By Esther Sanchez
It’s clearly no secret that the Coachella Valley is bursting with a plethora of musical talent from pretty much every genre there is. That would include acoustic duos. In fact, in these parts if you are an acoustic anything that wants to get beyond open mic nights you better have something to bring to the table because the competition is pretty top notch. That being said, Nick Hales and Stevie Jane are bringing the fire and it’s catching on. Even though they haven’t been playing together too long, they were nominated for a CV Music Award this year for Best Duo. Hales was nominated for Best Guitar and won 3 awards as part of the band, Cakes and the Assholes. He also had the honor of being hand selected by Tracy Dietlin to be one of the guitarists for the Paul Rodgers tribute band at this year’s CV Music Awards where Rodgers himself jumped on stage to perform with the tribute band honoring him, before accepting the ICON Award.
Although super young, Hales has, in recent years turned himself into a veteran of the desert music scene and a force to be reckoned with both on the guitar and vocally. With 8….Yes, I said 8 functioning projects happening simultaneously, Hales is hands down the busiest guy on the scene. One might think to oneself, “With so many musical projects going on, why pick up another?” Well, the answer to that has to do with both friendship and chemistry.
I sat down with Nick and Stevie to discuss their musical journey thus far.
CVW: Stevie, you are a recent transplant from Utah! How did you end up out here?
Stevie Jane: “It’s a simple story of meeting a local musician (Derek Wade Timmons) at a concert, falling in love and wanting to be together. The fact that he lived in this place with such an amazing music scene was definitely a perk!”
CVW: I first heard you sing at the Mixed Up Music Party benefit for CV Cancer Society and you pretty much blew the roof off of the place. Obviously this isn’t your first rodeo.
Stevie Jane: (giggling coyly) “No, I have been a part of several projects before. Mostly metal. I hoped to become a part of something when I got out here, but chemistry is important. Nick and my boyfriend, Derek Wade Timmons are, of course, bandmates in Sleazy Cortez. We clicked and here we are.”
CVW: Nick, we all know what a fantastic musician you are. My question is where do you find the energy to juggle all of these projects?
Nick Hales: “I don’t know. I guess I’m going to go the route of sounding cliché but, when you’re doing what you love…well, you know the rest.”
A Nick and Stevie set is one that will bless you with heart, soul, stellar musicianship and a desire for more. Keep an eye out for them at pretty much any local venue worth patronizing.