The Nied’s Hotel Band – “Sacred Land” makes a strong socio-cultural statement

The Nied’s Hotel Band is a powerhouse recording and performing rock-n-roll band from Pittsburgh, PA. The band had its origins in 2003 when singer John Vento began a studio recording project that he titled “Nied’s Hotel” as a tribute to Jim Nied, proprietor of the landmark Pittsburgh tavern of the same name, which also was the source of inspiration for many of the songs. Vento, along with noted musician/producer Buddy Hall, began the process of bringing these new songs to life, coaxing amazing performances from an all-star roster of Pittsburgh musicians.

The Nied’s Hotel Band, who prides itself on delivering high-energy, entertaining, live shows, recently dropped the single, “Sacred Land” – an ode to blue collar America that tells the story of a working class family – which originated from the hands of Stephen Christopher, the band’s former guitarist. The song which was originally left on the sidelines to chill for some time, has now been rearranged by guitarist Tim Hadley, all with the approval of Stephen of course.

The release of the reworked song, also coincided with The Nied’s Hotel Band’s decision to donate a portion of the proceeds from the iTunes sales of “Sacred Land” towards benefiting small businesses in Pittsburgh, affected by the pandemic. “It’s a time in America where there’s so much talking down about this country…there’s so much negativity…we’re here to say that this is the greatest land in the world,” stated John Vento on the release of the track.

Right from the outside, “Sacred Land” makes a strong socio-cultural statement: “I remember growin up, folks working all the time. Grandpa in the steel mill, and my uncles in the mines,” sings John Vento, driving the song with the grit of his gravelly voice, and the emotion of his empowering heart.

The Nied’s Hotel Band’s always manage to sound both vintage and fresh at the same time. They are tight enough to hold their tunes firmly together and yet loose enough to allow them to breathe like living organisms.

This is the case with “Sacred Land”.  The greatest achievement of NHB is the originality of their approach to recording – it is top tier, but the opposite of slick. It feels authentic, musical and visceral. No wonder it hits so hard.

Moreover through all the rock n’ roll grit, there is an understated refinement to their music that kind of sneaks up on you over time. You think you’re listening to a simple heartfelt tune, but the more you hit that repeat button, the more you realize the sophisticated splendor in the words and the music. Solid musicianship across the board, The Nied’s Hotel Band tap into the timeless American musical vein that will forever remain fresh.

Thematically “Sacred Land” is actually one of the more important releases coming forth during these troubled times, as it gives us a nostalgic view of the principles that should be driving the heart of America.  Simply put, nobody else is making this kind of boldly courageous music today…except the Boss himself, of course!


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