BAD Nicholas is the husband and wife Roots Music duo, Bobby and Amber-Dawn Nicholas. Together and individually, they have years of experience in extensive touring, playing and recording in Nashville Tennessee. The couple lived and worked for many years in Nashville before coming home to Canada. After making their home in Toronto, the family now makes their home on Prince Edward Island.
Bobby Nicholas has a vast range of musical experiences that began at a young age in Toronto, Ontario. From solo television performances such as Much Music and the Tommy Hunter Show, to travelling the country in various groups and duos. He honed his skills as a singer/songwriter as well as a sideman. After moving to Nashville in 1997, Bobby began working as a utility musician and backup singer for several major recording artists. His first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and at The Ryman Auditorium was while on tour with Patty Loveless. Nicholas played acoustic guitar and mandolin as well as singing harmony with Loveless. They toured across North America playing various venues and famed shows including Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage and Live at The Birchmere. He also made appearances on the Opry playing banjo, mandolin, guitar, harmonica and singing back up while on tour with Terri Clark. Some of the highlights of Bobby's time in Nashville include playing guitar and singing harmony with The Osborne Brothers on the Grand Ole Opry on occasions when their guitar player/singer was unavailable. Nicholas was also a regular Sideman at The Station Inn and has had the honour of playing on stage with many musical icons of various genres. From singing “Paradise” with John Prine to being accompanied on mandolin by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, from singing “Lady” with the Little River Band to singing “Lonesome River” with Vince Gill, from a duet of the Redwood Hill with Vassar Clements to a tour of Asia playing bass, from playing roots and bluegrass in Europe with Jimmy Bowen to songwriting and recording sessions in Nashville, his time away was a plethora of musical adventures to say the least. However, Nicholas cites the greatest highlight of all was meeting and falling in love with his wife Amber-Dawn. “While travelling to gain experience and see the world, my heart was, is, and always will be in Canada,” Nicholas says, and those who know him best know he was always pining for home. Unable to leave, as Amber-Dawn was ultimately signed to a record deal with Sony/Nashville, it wasn't until after her band left the label and disbanded that the opportunity came for Bobby and AD to come home and raise the family they dreamed of. The couple formed an original roots music duo called BAD Nicholas, and still play as BAD Nicholas, but the most important duo in their lives are their twin daughters Emily and Olivia. The couple also formed the group, Big John, along with Carl Goodman, and performed for several years along with bass player Peter Pavlovsky.
Amber-Dawn has been performing worldwide for many years as a violinist/fiddler and singer, including being a member of the now disbanded Arista Sony Nashville signed group, Jypsi. Known for her enthusiastic stage presence, smooth vocals and dynamic fiddle playing, AD was sought after by other Nashville musicians and acts to perform when scheduling would allow. With Jypsi, she has had the opportunity to play many prestigious venues including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, South By Southwest (SXSW), Stagecoach, and a host of venues across North America and Europe. She has made several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry and at the Ryman Auditorium and has toured and performed with several major artists including Darius Rucker, Ronnie Milsap, and Hootie & the Blowfish. She has also gained invaluable experience working in the studio with many of the world’s top record producers such as Don Was, Nathan Chapman, Tony Brown, Blake Chancey, Frank Liddell, and Cowboy Jack Clement. Amber-Dawn says the time spent collaborating with other artists and musicians including Tara Nevins of Donna the Buffalo, Sarah Lou Richards, and the late Vassar Clements helped to broaden her musical chops and perspectives as well as performing and writing songs with her husband, Bobby Nicholas. Born in Northwestern Illinois, Amber-Dawn has lived all over the United States, and after making her home in Nashville Tennessee for many years, she moved to Canada with her husband, Bobby Nicholas. They settled down in Toronto, where Bobby is from, and welcomed their twin daughters-and lights of their lives- into the world. Amber-Dawn later became a Canadian citizen. The couple also formed the group, Big John, along with Carl Goodman, and performed for several years along with bass player Peter Pavlovsky. While pursuing her passion for music, she also worked as an elementary school teacher, teaching Music to students in Kindergarten to Grade 8, in the Toronto District School Board for several years until the family decided to relocate to Prince Edward Island. Amber-Dawn continues to do the things she loves, including being an elementary school teacher, sharing her love of music, and devoting her energy to her most important work-being a mom to her twin daughters, Emily and Olivia.