Nick Kody is a singer/songwriter from West Valley, NY (about an hour south of Buffalo). He is a multi-instrumentalist, primarily self-taught on guitar, mandolin, bass, and harmonica. The values of country living are the base of Nick's character having been born and raised in the beautiful hills of Cattaraugus County, on the north outskirts of the Allegheny Mountains. Inspired by the likes of Levon Helm & The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rory Gallagher, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Steve Earle, Nick Kody offers a unique and diverse interpretation of the Americana genre through both his recorded work and live performances. Nick Kody has opened for Bret Michaels, Eric Church, A Thousand Horses, Halfway To Hazard, & Toby Keith. He has also shared the stage with Stolen Rhodes, Doug Seegers, Heather Luttrell, Maddie Larkin and more.
Nick Kody started his musical career in middle school on the alto saxophone. "I eventually switched to bari-sax, as there were fewer kids playing that instrument, and I pretty much then had a part to play all on my own," Kody says. "Because of that instrument, I started to notice that I could hold my breath longer, as the air required for the much larger bari-sax was gradually strengthening my lung capacity. That may have helped me down the road with my singing. The bari-sax is a lower register instrument and I think that's what partially led to me eventually picking up the bass guitar."
Around age 12 Kody purchased his first stringed instrument, a red Ibanez bass. He then started performing with it in the West Valley Central Jazz Band and jamming with friends outside of school. "The jam sessions were just an opportunity for us to hang out, we weren't really serious about music at that time. In the jazz band, I mostly made up my parts based on what I thought sounded good, I never really read the sheet music. It's a funny thing how when your young and somebody tells you how to do something and you just naturally do the opposite," Kody laughs. Eventually Nick's focus turned towards guitar. "I don't really remember when it happened, but I realized one day that the guitar had a lot more potential than the bass, at least in my world at that time." Through his high school years he practiced on his guitar as often as he could. "I'd often play unplugged, watching TV or just sitting in the dark, while I let my hands do their thing." Kody still managed to incorporate the guitar into his music at school. "I played electric guitar in our marching band. We'd hook the amp up to a car battery on a hand cart. In 2008, we marched through Disney World, and in my senior year we performed Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird."
During his senior year and following graduation in 2010, Nick Kody played guitar with several different bands in the Western New York area. "I had a cover band with friends called "Made In The Shade" which eventually turned into "The Midnight Riders". Both were heavily based on Blues and Classic Rock. We would perform at local events and late night bars." Kody says, "I also backed a young singer named Julianna Noto, performing songs by Taylor Swift and Ingrid Michaelson. Those shows were often coffee houses and performing arts centers, more family-friendly events." In early 2012, Nick Kody joined a band called "The Volunteers" backing a local country artist named Maddie Larkin. "That was a new world for me musically. I was raised on pure classic rock/southern rock, I'd really never heard of much musically past the mid-1980s, and here we were playing modern country, along the lines of Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert," Kody says, "but it was a great learning experience, eventually culminating with the group performing at Music Is Art in Buffalo and opening for Eric Church at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. That gave me my first taste of a bigger stage."
In 2014, Nick Kody switched over to performing under his own name full-time, starting his own backing band: The Creek Road Band. "I started focusing more on my singing and songwriting" states Kody. In the years since, Nick Kody & the Creek Road Band have been performing throughout New York State, with great response in the Finger Lakes region while also traveling to Eastern Pa., Vermont, and Nick Kody solo in Texas. "We travel as far as we can get and back in a weekend," Kody says, "Musically, we are all over the place. Originals are usually whatever comes to me, no matter the genre: rock, blues, country, etc. Covers range from CCR to Sublime, and Johnny Cash to Tom Petty. We perform either acoustic or electric, as a trio or as a 5-piece band, adding in different instruments all the time: fiddle, mandolin, congas, piano, organ, etc. No two shows are the same, we try to feed off the energy of the audience, often determining what song we'll do next or if we’ll expand on the current one were playing, maybe taking another run through the chorus, whatever we have to do to keep the audience engaged, and enjoying themselves. After all, you're performing for the people, not yourself."
Nick Kody's first full-length album "The Sonic Farm Sessions" was released in September 2016 with 12 tracks. Ten of the songs are Kody originals. Kody plays guitar, mandolin and some keyboard and bass on this CD. It also features many guest musicians on piano, organ, pedal steel, bass, trombone, saxophone, etc. "It was great to collaborate with all these amazing musicians on one project" Kody says.
Nelson Starr (Buffalo Music Hall of Fame - 2006) and Kody co-produced "the Sonic Farm Sessions" at Sonic Farm Studio in Colden, NY. Starr describes Kody as having an "unmistakable affinity for blues and real-deal classic rock" that would lead the listener to believe he's three times his age. Kody "manages to conjure up a fresh perspective and renewed vitality to the tried and true fueled in large measure by his equally soulful vocals and smooth, late-sixties guitar delivery."
For Nick Kody, music is his full-time job. "I can't imagine doing anything else, music is in my blood" he says "My mother's side of the family all played music as kids but we think the music gene goes back to my great great grandfather who was a violinmaker in Huntington Mills, PA. Two of the violins he made are now in the Smithsonian, one out of match sticks."
Whether solo or backed by the Creek Road Band, Nick Kody's live shows display hard work, high-caliber musicianship, good friends and great times. Check out his latest releases or catch him at an upcoming show near you!