Nick Waterhouse Would Make Ray Charles Smile

On this vibrant third album, the California soul shouter draws heavily from early-’60s R&B without sounding like a nostalgia act.


Nick Waterhouse
Never Twice
Innovative Leisure

Courtesy of Innovative Leisure

Nick Waterhouse embodies effortless hipster cool. On this vibrant third album, the California soul shouter does his usual thing with grand flair, drawing heavily from early-’60s R&B, among other groovy sources, yet never sounding like a nostalgia act. Swinging from first note to last, Waterhouse combines swaggering but good-natured vocals, tough beats, often with a Latin tinge, soul-jazz embellishments such as Hammond organ, and rousing, gospel-influenced tunes that would make Ray Charles smile. If the driving “Katchi,” a doo wop-inclined stomper co-starring Leon Bridges, doesn’t grab you, the breathless and exhilarating “Tracy” or the tender change-of-pace instrumental “Lucky Once” surely will. Never Twice is worth hearing again and again.