It was a challenge, and still is. But I really love being part of the groove and getting to sing on top of that. I had learned some stuff on acoustic guitar, but I never really felt connected to it the way I do with the bass. It's empowering, walking onto a stage and it's 'OK, I'm gonna play this bass, we're gonna do this, and it's gonna rock.'"
"I think that it's a good time for the kind of thing I'm doing," she states. "From my years of playing blues festivals, I've seen that younger and younger audiences are getting into the blues. I think that people want to hear authentic music again."