Although considered a Texas blues man, Johnny Nicholas actually honed his chops on around and about the Midwest, on the blues scenes of Providence, Detroit, and Chicago in the '60s.
He was frontman for Ann Arbor's Boogie Brothers
in the early '70s when this genre of music was as popular as could be in this music-loving college town. Then came the move to Texas, a state known for many styles of traditional music as well as blues. He dug right in, playing Cajun music with Link Davis
and Western swing with the Grammy award winning Austin band Asleep at the Wheel
. He also recorded with blues master Big Walter Horton
in Chicago in 1977. In the next decade, he stepped down from the music business in order to raise a family. The couple opened a restaurant which did quite well, and Nicholas stayed away from the blues until the early '90s. He started out again slowly, bending the strings a little around home and on the festival circuit. Nicholas formed a group with some of his favorite musicians from San Antonio and Austin. In 1994, he cut the recording Thrill on the Hill for the Antone's label, followed by Rockin' My Blues to Sleep: Texas/Louisiana Blues and Dance Hall Favorites on Hilltop. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi