Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Buffalo Nichols, 'Another Man'

This #NowPlaying discovery comes to us from the Best Music of October podcast on All Songs Considered.

We still need protest songs. Carl Nichols, once of the Milwaukee duo Nichols & Rose — and now reviving the country blues as Buffalo Nichols — resisted that fact for a while before speaking to the elders and realizing he, too, had to testify.

Grounding himself in Vera Hall's immortal mid-twentieth century field holler "Another Man Done Gone," Nichols pulls that song's stark fatalism into a 21st century that still hasn't seen justice for Sandra Bland or Breonna Taylor. Nichols, part of a thrilling reclamation of the blues by young artists of color including Jackie Venson and Adia Victoria, has found a way to make a worn-to-the-clichéd nub style fresh through his intimate vocal delivery and ace resonator guitar playing. "It's hard to write a song while folks get murdered every day," he moans. Embracing the role of witness, he takes us with us as he finds a way.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.