John Nitzinger, ‘Texas rock’s answer to Dylan Thomas’ (according to Rick Koster’s 1998 book Texas Music), is preparing a new CD for imminent release. Titled Kiss of the Mudman, this is a powerhouse collection of songs and performances that returns a true ‘rock legend’ to former luster.
Nitzinger has permitted me, for a limited time, to feature one of his new tracks as an mp3 on the Bloodrock biography site American Burn. The song is ‘You’d Bitch at a Cloud’ – a slow burnin’ love-gone-wrong lament featuring corrosive vocals and merciless guitar leads.
For the uninitiated, Nitzinger blazed trails from Fort Worth garages in the late ’60s (leaving several amazing 45s on Nuggets-styled LP collections) to the big, big stadium time in the early ’70s (two incredible albums on Capitol Records plus a show-stopping performance at the Mar y Sol Pop Festival).
His tunes ‘LA Texas Boy,’ ‘Louisiana Cock Fight,’ and ‘Cripple Gnat Bounce’ remain classics of the genre: literate, balls-to-the-walls Texas blues rock featuring sharp songwriting hooks, twin guitar heroics and impassioned vocals.
(Nitzinger also wrote a baker’s dozen of Bloodrock’s grooviest tunes.)
Bugs Henderson, former guitarist with the classic Nitzinger lineup and subsequent veteran blues-rocker, recalls Nitzinger (in conversation, March 20 2004):
I’ve always thought John’s greatest talent was his writing. I do a couple of his tunes and the lyrics feel real everytime I sing them. As a songwriter myself that means a lot. ‘Uncle John’ [from Nitzinger's second LP] is one of my most requested songs, it touches people.
Early reports of The Kiss of the Mudman rank it amongst his very best recordings.
What I’ve heard is tough, intelligent, and… commercial. The songs are all strong – and distinct; the production is big; and the performances are gripping. There’s no shortage of compelling lyrics and incinerating guitar – elements every Nitzinger fan expects.
He’s still the maestro: Nobody jam-packs a Saturday night into one song like Johnny Nitzinger.
Download the song ‘You’d Bitch at a Cloud’ at this link – and rock!