In a long and varied career that encompasses work as a record producer, artist manager, record-label head, A&R executive, road manager, art director and radio host/producer, Nicholas Hill has consistently fought the good fight to expose worthy and original music to the public, nurturing and developing all manner of idiosyncratic and left-of-center artists.
Hill, whose parents were at the forefront of the American Theatre movement and founded several regional theaters, grew up backstage. As a teen, he helped his folks found the Storefront Theatre, a revolutionary collective troupe that bloomed in the pre-MTV backwater of Portland, Oregon. There in the early ’80s, Hill began promoting concerts, bringing acts as diverse as James Brown, John Cale, Sun Ra and Echo and the Bunnymen to town. He subsequently took to the touring life, serving as road manager for such notable acts as The Dream Syndicate, The Feelies, Richard Lloyd, The Rain Parade and Victoria Williams.
Relocating to New York, Hill launched the groundbreaking live music show The Music Faucet on the legendary listener-supported station WFMU. In nearly a decade as that show’s host and producer, he presented hundreds of hours of live performances by a dazzling array of musical iconoclasts, including Jeff Buckley, Vic Chesnutt, the Cowboy Junkies, Everything But the Girl, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Hell, the Jayhawks, Pere Ubu, Stereolab and Uncle Tupelo. During his WFMU stint, Hill also served as an associate producer of the short-lived but much-loved nightly NPR cultural-affairs show Heat with John Hockenberry.
Hill subsequently spent two years on the air at the popular New York AAA station WFUV, and two more with Sirius Satellite Radio. At Sirius, he served as the weekday evening host of Sirius’ now-defunct folk music channel Folk Town, where he produced and hosted sessions and/or interviews with the likes of Judy Collins, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, the Incredible String Band and Ron Sexsmith.
Hill has also been active in the recording world. As founder and proprietor of the innovative independent Singles Only Label, he oversaw more than 50 vinyl 7″ releases featuring such artists as Daniel Johnston, Moby, Bob Mould, Katell Keineg, Victoria Williams and Yo La Tengo. As A&R Manager for Koch Records, he co-directed that label’s start-up, and signed such artists as Amy Rigby, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Amy Allison and Michael Hurley.
Hill also served as producer of Giant Sand’s Backyard BBQ Broadcast album and Michael Hurley’s Weatherhole and Bellemeade Sessions, produced and released many of Martha Wainwright’s early recordings, and produced individual tracks on albums by Jeff Buckley, Uncle Tupelo and Yo La Tengo. He also produced for reissue the albums of ’60s cult legend Karen Dalton’s albums It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You the Best and In My Own Time for Koch Records and Light In The Attic Records, respectively.
Now, as co-creator, co-producer and host of Radio Free Song Club, Hill draws upon his diverse experiences to create a vibrant new musical outlet.