Dwight and Nicole are songwriters and performers of the kind of soul, blues, and R & B that speaks to you even when they’re playing and not singing. Their intensity is normally reserved for the likes of their own influences, yet they channel it with a personal delivery that reminds us why we love this music, and why we love music at all. They will perform at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven, April 28, at 6:30 pm. It won’t be their first time here, but to them and all who witness their indy-soul performances, every time is special.
Dwight plays guitar magically and sings, and Nicole’s bass guitar grooves are as soulful as her singing. They took some time out of their busy touring schedule, and still beaming from their recent NYC performance, answered some questions about life, love, and how they found their groove.
What are your impressions of Martha’s Vineyard?
D: Martha’s Vineyard has always been a magical place for me. I used to work summers here and play the clubs at night. A lot of great musicians. A lot of great artists. I cut my teeth here in many ways.
N: The Vineyard for me is so special. It has its own energy and personality that I can’t help but feel and love the second I step off the boat. I never want to leave it!
Who inspires you?
D and N: Mavis Staples. Mahalia Jackson. Bill Murray. Wes Anderson, B.B. King. Joel Hamilton. Levon Helm. Yo-Yo Ma. Every day the list is a little different.
When did you find your groove as a duo?
D: We first got our groove as a duo sitting in with each other’s bands in NYC. People would ask us to sing together. They could feel our natural chemistry.
N: That connection was always there; we couldn’t help it. It is still to this day, bigger than us.
What is your creative process like?
D: We both create differently. Nicole often has whole songs come to her. She also stirs her creative juices making jewelry. Songs come straight out like that for me sometimes, but they also come the opposite way. A build into the story, for instance, a melody. I love to hear and see people’s ideas. Other artists inspire me.
N: For me, it’s all about tapping in.
How do you stay centered while touring?
N: It takes some practice, but we are learning to balance.
D: We eat well. We take time to be present.
N: We both meditate and take the time to jump around and breathe deeply every day.
D: We want to be as clean and clear as possible to make that connection with our audience.
What live events are you looking forward to?
D: We won band of the year at the New England Music Awards last year. We are really grateful for the honor, and look forward to playing at the awards show in Foxboro on April 29.
What advice do you have for talented young people in today’s music industry?
D: Follow your excitement. That’s where you need to be as much as possible.
N: My advice is to learn how to turn your love up as high as you possibly can, as much as you can. Push your love to 10 every single day. Make sure to either do that, or be in the process of learning how to do that. True, pure love carries every key to every creative option in life. It heals everything and is a bridge over every wall. The act of loving gives us our power.
Dwight and Nicole will be hosted by Phil daRosa of TPS Productions, who will also be performing a seasoned blend of tasty grooves. In another example of providing quality sustenance, proceeds from the event will benefit Island Grown Schools. Phil and TPS have done very well for the Island Grown Schools organization with similar musical events in the past, and Phil said he hopes this will continue on Friday. The mission of Island Grown Schools is to empower children to make healthy eating choices, learn to grow food, and connect to local farms. Check out Dwight and Nicole on youtube.com, and visit their website, DwightandNicole.com, for a tour schedule and where to purchase their music.