Nick Peay ( last name rhymes with stay) has been performing or playing music for nearly 17 years. The Louisville native has performed in bands (you may remember OK Zombie), as a solo artist, and in bands again (currently playing with Uncommon Houseflies), constantly working to hone his craft as a singer/songwriter.
“I would describe myself as a songwriter who , I obviously write songs to express some emotion when I feel the need to, but I also like writing songs that will make people think. I grew up listening to the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel and some classic rock stuff so, musically, everything is rock and roll or pop, in the old sense of the word.”
His newest EP, Feathers and Fables, expresses emotion and makes you think. The songs like “(Two Miserable) Blackbirds” “Mockingbird,” and “Fly Away” touch on the struggle to find a place to belong.
“There’s a lot of bird references and I found the metaphors worked really well with what I was trying to express,” he says
He points to the lyrics in “Fly Away,” as an example. “In one sense it’s getting to be autumn and the leaves are falling off the trees, the weather’s getting colder and the bird, is kind of feeling left out because they’d made this tree their home and now all of a sudden there’s no warmth there. There’s no beauty, so as a solution, they’re able to fly away, so to speak. “
But not all of his music is so serious. A few years ago he taught himself to play the ukulele and has written a number of fun, upbeat songs like, “Best Day Ever,” the kind of song that gets people moving and singing along.
Peay switches back and forth, playing both ukulele and guitar in his shows, which he says are packed with music and feature a lot of crowd interaction.
“My favorite thing about playing shows is interacting with the audience,” he says. “I always talk to the audience or tell stories or ask questions just to get them a little more involved. It’s a lot of fun.”
He’ll be playing a lot of shows in the months to come, many of them outside Louisville, as he works to promote Feathers and Fables.
“I’ll be going to Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati….I’ll be going to Bowling Green, just sort of expanding and really doing a lot to promote this record.”
You can find out more about Nick Peay and his music at www.nickpeaymusic.com. You can also see him live at the Haymarket Whiskey Bar tonight. There will be several groups performing. Nick Peay will perform closer to 11.
Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Firkins