Longtime friends start blues band, The High Definitions, find success across Ohio
Originally published in The Post.
The High Definitions, a blues rock band out of Columbus, hopes to gain a better following through its live show on the Casa Nueva stage.
In 2012, vocalist and guitarist Nick Kurth was driving back from visiting family in Philadelphia when he stopped to visit his long-time friend and drummer Jon Coale in Columbus.
“I showed (Jon) some demos, and then, we just kind of decided on the spot that we were going to start the band,” Kurth said. “I wound up staying on his couch for about a month.”
After contacting bassist James Eger in Cincinnati, The High Definitions was born.
“I just called him, and we were like ‘Hey man ... we’re gonna do a band, so come up here,’ and he moved up,” Kurth said.
The three friends had been close since high school, where they played in jazz band together.
“We had known each other for a long time, so it wasn’t a question of is it going to be worth our time to take a risk,” Kurth said. “We were all kind of in between projects at that time looking for something to do, and the opportunity presented itself, so we went with it.”
Those specific influences helped Kurth to discover his love for blues and blues rock.
“As I got older I started going further back in time in music just mulling down that rabbit hole,” Kurth said.
Kurth said the group’s influence is from ’60s and ’70s music such as Pink Floyd and The Beatles.
“When I started to do jazz ... that was really big for me because it kept the free aspect of how I play,” Coale said.
Kurth said, the trio has played more than 100 shows, sometimes traveling outside of Columbus and Cincinnati to places such as Kentucky and Indiana.
“When we moved here, there were a lot of opportunities for us to play a lot and kind of develop and meet people,” Kurth said. “Just having the chance to go out and do that at so many different places to a lot of different people helped us grow a lot.”
Columbus’ vast music scene has also contributed to the band’s success in comparison to Cincinnati, the band’s hometown.
The High Definitions has played smaller house shows in Athens, but Kurth said the show at Casa Nueva, 4 W. State St., on Thursday will be the band’s first bar gig in the area.
“We recently did Folk Fest … That was one of the most memorable shows I’ve played,” Kurth said.
A great quality of the group, Kurth said, is the live performances. After playing at Columbus’ annual Comfest last year, The High Definitions has gained quite the following.
“This lady in the front row just jumped on stage and started dancing next to Nick,” Coale said. “I think she actually ended up coming to another show of ours in Kent.”
The band is working on promoting its recently released single “Song and Dance,” which will be released on the band's debut album later this year.
“We all love playing music, and there’s nothing else that we want to do,”Kurth said. “We just want people to have a good time and have a good experience with us.”