Nicholas Tremulis & The Prodigals 'Rarified World'
Immediate Family Records is proud to present IFR005, Nicholas Tremulis & The Prodigals 'Rarified World'.
Nicholas Tremulis is a classic Chicago product, born to a jazz piano-playing father and a blues-singing mother, dubbed “the music mayor of Chicago” by radio veteran radio program director Norm Winer (93XRT). A household always full of visiting musicians inspired Tremulis to pick up a guitar as a teenager, his music school was an apprenticeship playing clubs that often found him tagging along with his father, or his cousin who played with Curtis Mayfield. After logging time in a few rite of passage local bands, he formed the 13-piece Nicholas Tremulis Band to play his personalized kinetic combination of rock, R&B, free jazz and soul. He quickly became a top band in Chicago, toured extensively; Chris Blackwell took notice and in the mid 80s signed him to Island Records, joining label mates U2, Melissa Etheridge and more.
When Blackwell decided to sell Island, weary after two records that received MTV-style makeovers, Tremulis said he wanted out, and he headed to New Orleans to decompress and write. A year later he returned to Chicago, assembled the six-piece Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra and recorded a pair of darkly atmospheric independent albums, King of the Hill (1994) and Bloody Show (1996), both of which featured contributions from beat poet Gregory Corso. To which music writer/author Bob Mehr observes, “Tremulis’ career has been defined by that sort of far-flung eclecticism.”
Says Nick, “At that point I had started asking myself, ‘Why are you still doing this?’ I realized I do this because I love it. And that’s when I really became a musician. I pretty much got into music and out of the business all at the same time–it was really like an epiphany.”
Tremulis became an in-demand artist worldwide, touring in Europe on his own, backing and recording with Keith Richards, Rick Danko, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Ivan Neville; formed side projects like Candy Golde with Wilco’s John Stirratt, Rick Rizzo (Eleventh Dream Day), and Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos; The Fauntleroys with troubadour legend Alejandro Escovedo, punk architect Ivan Julian and Linda Pitmon (The Minus 3, Baseball Project, Zulu’s Petals) and Chi-Town Social Club with Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Sting), Vince Wilburn Jr (nephew /executor of Miles Davis) and Shawn Christopher (Sonia Dada, Chaka Khan). He also serves as musical director for Jones' solo work.
In his 35+ years as a musician, Tremulis has delivered eight full-length, highly individual, powerful albums , including his odyssey 52 Reasons, where he wrote, recorded and released a song every week for a year. 2013’s For the Baby Doll, centered around life at a topless joint in NYC, was wrapped in a book-like package that features an autobiographical essay and album cover shot of legend Art Shay’s infamous photo of Simone De Beauvoir’s naked backside in Nelson Algren’s apartment; Shay personally gave his blessing for use. 1999’s In Search of Woodfoot featured Tremulis’ long time hero Rick Danko of The Band; and he headlined Tremulis’ inaugural of the 5-year benefit concert series The Waltz, which featured Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy, Ronnie Spector, Steve Earle, Marianne Faithful, Ian Hunter, David Johansen and many more throughout the years.
In 2021, Tremulis pulled back the curtain during the pandemic with a daring and timeless new album Rarified World (Immediate Family Records). The raw honesty and triumphant arrangements were the result of a harrowing year battling COVID and the devastating loss of his son Stephanos. He immersed himself into writing and recording with an astounding collection of historic session musicians, together with the original members of the Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra, that he calls The Prodigals. Helmed by longtime friends and collaborators Rob Fraboni (producer, The Last Waltz, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton) and Rick Barnes (owner, Rax Trax Recording and guitarist, Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra), the lead single “J Paul Getty” featuring spoken word from special guest Kahil El Zabar, was video premiered (June 2021) by New City who called the album “rarified art”. The second single “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, is a brilliant reimagination of the Iggy Pop &The Stooges’ classic.
Dedicated to the memory of his son Stephanos, Rarified World is presented in a stunning, thoughtful package that includes a deluxe color-vinyl LP release featuring photography by international award-winning photographer Sandro Miller; editing and video art by painter Matt Willis Jones, and a bonus download of his jazz-infused piano record, For Homer, an ode to his musician father. “This kind of music always brought people together, it's a groove,” says Nick. “People have forgotten how to groove, they need to groove.”
Tremulis also is an accomplished producer and composer, teaming regularly with childhood friend and film documentary producer Dan Andries (WTTW), on numerous Emmy-award winning projects over the years.
Tremulis co-hosted XRT’s “Eclectic Company” with Jon Langford; hosts a musician talk series at the Ed Paschke Center, and is part of the Columbia College – Artist in Residence /Music Program where he taps long-time musician pals as special guests like Ivan Neville, Darryl Jones, Charlie Sexton and Jim Lauderdale.
This record features:
- Premium Gatefold Package
- Rust Belt ColorVinyl
- Download card including a NEVER BEFORE RELEASED BONUS album "Homer"
- This 12 song master-piece is now available