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Nitzinger

Nitzinger

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Album Review

Not a Krautrock band, as the name and release date might suggest, Nitzinger's self-titled debut album from 1971 was in fact the work of a budding Texan guitar cult legend — the one and only John Nitzinger — and his namesake power trio, whose music consisted of eclectic but still blues-drenched Southern hard rock and post-psych. The results include ZZ Top-style boogie and blues-rock ("Boogie Queen"), pre-Ted Nugent Gonzo guitar heroisms ("Witness to the Truth"), both of these at once ("Tickelick"), or neither, when it comes to the anthemic Southern rock of "My Last Goodbye," and semi-hit single "Louisiana Cock Fight." In addition, several cuts ("No Sun," "The Nature of Your Taste," etc.) see the trio augmented by soulful backup singers for a Mad Dogs & Englishmen sort of vibe, while others still see the versatile trio flirting with country-rock ("L.A. Texas Boy ") and plaintive balladry (the piano-enhanced "Enigma"). Yet the album's most intriguing/unique quality may be how the deceptively simple, universal, off the cuff material described above features obvious, if nuanced, sophistication, and is offset by lyrically weighty, post-flower power fare as seen in the aforementioned "No Sun" and "Hero of the War." And the fact that even these would-be progressive tendencies are kept to concise song lengths is what probably spared this album from utterly fatal dating; by extension, further separating Nitzinger's raised-on-the-jukebox-singles wheat, from the era's dominant music-conservatory-on-mushrooms chaff. Originally presented in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, it's not surprising that the Nitzinger LP has long been coveted by '70s rock collectors for the band's one-of-a-kind mixture of earthy grit and fearless (possibly naïve) flights of fancy. [Akarma's 2007 reissue featured two bonus tracks.]

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

Nitzinger is the band named after Texan guitarist John Nitzinger, whose long career has yielded sporadic releases and on-stage appearances for over three decades, starting in the late '60s. Hailing from the city of Fort Worth, John Nitzinger was, by his own account, a precocious songwriter and musician and was involved in several bands and nondescript single releases in the mid- to late '60s. But it wasn't until the next decade that the Nitzinger name began gaining recognition — first as a...
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Nitzinger, Nitzinger
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