conversion grass: Nick 13 & Brett Detar Go Americana

Brett Detar - Photo by Shae Acopian Detar

We all make mistakes when we’re young. Some of us pick the wrong girl. Others pick the wrong job. And then there’s Nick 13 and Brett Detar, both of whom picked the wrong genres (at first).

Nick 13, frontman and songwriter for the psychobilly band Tiger Army, and Brett Detar, vocalist/guitarist for early millennium seminal rock band The Juliana Theory, will showcase their new bags at The Bell House in Brooklyn this Saturday.

Nick 13 released his solo self-titled Americana album on Sugar Hill in June. As he told the Dallas Observer,

“I’ve been a fan of traditional country music for a long time. I think my music draws on a lot of elements and country music is just one of them. I think all of Tiger Army’s albums have some country influence on them. The more country-influenced songs were always some of my favorites to play live. Fans started asking me if I would do an entire record in that style. It was an idea that rattled around in my head for a long time. I got more and more interested in doing it. Country music has a rich tradition, especially from the ’20 to the ’60.”

I’m still getting to know on Nick 13 album, but have been wildly impressed with Brett Detar’s album, Bird in the Tangle, which was released last November. A beautiful soundtrack to a dark period, the album is a picture of Detar as a down-and-out musician trying to make something happen after Juliana fell apart. During that time, he listened American legends like Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and others. As he told USC’s Daily Trojan,

“This wasn’t me trying to force that kind of record. I sing more in my natural voice now than I ever did in the past,” Detar said. “I spent so much time with folk, bluegrass and country music that it had become a part of my musical vocabulary.”

See the tour here and a few vids below.