Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

CD

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Overview

Songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff established himself as a critically celebrated folksy Americana singer/songwriter on 2010's In Memory of Loss, his Rounder Records debut. Though he played in straight-ahead rock & roll bands before then, his independent releases since have been of intimate, poignant, and pensive songs. Until now. This self-titled offering on Stax is a hard-swinging, house-rocking affair that draws heavily on vintage R&B, soul, and proto rock & roll. Though Rateliff has displayed emotion in his vocals since the beginning, even fans have never heard him like this. Influences from Sam & Dave to Van Morrison to Sam Cooke range freely on this set -- and he has the voice to pull it off. The sessions were helmed by producer Richard Swift, who captured Rateliff and his large band -- complete with a swaggering horn section (and occasionally subtle strings) -- with just enough reverb to make it sound live. "I've Been Falling," with its upright piano and handclaps, delves deep into vintage Morrison territory without really emulating him (though Rateliff comes closer on the album's last track, "Mellow Out"). The raw soul passion in "Trying So Hard Not to Know" evokes the historic Stax ethos perfectly, while sidling up to the Band's Big Pink era. "S.O.B." has verses saturated in Southern gospel, with foot stomping and handclaps as the only accompaniment, before the entire band erupts in a carousing chorus. This reverses gospel's usual Saturday-night-to-Sunday-morning course; it is one of the rowdiest broken-heart songs you'll ever hear. "I'd Be Waiting" is a tender, wide-open love song with a late-night jazzy soul feel. The singer's voice is haunted equally by the spirits of Cooke and Bobby "Blue" Bland. If this album has a weakness -- and it does -- it's that Rateliff's use of these forms and styles in his writing is not only basic -- which is fine -- but overly formulaic. Only the pedal steel-driven Americana in the absolutely lovely "Wasting Time" -- which recalls the Gregg Allman of Laid Back -- deviates; one or two more songs in this vein (especially with this band) would have made all the difference. That's a small complaint, one that will deter few. Rateliff's world-weary, deeply expressive tenor and lyrics place him on a different level than any of the current crew of revivalists.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/21/2015
Label: Fantasy
UPC: 0888072372153
catalogNumber: 37215
Rank: 16119

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats   Primary Artist
Russ Pahl   Group Member
Derek Banach   Group Member
Eric Johnson   Group Member
Richard Swift   Group Member
Nathaniel Rateliff   Group Member
Rick Benjamin   Group Member
Joseph Pope   Group Member
Wesley Watkins   Group Member
Nick Krier   Group Member
Andreas Wild   Group Member
Patrick Meese   Horn Engineer,Group Member
Mark Shusterman   Group Member
Leah Concialdi   Group Member
Starett Rogers   Group Member
Adam Shaffner   Group Member

Technical Credits

Glenn Ross   Band Photo
Richard Swift   Producer,Engineer
Nathaniel Rateliff   Composer
Patrick Meese   Engineer

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