San Francisco-based singer/guitarist Nick Waterhouse is a new-breed R&B fanatic, combining an uncanny historical sensibility with a far-sighted philosophical outlook. He joins the ranks of a growing cabale of similar acts and producers of recent times – Mark Ronson, the Daptone Crew et al – that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage R&B, and his take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit and Memphis in their heyday. He combines an astute attention to detail with an honest desire to match the emotional impact of the music that inspires him. “I’m striving for things that stimulate a response when I start to push at them,” he says. “Music is not old or new, it’s either good or bad. It either has soul – in the widest sense of the word – or it doesn’t.” Growing up in the southern California of the early 2000s, Waterhouse eschewed the painted-by-numbers metal, punk and hip-hop influences of his peers, and sought emotional authenticity in the vintage wax of James Brown, Roy Head, Little Willie John and the whole panoply of American music, where feel so often trumps technique. Several false starts led to a decision to release his own self-produced 45, the raunchy ‘Some Place’, the success of which prompted the creation of a live band, the Tarots, and an exciting new single, ‘Is That Clear’ is about to be released. Its fresh groove and visceral beat demonstrate that Nick Waterhouse is a force to be reckoned with.