Perhaps the coolest thing about running a free-form, community-oriented, all-acoustic folk festival is that you can never, ever know what to expect. Every year our inbox gets flooded with performers looking to find their corner of Nolan Park for the festivities, and each year we're pleasantly surprised by more artists than we can name. This year, Nathan Xander was one of those artists. To be honest: We had no clue that this session was even going to happen! Nathan and bassist Colin DeHond were rehearsing in the Admiral's House while our crew was setting up and in a fortuitous turn of events were grabbed for a screen test. Thankfully it went so well that we decided to share it with you all today!
So, what's the deal with this Nathan guy? A "troubadour in the Texas sense..." (from his official press release), Nathan's just a simple guy from Union City, PA, a small town near Lake Erie creating work that the The Deli says "conjure[s] memories of smoke and sawdust." Painting any pictures yet? For us, its the post-industrial decay of small town America brought to light through inspired and honest lyric, and its story craft like this that gets us genuinely excited for the music of Nathan Xander. His recorded out put it a powerful blend of roots rock dunked in psychedelia cut with melancholy edge and vocal coloration somewhere between Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain.
Even broken down and acoustic, this energy carries with potency. Check it out for yourself at the link below:
Q and A with Nathan Xander:
So, tell us about your origins. How did you start writing music?
I started songwriting and playing in a band in High School but got in to folk and country music in college. I was doing my best to write like Jay Farrar then but the compulsion to create music has always been with me.
How about this tune? What was the inspiration for "What It Takes To Make a Man"?
This song was inspired by a boss that I used to have that was always trying to "teach me a lesson" but wasn't the most stable guy himself. It's me explaining my thoughts about growing up back to him.
What about your Porch Stomp experience? How was your first time playing with us on Governors Island?
Porch Stomp '17 was great! Although it rained while we were playing we had a great time. Everyone was very open and it was nice to have people really listening to the words!
Have you been in NYC long? What was your experience like transitioning into becoming a performing artist?
I've been in New York for almost 7 years. I really started writing and performing back in Chicago. I was really involved with some great open mics there that helped give me the confidence to keep going.
What is your number one suggestion for artists trying to get involved in the NYC folk music scene?
Play anywhere and everywhere, as often as you can!
Finally, rumor has it that you've got a new release coming up. What's the down low?
My new album "Blue House" came out on July 17th. The release show is at the Footlight on August 10th.
Special thanks to Jeff, Sue and Redia at Beehive Productions for capturing this moment. Follow us at www.porchstomp.com for videos, reviews and more!