Nicholas Altobelli (Shawn Hannon)

Nicholas Altobelli: Dallas’ own Ryan Adams? Maybe.

Local alt-country singer/songwriter Nicholas Altobelli (Italian descent, you think?) has just released his debut, Streetcar Visions, and he's cautiously optimistic about the release.

“The record is not perfect," he says, "but I’m proud of the songs even though I’m trying to stay away from the country side of things.”

Mixing folk, rock and, that’s right, country, the EP has barely hit the, ahem, streets, and Altobelli is already scheduling his next project.

“I plan on recording a folk album at my home studio this summer and hopefully having it finished by this fall,” says the 23-year-old wunderkind from Plano.

The EP features five original songs, but during Saturday night’s CD release party at The Cavern, Altobelli paid tribute to such Americana heavyweights as Uncle Tupelo, The Jayhawks and Ryan Adams.

“I started playing music because I failed my senior year in high school,” explains Altobelli. “I picked up the guitar, but it wasn’t until I listened to Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown that I really started to work on songwriting.”

Since Altobelli doesn’t drink or verbally assault the audience for talking during his show, it’s difficult to compare him to the ever-petulant, self-proclaimed genius that is Ryan Adams. Only when Altobelli chastised his own father (for continuing to request a certain song) did the singer’s link to Adams become slightly apparent. --Darryl Smyers

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