Nico Wayne Toussaint

Hello, I’m Nico Wayne Toussaint. I was born in August 1973 in Toulon, France and I play harmonica since the age of 18. I got into the blues when I was 15, through listening to Muddy Waters’ record “Hard again” featuring James Cotton on harp. Since then, the wildness and high energy of James Cotton’s playing have always been my musical credo.

Vent du Sud (Southern wind) is the name of my first band founded when I was 20, with my father on piano. For three years, the two of us plus some more musicians added to the band over the years played together. I had my first band under my own name “Nico and Friends Blues Band” doing straight Chicago blues, as my father went on to form his own Cajun band.

About my middle name, Wayne: I got it from my American godfather, a former resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since 1992, I often got the chance to visit him for several weeks each time, until I got a position as a French TA at Carleton College, 30 minutes south of Minneapolis, between 1996 and 1997. One of the best experiences of my life. I used each one of those different stays to travel through the United States, which helped me a lot to understand more of the country itself, its inhabitants and the blues, always. I had the chance of meeting blues legends like Luther Allison, Eddy C. Campbell, Cash Mc Cabe, Willy Kent, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Coleman, Paul Senegal, Vance Kelly and recently Jimmy Burns, Billy Branch, Phil Guy, and jam with them. I will never forget the day I met Franck Frost on that unbelievable gig of William Clarke done in front of ten people in Minneapolis, just a month before he passed away. Those moments brighten up my life, stimulate in me an untouchable faith in the art of playing the blues, night after night. R.J Mischo remains one of my main influences, because when I was at Carleton, I could see him play almost every weekend in the Minneapolis area. He would call me on stage for couple of songs, to back him up or sing by myself. I learned a lot from those week-ends.

My collaboration with Dixiefrog Records goes back to 1998 with the album “My kind of blues”, recorded in one night in Minneapolis, with musicians from R.J Mischo’s band. I won the Trophy France Blues 1998 of the best young French blues artist for this record. This first CD was followed by “Blasting the blues” in 2000, still recorded in Minneapolis but also in France with French and American musicians, including my long time partner Rax Lacour on guitar. June 2002 has seen the release of my new production on Dixiefrog, “Transgender”, recorded in March 2002 in the South West of France with my touring band and some great additional musicians.

Since 1997, performing is my main activity; about 150 gigs a year all over the country. Holland and Belgium also start to show interest for us now, we have been playing there about three times a year for the past two years now. Last April in Paris I was awarded the prize for best French harmonica player for the year 2001.

The new people we meet wherever we play, the enthusiasm of the audiences, the awards and the success we get, all this is nothing but a booster to stimulate us to go further and blow stronger.

Our passion for the blues and the stage will probably soon put us on a road that leads your way. See you soon then !

Nico
(web site).

Albums

Transatlantic Live

Label: Dixiefrog 8581
Distribution in France: Night and Day
Release date: June 01, 2004

A double live album recorded in America and in France.

Nico Wayne Toussaint is constantly touring From Europe to USA and really respected for his impressive live performances. He’s considered by a lot of european blues magazines as one of the best european blues singer and harmonica player. This double album includes originals and covers but always recorded with his very personal touch and his energetic temper.

Nico Wayne Toussaint - Transatlantic Live

Transgender

Label: Dixiefrog - 8539
Distribution in France: Night & day
Release date: June 01, 2002

Nico Wayne Toussaint - Transgender

Blasting the blues

Label: Dixiefrog - 8502
Distribution in France: Night and Day
Release date: January 01, 2000

Nico Wayne Toussaint - Blasting the blues