Tag Archives: Nathaniel Rateliff

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Bear’s Den Leave Them Wanting More at The Bowery Ballroom

February 2nd, 2017

Bear’s Den – The Bowery Ballroom – February 1, 2017

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The British folk rock band Bear’s Den wrap gorgeous compositions with a searing banjo ribbon. It’s not a surprise that they supported fellow countrymen Mumford & Sons, as both share similar musical sensibilities. They’re also no strangers to road-tripping across America, having jumped in a Volkswagen Campervan to tour with Ben Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Staves in 2014. In support of their sophomore release, Red Earth & Pouring Rain, the lads played to a sold-out Bowery Ballroom on a crisp Wednesday night. The balcony was overflowing with spectators, as folks could barely get on the floor. Although the evening featured songs from the recent release, special attention was paid to the faithful when the rarely sung and mostly back-cataloged “Sophie” was played acoustically as the audience came to a hauling silence.

Band leader Andrew Davie admitted it was likely their “second-oldest song,” and fans, new and old, were grateful. They erupted for “When You Break,” a favorite from Bear’s Den debut, Islands. A pause in the set carved time for guitarist Christof to make his traditional bottle-flip attempt. The suspense was thick as the water bottle flew in the air, and Davie bear-hugged his bandmate upon success before wailing the sea shanty “Auld Wives.” Christof strapped on the banjo for another favorite, “Above the Clouds of Pompeii,” as clapping hands and stomping feet revved up the band before they exited the stage.

There was little doubt they would not return for an encore, and they did with horn accompaniment for “Napoleon.” Davie, bassist Kevin Jones and Christof made their way into the crowd with only instruments on an acoustic rendition of “Gabriel.” Back onstage, Davie explained that throughout their tour they have been playing covers that were of local artists or about the city they were in. Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York” checked off both those requirements. The evening wrapped up with the anthemic “Agape,” which was a fitting soundtrack to lead folks into the night and onto a new day. —Sharlene Chiu

 

 

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Singer-Songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff Visits Mercury Lounge Tonight

April 23rd, 2014

Growing up in rural Missouri, singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff took to music early on, playing the drums at seven and picking up the guitar (“My mom showed me a few chords and then my best friend showed me a few more”) and beginning to write songs as a young teen. Looking up to the likes of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and the Band, it’s no wonder his music is raw and honest. Rateliff’s first solo album, the introspective In Memory of Loss (stream it below), came out in 2010. AllMusic compared his voice to M. Ward’s and Vic Chesnutt’s, and PopMatters opined that “the record is the sound of a man wrestling with his burdens in a creative fashion, with the help of an acoustic guitar and the backing of some friends on other ordinary instruments played with a strong passion. This style of music never goes out of style when done well, and Rateliff does the tradition proud.” Now based in Denver, Rateliff spent a considerable amount of time alone on the road in support of his debut, which provided plenty of time for him to write. “It’s sort of my way of dealing with shit. Unfortunately I’m not very good at communicating. It’s like my way to vanquish all of the shit that I’m holding on to,” he told Minneapolis Fucking Rocks. And along those lines, Rateliff (above, performing “Right On” for the Mahogany Sessions) recently released his follow-up, Falling Faster Than You Can Run (stream it below), as dark as it is beautiful. See him play Mercury Lounge tonight. Caroline Rose, who’s also used the road as a means to write material for her most recent album, opens the show.

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Communion Comes to New York City

March 30th, 2012

Communion: Austin to Boston Tour – Mercury Lounge – March 29, 2012


Communion’s name has risen to prominence in recent months due in part to the involvement of Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons, but mostly because of the English label’s consistently stellar folk-singer-songwriter (and everything in between) lineups and releases. And last night its Austin to Boston tour, featuring Bear’s Den, Nathaniel Rateliff, the Staves and Ben Howard, came to Mercury Lounge. Something I love (and have always loved, since Communion’s London club nights way back) is the fact that you can arrive at an event knowing none of the acts and leave a fan of all of them.

Bear’s Den, featuring longtime London favorite frontman Andrew Davie, started off the night. Davie’s beautiful, unique voice mixed with earnest lyrics made for a perfect beginning. And songs like “Stubborn Beast” and “Pompeii” are sure to be floating around blogosphere soon. Next, Rateliff, a solo performer with a great sense of melody and melancholy, seemed somewhat darker but equally as beautiful.

After Rateliff the Staves, an all-female harmonizing trio with a killer sense of humor, told the audience they had used Midnight Cowboy’s “Hey, I’m walkin’ here” line at least once that day. And then Ben Howard closed the show with his beautiful brand of upbeat British folk. Communion may only recently be receiving attention Stateside but the label’s been chugging along quietly in the UK, building up a fantastic roster of talent and, thankfully, they’re ready to share it with us now. —Lauren Glucksman