Born and bred in Glasgow, Scotland, Stevie Nimmo’s guitar sounds as raw and emotive as any guitar player’s you’ll ever encounter. And there is sweetness and warmth in his tone as well as anger and regret. In other words, Stevie Nimmo plays the blues. And thanks to a near tragic twist of fate, his playing is laced a range of emotions it lacked roughly a decade ago.
Brother acts in the rock/blues world aren’t hard to come by. We’ve seen Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Duane and Greg Allman as well as Phil and Dave. But on the other side of the Atlantic, one the hottest blues acts of the lasts few decades has been the Nimmo brothers – Stevie and Alan, a skilled pair of sibling who seem on a mission to prove that there’s more to Scotland than bagpipes and kilts.
Stevie was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. His recovery would be a tortured path, including surgery and the loss of his voice for over two months. But he wasn’t wasn’t finished just yet. He may suffered the temporary loss of his voice. But he hadn’t lost his determination.
Stevie says, “When you have that something inside you, that feeling be it happy or sad, you just have to let it out. It’s an extremely emotional process and my only way to do that is through song.” In 2010, the emotional process Stevie endured resulted in the release of his first solo album, The Winds of Life. Recorded just out of Austin, Texas, the tracks featured some of the city’s finest musicians such as Michael Ramos, George Reiff and guest guitarist David Lee Holt.
In the years that followed, his recovery has forced him to ease back on his touring life. But nonetheless he’s released Sky Won’t Fall in 2016, a further exploration of his battles. Sky Won’t Fall, a highly personal collection of tunes that one imagines must have aided immeasurably in Nimmo’s recovery process. But the album wasn’t only about him and his personal efforts to overcome. Nimmo insists that it was “a personal album, but with a more positive outlook on life. The big difference is that now I no longer care what people think. The theme of this album is: do what you want, life is already short enough. If you want something, do it! Forget what others think, do it! As long as you do not harm anyone, do it!”
The very opening lyrics from the album’s lead track “Chains of Hope” say it all: Nowadays, everyone, including you and me, but working on our phones, our emails and under interstate we texting a lot. And if we are sometime not in a position to do that, we get immediately panicking. Then you have to realize that the world really does not perish, “Sky Will not Fall. Life goes on.”
And for Stevie Nimmo life does go on. And so does the music.