Randy Chortkoff of Delta Groove Music has posted on his Facebook page of the passing of roots 'n' blues guitarist Nick Curran, who succumbed to cancer on Saturday, October 6, 2012 after a lengthy battle with the disease. Curran was 35 years old.
Born in Maine, Curran began playing guitar with his father's band the Tremors as a teenager, and he launched his musical career in earnest as a touring sideman to rockabilly legend Ronnie Dawson. Curran would later join Texas rockabilly singer Kim Lenz's band the Jaguars, where he would spend two years and record the singer's 1999 album The One and Only. Curran would later play behind Lenz again on her It's All True album, touring with the singer during the summer of 2009.
Curran launched his solo career with the 1999 release of his debut Fixin' Your Head by the indie Texas Jamboree Records label, the album's livewire blend of rockabilly, blues, and R&B complimented by the guitarist's decision to record with vintage equipment to bring an authentic 1950s-era sound to his songs. A second Texas Jamboree album, NiteLife Boogie, would follow in 2001. Moving to Austin, Texas Curran became friends with Jimmie Vaughan, who would appear on Curran's Blind Pig Records release Doctor Velvet, which earned the guitarist a Blues Music Award for "Best New Artist Debut." A second acclaimed Blind Pig release, Player!, came in 2004.
With his unique throwback sound earning Curran fans worldwide, the guitarist threw his fans a curveball, joining the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 2004 and spending three years with the blues-rock legends, appearing on their 2005 album Painted On. Curran formed a new band, the Lowlifes, in 2008 to purse his vision of rockin' roots 'n' blues, the outfit releasing a single critically-acclaimed album, 2010's Reform School Girl, on Eclecto Groove Records. During this time, Curran also performed four songs in an episode of the popular HBO television series True Blood. The Lowlifes would prove to be the most durable of Curran's many bands, Reform School Girl earning the guitarist valuable radio airplay, his audience bolstered by his electrifying live shows.
Curran was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2010 and, after undergoing rigorous treatment, was declared cancer-free in mid-year. The disease returned in early 2011, however, and sadly would take his life a year and a half later. A popular performer whose career was experiencing an upward trajectory, Nick Curran will be missed by his family, friends, and fans around the world.
Photo courtesy Delta Groove Music