Singer-songwriter, Nick Santino, is on the road again, bringing his extraordinary stories to life in all-acoustic shows across the country. His full-length album, Big Skies, portrays experiences of the modern day troubadour Santino has become. With note-perfect vocals and changing tempos in each song, this album is undeniably the music of our lives.
Music is finite. The true artistry, in any song, is not the beginning or end, but what happens between those points. In the song, “Back to Where I’m From”, Santino takes the listener on a journey that contrasts what you want-with what you do in life. The lyrics say, “I’m a little gone/But I know I’m living wrong/I take my chances by the days gone by” showing how actions are at odds with desire. Even when life seems unsteady, we must keep moving toward our goals.
Songwriting is a labor of love. Yet, the process of writing music can be arduous. Santino described recording the demo as a first step to a great song. Playing the song back, more than once, is an essential part of the method he uses to perfect each recording. Santino explains, “I try to listen to them not being in my head, just me and the headphones, to actually focus on the song”. By concentrating on the music he hears without distraction, Santino can fine tune each song before it is finished. It stands to reason that the songs Santino listens to over and over, become the songs we keep on replay.
Songs are pictures painted with words. In the song, “I’m Still Around”, Santino draws a portrait of how we learn about ourselves. The words, “I’m coming back to life/Cause I’m the only one who knows what’s right/Tell me again/Because I’m afraid of slipping under” are all about trying new things. As we learn and grow, there are naturally times of doubt that what we are doing may lead us down the wrong path. No one wants to make mistakes, but this song points out that mistakes need not define the person you are. It is a reminder that everyone will suffer trials and tribulations, but individually we must decide the right course to take.
The music doesn’t stop. After seven years with pop-rock band A Rocket to the Moon, a solo career was a natural choice for Santino. His cell phone is filled with ideas and snippets of conversations that provide inspiration for songs to come. Although he admits that he could be successful in other careers, music, for him, cannot be denied. He says, “I don’t think I would be able to do anything else. I mean, I could, but it would always be in the back of my head”. Music is a good addiction for Santino and he believes that it is impossible to turn on and off.
Tell me another story. The live acoustic performance of Nick Santino left the audience enthralled. Playing to a full house at Mahall’s in Cleveland, there was no fancy staging, no crowded stage, leaving the listeners with music that surrounds us like a warm blanket on a winter day. Santino’s expressive vocals create an intimate, yet inspiring atmosphere in the room. From the first note, Santino became one of us, a friend telling stories about his travels. Every song was distinctly Nick Santino, yet unique in the melodies and refrains. The fans sang along, clapped, laughed, and danced, as Santino chatted easily between songs.
There is much to say. Santino takes a hands-on approach to this tour. He greets fans at his merch table, where he does all the work himself. He is constantly writing and recording new music, planning future releases illustrating an acoustic vision of the world we live in. Stay tuned to his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for some delightful surprises coming up.