TJ Nix & Paul Plumeri
- A singer, songwriter, harmonica player and front man, TJ Nix started playing harmonica in his musical family at age 5, building a repertoire of many classic songs by age 10.
- By the age of 13, he wrote and arranged his first original song, "The Snapper Blues", which quite a few years later (in the late 80's), he recorded with the great Blues guitarist Joe Zook.
- In the early 80's, TJ attended the Trenton Conservatory of Music where he studied under the renowned vocal coach Theresa Loma.
- Tom also enjoyed many years as a studio musician in local and New York studios, and as a vocalist for hire in professional working acts.
- He formed Nix and the Side Kixx and recorded 2 LP’s in the 80’s and 90’s.
- The band shared the bill with a large variety of national touring acts, including Jack Bruce, Robin Trower, Foghat, Humble Pie and Edgar Winter.
- The band performed in a many of the region’s most popular venues, including: CBGB New York, Philadelphia’s Cabarets, The Stone Pony, and Trenton’s legendary City Gardens.
- TJ was a writer for the Philadelphia's Out On the Town Entertainment (OOT) news guide in the 90's, with a byline as the Trenton Connection. There, he helped build awareness of local talent from NJ.
- Tom formed TJ Nix Productions, a concert promotions agency, in the 90's. He then went on to book national touring acts into some of the most popular venues in and around New Jersey.
My influence as a harmonica player and singer have to start with my father Fred Nix, who put a Marine Band in my hand at age 5. I was amazed at the way he played every harmonica "Harmonicat-style". He played in every octave on some of the strangest looking harmonicas I've ever seen. When I was around 11 years old I discovered Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and James Cotton. That's why my vocals and harmonica playing have a blues-based root. Soon after, I stumbled upon John Mayall and the song Room to Move. I've written many songs over the years I can thank John for. "Simply find a good groove and stick with it."
Things really changed when I heard the J Geils Band's Full House LP. I loved the way Magic Dick would attack solos. I folded that aggressive approach into my style. Thanks Richard!
Sugar & Jason: influences past and present
It wasn't till I was a bit older when the melodic styling's of Lee Oskar grabbed me. If you listen to those parts of the songs I've written that sound airy and soul-filled, that's me channeling Lee. I can really only thank one player for the speed I have today and that's the incredible Sugar Blue. Wow! is all I can say. That brings me to present day, when I found (again) that you're never too old to learn some new tricks. A young harp player out of Nashville (originally from Portland, Maine), Jason Ricci pointed me in the right direction, with the use of modern equipment, to experiment and expand the possibilities of tones you can create. Thanks for your online technical advice, Jason.
Harp Gear Amplifiers -
Blows Me Away Productions (Ultimate Series Microphones) -
John Kinder's Anti-Feedback Plus -
Bergantino Audio Systems speaker Cabinets -
PedalTrain (Pro Stage Gear) -
Blues In Disguise
I had 2 LP's in the late 80's and early 90's with Nix & the Side Kixx. I always managed to get at least one Blues song on our records. After the band split up I vowed if I were to perform or record again it would be following my passion to play blues-based music with players who have a similar respect for this style of music.
Over the past 15 years I have been writing songs in this vein, and working on my harmonica skills. I realized it would take 2 lifetimes to learn everything, so I decided it was time to get on with it. Which, by the way, is the title of one of Paul Plumeri's signature songs.
First, a little history about how I met Paul. 40 years ago I heard this fantastic music coming from the other side of our house. When I walked in the room, my father was playing an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and Paul with one of his many Classic Guitars, laying down some smooth blues. This scene came about because Paul and my older brothers were good friends, and we all shared the same passion for great music.
After that day Paul would show up around the Nix family dinner table from time to time. I have been following Paul's career ever since. We performed together at outdoor functions the summer of 2009.
My technical skills had advanced to where I could share the stage with the great Bishop of the Blues, as a partner. With the help of my good friend Nick Hutton (acoustic guitar) and a commitment from Paul, I realized it was time to dust off the songs I had compiled, break out the old harps, tune up the vocal chords and make another run at it.
Reock-in' the blues
November 2009 we started getting the songs together for the CD. First just Paul and I worked on blending our styles together. This is first heard on two songs we wrote and recorded together, called Sanctified and You Got To Be Civil. Then we blended the music Nick and I had been working on, and Paul helped take it to another level. We folded in Jerry Monk on bass, and Mike White on drums from the Paul Plumeri Blues Trio. There was just one more thing to get the sound we were after: the blending of harmonica and hot guitar rhythms with a horn section. That's when we layered in the hot sounds of Angelo DiBraccio on alto and tenor saxophones.
We were in Tom Reock’s Squirrel Ranch Studio on and off from January to May. A couple days a week and the project got all of its finishing touches.
The reviews are coming in, and everyone who has heard the recording thinks it sounds great.
Like our early reviews are saying, this is not your average Blues band. We’ve actually created a new sound ... " BLUES IN DISGUISE".
Thank you for your time. Don’t hesitate to call or write if you need more information about the band, the music, or our upcoming shows.
T J Nix