Most often, singer songwriters who forgo band names for their own can lull the mind into a passive state and their music can be just as unforgettable, but NATHANIEL RATELIFF is an exception. The music scene seems to be littered with this mediocrity due to the over saturation that the internet enables and this fact alone allows the true gems to shine even brighter. Nathaniel Rateliff is as bright and pure as they come and his authenticity shone brightly at his July 29th performance at The Echo, so much so that I can’t shake it from my memory.
With ease, Rateliff’s limpid and impassioned vocals filled the room while his band played every note methodically and ardently, as if performing each song were their sole purpose in life. The double bass, piano and earnest vocals brought his most recent album In Memory In Loss to life. His vocals traveled from calm to loud, rising into thunderous harmonies as choral voices joined in. It seemed as if the crowd was floating, blissfully, in a sea of their sound.
Just as it does on the record, the song “Early Spring Till” was the stand out masterpiece of the evening. The slow acoustic strum and distant echo of an electric guitar in the background sets up the moment perfectly for Rateliff’s crisp and intent vocals to enter the scene. With each line it seems as if another voice joins him until the entirety of The Echo was full of lush and loud harmonies declaring;
“Are you tired
Do you feel wrung out
Have you fallen from where glory sprouts
Are you cut off in fields
And pressed down
Like an early spring till
That dont come around
I think Ive been there.”
The surge of emotion was delivered so powerfully that it left you fatigued and grateful for the ease back into tranquil strums and quiet voices that followed it.
All of us in the room that night were enraptured, Rateliff’s presence drew us in as if were all sitting at his feet, with our legs crossed Indian style in a small living room somewhere in his native Missouri. Rateliff was a captivating story teller, that masterfully crafted his narratives full of abandoned hope, all the while assuring the audience that he was keeping us safe and warm.
Post by Kelsea Olivia