Adrian Niles
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Adrian Niles

Wheeling, WV | Established. Jan 01, 1996 | INDIE

Wheeling, WV | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1996
Solo Rock Americana




"Adrian Niles Crafts Gritty Memphis Blues Sound (Archive)"

Adrian Niles has been a regional sensation for years and is about to release his sixth album Roll & Move. Now that he’s opening for Traffic’s Dave Mason, his band will get a chance to raise the profile of its Memphis-style blues.

Somewhere in the Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan and John Mellancamp category, his artistry is honest, real and assured.

Niles writes like a true survivor. Having opened for the likes of Rock and Roll-inductee Dave Mason and Los Lonely Boys, Niles’ take on Americana is as real as you’d want it to be.

The Adrian Niles Band will open for Mason at the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse in Burgettstown PA, on May 21.

Check out the Band’s performances

An everyman … most definitely. We caught up with him and the band in a rehearsal studio.

TheImproper: You’re a regional sensation in the so-called Upper Ohio Valley area. Why are the crowds so good there?

Niles: Sensation may be an overly descriptive word. I’ve just been doing honest work for quite a few years now writing, performing and making records. The people in that area are hard wage earners, they are a determined folk; when they like something they usually stick with it. We’ve been blessed by their loyalty.

IM:We can immediately hear the honesty coming through in your music and lyrics. That memory of you being 3 sitting on the floor banging pots and pans along with your Dad’s bluegrass band is just a sensational memory. Tell us more about that time.

Niles: I was very young and somehow those are the memories I recollect most vividly; Guitars, Banjos, Double Bass, Fiddles, Mandolins, coffee and cigarettes, not to mention the absolutely perfect harmonies of my dad, his brother and cousin. They played more than a few times a month in the kitchen until the time I was about ten years old. Years later, as a teenager, I was able to perform on stages with them, I played mandolin and guitar; something I’ll never forget.

IM:I must admit that listening to you immediately reminded me of Dave Matthews, Southside Johnny, and even Springsteen. I know when you heard Dylan in Memphis in 1996; it all made sense. What was that like, your first listen to Mr. Dylan?

Niles: I was actually around fifteen when I first heard “Bringin’ It All Back Home”; it was a definitive point for me, everything changed. Soon after, I quit the cover band I was in and began writing songs. When listening to Dylan or Waits or Springsteen you get a true feeling of where they come from, how they live; I can’t find that in a lot of other artists I’ve heard.

IM:What are your other influences?

Niles: My Dad has been my biggest influence; his music and his life. Woody Guthrie always reminded me of my dad, I can almost see them running the same dusty streets as young men. Who I listen to changes from day to day; from Jeff Buckley, Chris Whitley or Hank Sr. I love it all.

IM:Of all the records, the new one Roll & Move seems the most fully realized. Ghost Road (the previous album) a close second for sure. You feel that way too?

Niles: Yes, definitely. We took a little more time with Roll & Move; we actually settled into a room for a couple of months and went to work. I am quite pleased with the songs on Ghost Road though it was done on the run. We recorded drums in one place, bass in another and guitars in yet another; the production time was a bit hectic and quite rushed.

IM:Your PR-man told me that initially you were hand ling everything yourself, in more of a DIY-manner. Do you feel that right now is your time?

Niles: Yes. We’ve kept business in-house, for the most part, throughout the years; there are a lot of opportunities that will pass you by with this approach. Right now, the band is just happy to be playing music; we’ll have to wait and see what the next day brings. I stay confident in the fact that we keep the faith.

IM: How did you hook up with the Dave Mason shows? He’s a big favorite of ours, and to tell you the truth, it sounds like a natural pairing.

Niles: Joe Scalise, a great friend and seventh, non-musical, member of the band, made that happen for us. It was an honor to share the same bill with Dave Mason, he is a true gentlemen and consummate professional, I love watching him perform.

IM: We also love Los Lonely Boys; that must have been a fun date with them.

Niles: Yes! We really looked forward to warming up for LLB’s; they are fantastic musicians and very kind people. They know how to get a crowd fired-up.

IM: I loved in your bio where you talk about being popcorn broke in Memphis in 1996. Sometimes an artist of your caliber needs those movements to grow … right? Talk about that time a bit.

Niles: It feels pretty bad when you’re in the middle of it, but, I guess times like these do make a person stronger, maybe a little braver too. I went to Memphis for one thing–to play music. The best music was in Handy Park in the afternoon, former Stax Records musicians playing for tips. I would hang out and talk with the old homeless guys, they could remember what it was like before all the Beale Street renovation happened. They would ask me, “did you come here for Elvis?” I replied, ” No. I came for Albert King!” They liked hearing that.

IM: Tell us where the inspiration came for “Skylark” off the new album. It’s just takes your breath away.

