ION INDIE MAGAZINE December 2014, Volume 7 - Page 68

Music by LOW SOCIETY “Crammed and Jammed” ION’S ReverbNation Featured Artist By J.B. Bridges Sometimes musicians are just lucky and happen to have the right connections and/or tutors and happen to be in the right places at the right times. Sometimes they work hard and perfect their craft in spite of the “twos and threes” when everybody else at the table is getting dealt kings and aces. And on rare occasion, musicians work their asses off, get a chance to play and study with the best, and get dealt a full house! Now imagine one of those guys you get to play with is JOHN CALE, a founding member of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. While it is often said that The Velvet Underground's debut album only sold 30,000 copies, everyone who bought one of those copies started a band. Now imagine you were just “doubled-down” and got to also play with another member of The Velvet Underground—LOU REED! That's a winning hand at anybody's table. I'm talking about STURGIS NIKIDES, the premier bluesman guitarist for the LOW SOCIETY BAND. Sturgis started playing at an early age and in the '70's, found himself playing as a teen at such landmark venues as CBGB'S in New York and MAX’S Kansas City. Sturgis made his vinyl debut on Cale’s "Ready for War" album in 1979, followed up in 1981 by "Honi Soit", a cult classic, released on A&M Records. After the tours with Cale ended, Nikides moved to Miami Beach and started his own band VOIDVILLE with DIANNE WARD. He released his debut solo album, "Man of Steel", in 2004, where his slide guitar skills are unlike no other. It was in Miami where he teamed up with a powerhouse vocalist, Mandy Lemons, from Houston, Texas. Ms. MANDY LEMONS NIKIDES is now a partner in music and life--Hey, you gotta hang onto a goodvocalist AND a good woman nowadays! Mandy's voice is unbelievably strong, with influences of JANIX JOPLIN, KOKO TAYLOR and ETTA JAMES. It has a 40’s-ish, 50’s-ish, 60’s-ish vibe. I guess you could describe it as timeless blues sound—one that could be dropped into a Texas Blues house or a Memphis blues house, or some town in Mississippi or Louisiana…ANYWHERE good blues music is played and appreciated. She has trained at the Houston Conservatory of Music, The Manhattan Singers Forum, and under KATIE AGRESTA in NYC. She was definitely paying attention! Mandy's stage presence shows a honed skill deserving of the words “true professional”. After a live performance, her social media pages are full of fan postings, showing their love and appreciation for her amazing abilities as a performer, as well as accolades for the band’s abilities.