It’s currently a boom time for folk music in the Northeast, and Massachusetts-based Pesky J. Nixon is taking full advantage of it. With a sound that pays tribute to a past steeped in sepia and rugged Americana, this rustic quartet also keeps its eyes on the future, combining an influx of influences that sets the foundation for their pleasing sound. The band’s music is a perfect fit for the Acoustic Brew concert series.
“I think that the interest has always been there, it just comes and goes,” said founding member and guitarist Ethan Scott Baird discussing the folk renaissance that is popping up in small but ferociously loyal circles along the East Coast. “There’s always been a love and appreciation of acoustic music, but with regards to folk specifically, I think that, like all music, there’s a cyclical nature to what people want to hear and right now it’s becoming popular again, and I’m happy to be able to produce it.”
Like almost all bands, Pesky J. Nixon are products of their environment. Having honed their skill set in New England, over time, they were able to adapt the style and camaraderie that define the scene up North into their music and live performances.
“There are just a ridiculous number of folk coffeehouses in and around Boston, and there’s a huge concentration of options for experiencing this kind of music, and that’s what I grew up around,” Baird said. “That scene very much affected the way that I think about music, extending even to the way that I perform music.”
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“I think that a lot of singer-songwriter music is actually pretty depressing,” Baird said. “It’s very serious and a heartbreaking kind of medium, so while our music will speak to that aspect, our performance reflects our personalities, which has a lot of banter and interaction with the audience and each other on stage. We like to use our senses of humor and happiness to sort of balance things out, which I think works very well.”