When we last caught up with Buffalo Nichols—a.k.a. Milwaukee musician Carl Nichols—he was playing at the Bruce Street Anodyne for WMSE’s Local/Live. This was roughly a year after playing to a slightly bigger audience on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Now, with Nichols living in Milwaukee again after a stint in Austin, the blues artist is prepping a follow-up to his 2021 self-titled debut LP for Fat Possum. The Fatalist will be released on the label in September, and the lead single from that album was released earlier this week: a haunting modern take on Blind Willie Johnson’s “You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond.” Here’s the video, directed by tireless Milwaukee photographer/videographer Samer Ghani:

“A traditional song made modern,” explains Nichols in a press release. “Which aspects of ‘the Blues’ are essential? Is it a melody? A certain vocabulary? Delivery? Instrumentation? Is this still a blues song? And most importantly: who gets to decide? I tried to reimagine the blues with this song as if it were allowed to grow and progress uninterrupted, uncolonized and ungentrified.”

Nichols is currently on tour, and will play Milwaukee’s Turner Hall Ballroom on November 10.

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WMSE’s Local/Live: Buffalo Nichols (Live from Anodyne)

Buffalo Nichols to perform on ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ on March 29

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.