Rob Nance plays free show at Motorco to celebrate CD release
On Rigsbee Avenue on the edge of downtown Durham, Americana singer/songwriter Rob Nance is beginning to make a name for himself in his new city. He performed earlier this month at Fullsteam Brewery, and will be back on Friday across the street at the Garage Bar at Motorco Music Hall. Friday’s show, with The Hill Hollars, is free admission to celebrate the release of his first full length recording.
Nance, 26, moved to Durham about a year ago. “Lost Souls and Locked Doors” was recorded in Boone, where he went to college at Appalachian State. His brother Jordan Nance plays upright bass on the recording, and will perform with him Friday. Both Nances live in Durham now after growing up in Spruce Pine, closer to Murphy than Manteo.
“Doc Watson’s shadow looms large out there,” Rob Nance said of the music scene in the mountains. He learned folk and bluegrass early on. After Jordan took up the bass, Rob learned guitar. Rob Nance played in a couple college bands, he said, first covers, then original music. He’d rather play originals, regardless of the crowd.
“If fewer people listen and appreciate it, that’s better than covers, when people listen and forget you,” Nance said. His first go at originals was on an EP he released last year.
“It served its purpose, an experiment if I could write songs on my own and perform them,” he said.
Nance moved to Durham partly for the music scene, he said. Being from the mountains, he considered Asheville first, but the market there is saturated, he said.
“I knew the history, reputation of the Triangle,” Nance said. He’s played Local 506 in Chapel Hill and Slim’s and the Pour House in Raleigh.
“A good thing about the Triangle is you can play three different towns, and not feel you’re wearing them out,” he said.
Along with the Nance brothers, drummer Sean Leary will perform at the Garage, too.
“It’s definitely easier when you have people with you. Every little mistake is magnified when you’re by yourself. Plus, sonically, with drums and bass you can fill up a room -- not dead silent with a guy and a guitar,” he said. They won’t use a set list, just follow the crowd.
As far as genre, Nance doesn’t care about labels.
“Americana, folk, country – it’s all based in the same place. If people listen, they can call it whatever they want,” he said.
Nance said the next few months he’ll focus on North Carolina performances, returning to some places they’ve already played and can bring a crowd. “With this release party, I’m trying to build momentum,” he said.
WANT TO GO
WHO: Rob Nance
WHEN: Door open 8 p.m. Friday, show at 9 p.m.
WHERE: Garage Bar at Motorco Music Hall
723 Rigsbee Ave., Durham
TICKETS: Free admission. The Hill Hollars will also perform.