My earliest memory of playing music before even working as Nick Cody, was busking in Guilford city centre in the UK in 1975, playing a beat up acoustic Kay guitar. I played cover versions from my favourite artists from that period and the money was good, generally around three quid an hour. Vinyl albums cost less than two pounds fifty pence, so this was one way to build my album collection! The 1970s were for me a golden era of singer songwriter music and I was avidly listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “4 Way Street”, Tom Wait’s “Closing Time” and Bob Dylan’s sublime “Blood on the Tracks”.
Amazingly I still listen to these classic albums some forty years later and have realised that my love for music centers around a great set of lyrics and a great tune. In 2000 I was involved in creating mostly world and ambient style music, some of which was used on TV and radio, including an award winning C4 movie short, “My Amersham.”
In 2008 I attended a workshop with Martin Simpson in Sheffield and began having guitar lessons with him on a regular basis. He opened my mind to the world of altered tunings and the possibilities of playing other instruments. In subsequent years we have had and continue to have wonderful inspirational sessions and discussing all manner of music. Crucially I was able to see a brilliant songwriter up close writing countless brilliant songs. It’s been a real privilege to meet Martin, who has been one of my main musical inspirations behind me creating “The Small Change Diaries”
A year later while in New York I bought my first ukulele from Matt Umanov guitars on Bleeker Street. It was purely an impulse buy. Matt had brought back one of the very first pre-production Collings concert ukuleles from the Namm Show. It wasn’t however until 2013 that I decided that I really must learn to play this instrument and began to look locally for a teacher. I began lessons with Jessica Bowie and to my amazement found a real love for the ukulele as an instrument. Since then I have accumulated an amazing collection of instruments from all over the planet and these have become central to creating a host of different songs. Each instrument can sound very different and inspires very different kinds of playing. I confess to being totally seduced by the ukulele as an instrument!
Nick Cody and “The Small Change Diaries”
Within a few months I started to write material for what was to become “The Small Change Diaries” I am delighted that Jessica, Adrian and Richard, all seasoned musicians, agreed to be part of the ensemble and the four of us are busy writing and rehearsing original material. Our first album “Adam blames Eve” contains all original acoustic material. Since then we have continued to work on new material and expand the SCD sound with the help of our excellent producer Carl Rosamond.
Many of these tracks from the first album have been played on BBC Introducing and we are currently exploring video shorts for many of the tracks featured on the album.Check out The Small Change Diaries. In 2016 we also released the “Protest Songs” EP and are now working on a new album with many special guests from the UK and overseas. I also am the founder of “Original Ukulele Songs” (OUS) which has a FB platform with over 2700 members in just 18 months and a central site featuring artists from all over the globe. See www.originalukulelesongs.com
The second SCD album “Lullabies for Cynics” was released in 2017 and I am working on a solo release “Tales of Dark and Light” under the ensemble name “Nick Cody and the Caravan of Dreams”