When it comes to performing for pay, there are typically just two types of players; those who merely moonlight with their music and those who quit their day job long ago. But there are also those who’ve done both. People like Nick Pagliari, who spent more than a decade as a full-time musician in Nashville before moving to Austin to become a nurse-anesthetist. The good news? When Pagliari’s not treating patients, he somehow finds time to treat listeners to great tunes.
He’s been playing solo 8PM every Wednesday at Geraldine’s as part of a July residency, which includes a full band performance tomorrow and a wrap-up alongside Brian Patterson next week. The occasion? Pagliari’s fourth EP, Hard Lessons, which drops on Friday. Its title refers to everything Pagliari’s learned since 2020’s Midway, mainly stemming from his first-hand overtime experience that unfolded in hospitals over the course of the pandemic. Themes aside, Hard Lessons also packs the warm folksy vocals, classical-adjacent arrangements, and genre-inclusive Americana that we’ve come to love from Pagliari. Lyrically, the discourse on Hard Lessons lands with impressive exigence, especially when you pair Pagliari’s cautionary tale “Flame” with the ongoing January 6th hearings.