Niles: Thank you, but the motivation for this song is less than romantic. It came from a heavy equipment truck passing opposite of me on the interstate; this truck, kicking up dust off the pavement of the road, caught my attention. Inspiration just happens that way sometimes. - By TheImproper, May 6th, 2011


The Upper Ohio Valley's own Adrian Niles Band, fresh from having two of his songs - "Same Road" and "Harden to Heal" - air on F/X Television's hit series Justified, is back in the studio, working his next album (after the critically well received opus Roll & Move, released last year), tentatively titled Struck Down Dreaming, with his band.
The previous album contained the radio-friendly hit “Skylark” and two recently previewed tracks from the new album – “All That I Want” and “Everlasting Love” – promise more radio-friendly hits from the Niles collective. “When I write a song, I’m conscious of all that needs to be there for a memorable experience, but I want a definitive lyric and melody that stays with you and makes an impression.” The two songs that the show Justified utilized in March were perfect examples. “They fit perfectly with the show; the mood, atmosphere … I was feeling, well, very justified” adds Niles. Beth Wernick, from L.A.’s Imaginary Friends Partners music outfit was responsible for making the connections. Adds Niles, “We’d been in touch with her for several months, fine-tuning what worked of mine on the shows and movies she was involved with. She got everything immediately and it was a delightful experience. I look forward to several more projects with her.”
Just last week, Niles’ NY-representative was contacted regarding utilizing another of the artist’s song, “Pulled Pork Blues,” that will be used, along with several others from other artists, to promote a product, called New York Fries, out of Canada.”You just never know. Right now, we’re concentrating on finishing the album and locking down the distribution and release information; but, it’s a nice coincidence,” says the artist.
Also on the immediate docket, is finalizing a series of dates in New York City, for the public as much as for several key record companies that are very interested in inking the band for national distribution. - 6-7-12

"Singer-Songwriter Adrian Niles NYC Debut—Thursday, September 6, 2012 (Archive)"

ADRIAN NILES will make his New York City debut, at B.B. King’s on Thursday, September 6, opening for the legendary New Riders Of The Purple Sage.

Niles has had a particularly significant 2012 so far; first evidenced by the fact of having two of his songs featured on F/X’s show Justified in the spring; on the episode entitled Loose Ends - “Harden To Heal” and “Same Road.”

Based in Shadyside, Ohio, Niles has continued to produce authentic, American-rock, as with his album of last year Roll & Move, which featured the song “Skylark,” which succeeded in generating play on many AAA outlets.

Last month Niles was interviewed on the Sirius/XM show Brett Winterble about his continuing exploits and forthcoming shows in NYC, on the sat-caster’s On The Verge segment of his show. Winterble was struck by Niles’ passion to his craft. Said Winterble, “There’s no question about it; he’s going to be a major player very soon. I can’t think of a better choice to kick off this new series. He’ll be back on again very soon.”

Through the course of 5 albums, Niles has continued to demonstrate the originality that true music lovers appreciate and watch for. Roll & Move took third place honors in the 2011 CD of the year.

Currently working on a new album, tentatively titled Struck Down Dreaming, Niles’ forthcoming NYC-debut at B.B. King’s will indeed be a special treat. -

"And one for the local folks, Adrian Niles"

February 25, 2016
By MARK J. MILLER - Weekender Co-editor, Herald-Star
This week I review a local release by a superb musician.
Adrian Niles, "Supermoon"
There are few opportunities left in the Ohio Valley for live bands. In fact, venues for live bands everywhere has diminished except for music-centric cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Texas, and Nashville.
But the truth remains, except for hoardes of musicians playing acoustic guitars, you have to travel if you're in a band locally and you really want to perform. And if you're playing original music, you might as well forget about it all together. There just aren't any venues - even in Pittsburgh, unless you want to sell tickets to be on a bill with another band.
The fact is, while there are scads of great bands here that would be welcome on stages in other parts of the country, the Ohio Valley, once a mecca for live music and bands, has become the valley of the dead. There are lots of reasons why - an aging audience, less population, club closures and a declining popularity of music among young people, to name a few.
Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is because there ARE local musicians writing great, original music. One of those is Wheeling's Adrian Niles, who has been around for awhile but came on my radar a few years ago.
Niles mines the blues and classic rock for his inspiration, and his latest release, "Supermoon," recorded at Rick Witkowski's Studio L in Weirton, is a wonderful slice of soulful blues, great guitar and even better songs. "Supermoon" reminds me of a great 1970s rock album, with plenty of grit, fabulous guitar tones and solos and Hammond B3, played by Jamie Peck at his studio in Wheeling. The result is an album with lots of character, killer hooks and Niles voice, an instrument that's obviously been honed to blue-eyed soul perfection from listening to the masters of classic blues and R&B.
The anthemic "Classic Rock Radio" harks back to a time when music mattered and walks the line between radio-play readiness and lyrics that recall a time when rock 'n' roll was about joyful rebellion and the headiness of hearing a great classic song for the first time. The youthful abandonment recalls early Bruce Springsteen when he still penned songs about how much rock radio inspired him.
Niles, who is an adept guitarist, bassist and keyboardist, writes with an earnestness you just don't hear in music that's turned fake and plastic. There's something endearing - and enlightening - to hear someone pen a song that draws inspiration from the great bands of the '70s, and I hear influences ranging from Humble Pie to Howlin' Wolf.
And speaking of Wolf, my favorite cut is the slow-burn of "King of All Kings," which sounds like Niles channeling the ghosts of Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters. The song has that great vibe the Rolling Stones could sometimes conjur, with the dry, surreal and witty shotgun-poetry Howlin' Wolf, Hooker and Diddley were so good at. I mean, you have to be schooled and steeped in that tradition to be able to write like this:
"Analog thunder and digital rain ... I got the magnetic movement, I got the binary pain ... I take bullets in my coffee, I pull the slugs from my chest ... Messages from my loved ones I never get ... Jesus is the king of all kings ..."
Not only righteous, but really, really real. I don't think I'll ever get tired of this track.
I couldn't end this review without remarking on the incredible synchronicity between Niles the guitarist and drummer Clint Landis. These two have played together for a long time, and it shows. Landis is endlessly tasteful and has a touch and sensitivity most modern drummers lack. What I really like are his crisp tones and snappy snare, sounds that only come from listening to older music styles where the drummer played the song instead of just playing the drums. Also unlike most "modern" drummers he listens to the lyrics as well as the music, adding accents and creative surprises along the way. He intuitively responds rather than reacting out of rote. Beautiful.
The production by Witkowski also is stunning. He has a real knack for producing roots-inspired music, with the guitars having that chiming clarity of mid-70s Stones, only more modern. The drums are beautifully captured, and there's enough of a live feel the project doesn't get Pro Tooled to death.
But Niles' talent is the real jewel here.
"Supermoon" is a great album inspired by great influences. If there were any justice in the world Adrian Niles would be at least an East Coast star. Maybe with some luck, he will one day. - The Herald Star


