Nick Faye is a hometown boy. Born in raised in northwest Regina, he is a vocal advocate of the greatness of his home, and the warmth and kindness that comes along with that permeates his live show. I’ve seen Nick many times, sometimes with a full band and sometimes as an acoustic duo or solo act. This particular Tuesday night at O’Hanlon’s, he was in standard form, delivering a modest set of acoustic tunes primarily made up of his own self-proclaimed “sad songs,” some undeniable sing-alongs, and one cover: “Save Tonight” by Eagle-Eye Cherry.
Between songs Nick tells stories and makes small talk in the most personable and earnest fashion. Instead of the stammering string of segues they could be, these interludes are more like you’re sitting in a pub with a friend discussing the mundanities of life in a pseudo-Seinfeld fashion where nothing is said but everything is entertaining. It’s like talking with a friend who you’ve already said everything to. They know it all so you talk about nothing just to communicate because you know it’s going to be good. In short, Nick is the sort of guy who can make a top 5 list of his favourite olives seem captivating. And that night, he did exactly that.
It is his honest human nature and fundamental good heart that makes his stage banter infectiously personable, and it’s this same sort of simplicity and direct warmth that makes his music so engaging. He sings songs that find the poetry in the unfortunate coincidences of life, finding solemn resolution in change, or simply reflecting upon being a thread in the patchwork of prairie life, all with the honesty one would expect from a prairie boy of his ilk. Set against gentle acoustic underpinnings that swell to sounds like woody choruses or whisper like rustling leaves, his words become the sound of Saskatchewan. Simply conveying the complex and politely rendering the ugliness of life in a way that makes anyone feel at home.