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High Five

HIGH FIVE: Dwight & Nicole

Nicole Nelson managed to turn the chairs of all four judges during her blind audition this season on “The Voice” with her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Nelson and partner Dwight Ritcher have been turning the heads of local music fans for years with their affable rock and soul duo, and Nelson recently won the Boston Music Award for female vocalist of the year. Although she was cut from “The Voice” before the live shows began, anyone who knows Nelson and Ritcher — who play the Regattabar on New Year’s Eve — knows they count their blessings.

We recently chatted with the couple by phone from their Vermont home about five special moments of 2012.

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1. Seeing her version of “Hallelujah” climbing the iTunes charts. “That was more exciting to me than getting the call that I was going to be on the show.” says Nelson.

2. The Boston Music Awards. “We were beyond-words-excited to be asked to perform on the main stage and then actually winning female vocalist of the year — I wasn’t even conceiving it was possible.”

3. Bringing puppy Apple home. “She’s the most beautiful creature in the world. She’s a half lab, half shepherd,” says Ritcher.

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4. Finishing the last song for their new album, due out in 2013. “We put it on hold while I was in Los Angeles so it was up in the air, and it all came together so beautifully,” says Nelson.

5. This moment right now. “We’ve had some scares with all four of our parents — cancer and open heart and thyroid surgery — and my grandmother. Right now everyone is OK, cancers are in remission, heart surgery is healing, and they’re all doing well.”

Dwight & Nicole play the Regattabar Monday at 9:30 p.m. Tickets, which include party favors and a midnight toast, are $90 at 617-395-7757 and www.regatta
barjazz.com.

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