Manumit 1998
Deadtown (w/ The Trainjumpers) 2007
Things Gonna Break 2008
Ghost Road 2010
Bootlegged Down on Main Street (Live) 2010
Roll & Move 2011
Rough Rider 2013
Supermoon 2015
Digital 45 2017
Christmas Bell (Single) 2017
Distant Skies 2020



A singer, songwriter, and guitarist who fuses the raw passion of folk and blues with the force and swagger of rock & roll, Adrian Niles grew up in the Upper Ohio Valley and was raised in a musical household. Niles' father Loren Porter sang and played in a bluegrass group that also featured his uncle Larry Porter, and Adrian grew up watching the family band rehearse in the kitchen and perform at bluegrass festivals. Seeing the band play on-stage had a strong influence on Niles, and when he was nine, he saved money, bought a guitar and started learning to play. 

Before long he was picking along with Allman Brothers Band albums, and he formed his first band, Legacy, when he was a freshman in high school. Legacy specialized in hard rock covers and did steady business playing at local clubs, but at age 19 Niles was eager to try something more ambitious. In 1993, Niles debuted Reverend Smitty and the Backsliders, a jam band in which he and his bandmates stretched out on material by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. Niles also began writing his own songs, and by 1996 he had relocated to Memphis, Tennessee and was striking out on his own as a blues artist. 

After winning a few talent contests but finding few gigs, Niles headed back to Ohio, and formed the first lineup of the Adrian Niles Band. The band gigged heavily, finding loyal fans in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia, regional area, and in 1998 the Adrian Niles Band released their first album, Manumit, produced in part by Pittsburgh rock hero Norman Nardini. While the album was well received locally, the Adrian Niles Band soon broke up, and while they would reunite periodically, Niles would primarily gig as a solo act until 2006, when he formed the roots rock band the Trainjumpers with Matt Heusel. The group's debut album, 2007's Deadtown, was well received by fans and critics, but before long Niles opted out of the group and recommitted himself to a solo career. 

In 2008, Niles released his second compilation of songs Things Gonna Break, and two more albums followed in 2010, a studio set titled Ghost Road and a live disc, Bootlegged Down on Main Street. By this time, Niles was establishing himself as a powerful live act, and he was sharing stages with the likes of Dave Mason, Los Lonely Boys, and New Riders of the Purple Sage, as well as earning high marks in blues competitions around the country. Niles also licensed his songs for use on the popular TV shows Justified and The Young and the Restless. In 2011, Niles released Roll and Move, and three years later he dropped Rough Rider. In 2015, Niles delivered one of his most accomplished sets to date, Supermoon, which Niles described as "a record with a strong lyrical narrative, vintage-tone heavy guitars, big drums, and loud bass, Fender Rhodes, and Hammond organ.” A true to form classic rock sound. 

Adrian developed two projects in 2017. First, his release Digital 45, a two-song collection of original folk songs. Also, He recorded and produced an original holiday song Christmas Bell. 

Niles has spent part of 2019 and most of 2020 writing and recording a new record at his home in Ohio. With this, his seventh studio album, he has unlocked yet another gateway on his creative path. Distant Skies delves into the deeper parts of his labyrinth forged by years of self-actualization, the loss of his father in 2016, and all the uncertainty that goes along with providing for a family during a global pandemic.