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Nathaniel Rateliff

Nathaniel Rateliff is a striking, emotive tenor vocalist and songwriter whose work runs the gamut from simple folk and Americana to roots rock & roll to vintage rhythm & blues. He and his band the Night Sweats are based in Denver, Colorado.

Rateliff was born in rural Missouri, the son of ardent churchgoing parents. The church was an enormous influence on his childhood and early teenage years. He learned to play drums at age seven, and began to teach himself guitar at 13; he wrote his first songs a couple of years later. In his early teens, he listened exclusively to Christian rock but found a copy of John Lennon's Imagine album in his father's collection. The title song haunted him and gave rise to spiritual questions that would impact his life in significant ways.

Rateliff left school at the age of 16 and began working in a plastics factory. He and bandmate Joseph Pope III left Missouri for Denver as part of Youth with a Mission, an evangelical organization. While in Denver, he began to question not only the rigors of religion, but the existence of God. He left the organization and began working odd jobs. He built decks and later got work at a trucking company, where he stayed for ten years before eventually becoming a gardener and getting married.

All the while he and Pope were playing music. During this period they formed the band Born in the Flood. Though they played everything from classic rock covers to garage rock originals, Rateliff had begun to distinguish himself as a singer. He studied the recordings of the great R&B and country singers and began to carve out a persona and voice of his own. Simultaneously, he began to write quieter, more introspective songs. With the assistance of friends -- Pope included -- he formed another band called the Wheel. He played in both bands for a time, but the Wheel eventually claimed his attention and his pensive, stark original songs came to the fore. Their debut album, Desire and Dissolving Men, was released in 2007. The Wheel began to work the road, and Rateliff became increasingly comfortable fronting a band onstage. As a result, he also began playing solo shows. During a CMJ showcase, he attracted the attention of a Rounder Records executive who signed him. He moved to Chicago to make his debut for the label with producer Brian Deck. In Memory of Loss was issued in 2010 and widely acclaimed for its poignant, introspective songs.

He left Rounder -- and moved back to Denver -- for his sophomore effort, Falling Faster Than You Can Run, which was released by the independent Mod y Vi label in 2013.

Rateliff had begun writing songs that required a band so he formed the Night Sweats whose was rowdy, soulful sound deeply influenced by vintage R&B, soul and gospel traditions, Van Morrison and the Band. A formidable live unit with a reputation for stage-quaking shows, they were signed to Stax. Rateliff released another independent solo record in January of 2015, the intimate Closer, which continued to draw the attention of listeners and critics. Meanwhile, he and the label enlisted producer Richard Swift to capture the band's live attack in a studio. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats was issued by Stax in August, preceded by appearances at the Newport Folk Festival and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. ~ Thom Jurek
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Closer

1. Liverpool

2. Easy

3. Something Beautiful

4. Laughter

5. Closer

6. Winded

x

Track List: In Memory Of Loss

1. Once In A Great While

2. Early Spring Till

4. Brakeman

5. Longing And Losing

6. Oil & Lavender

7. You Should've Seen The Other Guy

8. Whimper And Wail

9. Boil & Fight

10. When We Could

11. A Lamb On The Stone

12. When You're Here

13. Happy Just To Be

x

Track List: Falling Faster Than You Can Run

1. Still Trying

2. I Am

3. Don't Get Too Close

4. Laborman

5. How To Win

6. Nothing To Show For

7. Right On

8. Three Fingers In

9. Forgetting Is Believing

10. When Do You See

11. Falling Faster Than You Can Run

Comments

Report as inappropriate
This mo fucka doe.... holllahhhhh
Report as inappropriate
fernsland
please play his song S.O.B
Report as inappropriate
msfoote1
Hubby used to work with Nate. Amazing artist! I'm glad he's performing so much and on tours, but I am amazed he isn't a household name by now!
Report as inappropriate
Joseph pope iii (the guitar player) is my dad and I have known the whole ban since I was born. Patrick the drum player was my drum teacher and I lived with Nathaniel when I was born!
Report as inappropriate
Saw him at ETSU opening for the Fray. He was so great. Did a song and everyone had their phones out on both sides of the arena and he asked to bob to the music. Looked like 3000 lightning bugs. Most defiantly the most impressive visual I have seen ever. Can't believe he isn't more well known.
Report as inappropriate
Saw him open for The Lumineers last night - his performance was incredible. He set the tone for a fantastic night. His show is so evocative! It's like the music is pumping directly from his veins, and he really showed up. If you get the chance, GO SEE HIS SHOW!!!
Report as inappropriate
863907304
His voice is amazing. I saw him open for Lumineers = in love with his music.
Report as inappropriate
amyriebe
He is so talented. I can't wait til he gets the recognition he so very much deserves!
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erind902
I saw Nathaniel Rateliff play at a festival that Mumford & Sons organized a few weeks ago. That was the first time I had heard his music and I was blown away. Phenomenal artist. I want to hear more!
Report as inappropriate
lucius37
He's from Denver and is amazing. I saw him open for Bon Iver at the Ogden and from then on I was sold on his loveliness.
Report as inappropriate
I saw him in Fort Wayne, IN last year; he was opening for Tallest Man on Earth. Rateliff definitely overshadowed the headliner at a sold out show. I have been impressed ever since!
Report as inappropriate
Where's the recognition for this guy? What a talent!
Report as inappropriate
This dude is rad. Simple gorgeous songs. SO so good.

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