Hailing from Hermann, Missouri, singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff creates the sort of bluegrass rock and roll that makes you want to stamp your feet in a fit of full bodied Americana.
Playing drums since the age of seven and with a dedicated home-town following, Rateliff has so far shared the stage with the likes of Bon Iver, Mumford & Sons, and Iron & Wine – he even played with The Lumineers, during the televised 2012 United States Presidential Election Debates. His most recent successes, however, he has found with his folk-styled R&B combo The Night Sweats; in a context where R&B really does mean ‘rhythm’ and ‘blues’.
Lead single ‘S.O.B’, from their 2015 self-titled debut release, shows exactly what they are about; quick lyrical witticisms over knee-slapping refrains. It’s the sound of jail cell blues in the old Deep South, but it remains eminently able to receive modern air play (except for the constant swearing, that is). Imagine the sound of Paolo Nutini’s Sunny Side Up, played by the Soggy Bottom Boys from O Brother, Where Art Thou?. That’s something like their sound – and it’s glorious.
Rateliff is a bit out there, there’s no denying it. But he is hugely talented and his music foot-stompingly infectious, and in a world where listeners are ever more receptive to new sounds, it’s hoped that this soulful singer will ride the riffs of critical acclaim right to the top.