By: BRENT ANGELO //
Nu Shooz is one of Portland's own. They originated here in the early eighties and released two albums, Can't Turn It Off in 1982 and That's Right in 1985. Nu Shooz found fame with their song "I Can't Wait", which was first a big hit on Portland radio stations. A remixed version of "I Can't Wait" know as the "Dutch Mix" gained major label attention and got them signed. Their third, album, Poolside was a huge hit for the band selling a half million copies and went Gold from the success of their hit singles "I Can't Wait" and "Point of No Return". They were even nominated for a Grammy in 1987 for Best New Artist. Nu Shooz followed Poolside with Told You So in 1988, Pandora's Box in 2010 and Kung Pao Kitchen in 2012.
It has been four years since their last album, but the wait is over and 2016 now gives us their newest release, Bagtown. The new album is strong in vocals, funk, and brings the group full circle to the very music that made them so well known. Valerie Day's vocals sound fresh and fun. John Smith's lays down some tasty guitar work and lets the fingers fly on "Soul Cushion" for example. The band as a whole includes Gary Fountaine, Tracey Harris, Haley Horsfall, Tim Jensen, Margaret Linn, Paul Mazzio and Johnny Riley. Nu Shooz has really found its groove with this lineup and songs like "Real Thing" and "Bagtown" are good examples to be heard on the new album. Bagtown also has a special gem. The album's last song "The Rail I Ride" is a shining of example of what this husband and wife can do. Valerie's vocals are beautiful and John's guitar acoustic work makes the perfect combo.
For the release of Bagtown, Nu Shooz just celebrated the release by playing a show at the Star Theater. It was just that....a celebration. Nu Shooz shows that even after their long career, they still love what they are doing. There were smiles to be seen all night. It was easy to see the love and happiness its brings this group of musicians being on that stage together. The set was full of their classic pop hits and included lots of new material which got the crowd moving. This release concert was a true party and in the end alot of fun. These Oregon Music Hall of Famers showed that their best songs are not just in their past, but proved their new songs are just as strong and they are at their best when heard live in concert.
Nu Shooz (official website)
Nu Shooz "Real Thing