Tracklist 1. No Baby Don't (4:40) 2. Walk With Your Maker (3:20) 3. Heart Desire (4:02) 4. I Don't Know It (3:59) 5. Too Long (3:10) 6. My Last Nerve (4:24) 7. Easy Baby (4:45) 8. Send You Back Home (4:03) 9. Undecided Woman Blues (4:12) 10. Wayfaring Stranger (5:58) 11. Pain and Waiting (2:04
Bio Whether you catch Nathan James as his true one man band playing guitar, stomping out time on his custom suitcase drum set, while singing and blowing harmonica, or leading his new trio, you are sure to be moved and impressed with the unique energy and soul that he possesses. Nathan James is a well respected and experienced artist in his field. For over 12 years now, he has successfully made his living solely on specializing in his passion of blues, and American roots music. Starting his career of full time gigging musician at age 18, Nathan is no stranger to live performance.
While simultaneously discovering the guitar and the blues at age 13, Nathan James has since been in complete focus as to where his life goal would lead. Growing up in the small town of Fallbrook Ca, has been influential in deciding to choose this path. "There wasn't a lot to do here, so you either got in trouble, or found something productive to do!" Having supportive parents that didn't force him into the usual college after high school, allowed Nathan to go straight into the 'real working world' of playing music.
"Part of it was luck that I was able to get paying gigs right off the bat!" Local blues bands the Blues Pharaohs and Billy Watson gave Nathan a chance to get his feet wet with enough local gigs to support himself literally a month after graduating school! This led to also working with well known Southern California blues acts Jamie Wood, and Johnny Dyer. At age 19 Nathan got the call from internationally known blues veteran James Harman to join his band and tour the country. With Harman is where he gained the experience that has shaped most of his own career.
After touring and recording nonstop with Harman for 3 1/2 years, Nathan decided to have a go at literally a solo career- that is playing one man acoustic based blues. This was instantly successful, leading to playing over 30 gigs a month at times!! With the strain of carrying the entire show by yourself all the time, Nathan met up with harmonica player/vocalist Ben Hernandez, a like minded young blues musician aficionado, and together they started working as a duo. As word spread of these two and their ability to bring back to life the spirit of duos like Sonny Terry and Brownie Mcghee country blues, they gained international notoriety while traveling all over the West Coast and; In 2007, they entered the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, and took 1st place! This really has made their reputation spread like wildfire. That year alone the duo traveled to Denmark, Italy and Taiwan.
Currently Nathan’s new three piece band is forging a cumulative sound that combines the sophisticated intricacy of acoustic bluesmen such as Big Bill Broonzy and Blind Blake, with the electric uptown styles of Johnny Guitar Watson and B.B. King! This is not your average blues power trio that leans towards the much abused "blues rock" formula. Instead each member in the band knows all the nuances of the different feels and tones. Another unique aspect of a live show is band mate Troy Sandow. He may start off the set on upright bass while Nathan will play an uptown lead guitar style in the vein of B.B. or T-bone Walker. Then he will switch over to amplified harmonica and Nathan will fingerpick the bass notes and melody on his baritone guitar in the style of R.L. Burnside or Lightnin' Hopkins. Although Nathan's band pays homage to these traditions and has the same quality of musicianship, there is an original and fresh new energy coming from somebody of a much younger generation. Album about On this stellar 2009 release ‘I Don’t Know It’ from Nathan James, you can really hear an artist come into his own on these 8 original, and 3 classic tunes. What you get is a seamless variety of styles and settings ranging from one man and his National resonator bottleneck guitar, to amplified juke joint dance music, and back to fingerstyle acoustic folk blues.
With all these different but related influences, James has molded his own sound that is both old timey and a fresh new approach. On the title track ‘I Don’t Know It’, you can really dig this original sound performed by his live three piece band. It features the Mississippi Hill Country inspired riff on a plugged in resonator guitar. The inventive ‘hand clap’ back beat drumming is played by veteran Marty Dodson who has toured extensively for years with Mark Hummel and John Nemeth. The tasteful and toneful harmonica is played by multi-instrumentalist Troy Sandow who also plays upright bass in the band and on the Magic Sam classic ‘Easy Baby’.
Also being a talented multi-instrumentalist, James layers the album with his own drumming, upright bass, and banjo playing which can be heard on the string band classics ‘Too Long’, and mandolin on ‘Wayfaring Stranger’. The guitar boogie ‘Send You Back Home’ features James as a true live “one man band”- playing guitar, rack harmonica, and drums with his feet simultaneously.
Once again Nathan James is joined on record with long time musical mentor and legend James Harman on ‘My Last Nerve’. One day while Nathan was tracking Harman’s harmonica parts for a new ZZ Top record at his own Sacred Cat Studios, the two had a break while Billy Gibbons was back in Texas preparing the next song to email for harmonica to be added to. So without wasting any time, the two quickly worked up a James Harman original and had it finished recording just as the next ZZ Top song was done traveling through cyberspace.
With one other solo album and 3 other joint efforts under his belt and over 12 years of performing and touring for a living, Nathan has developed his own voice among those before him in this rich tradition of Blues and American Roots music. This album is sure to be joined into the ranks as a timeless, heartfelt expression of an artist doing what his biggest passion is, and listeners can easily acknowledge how much soul and energy was put into its creation.
Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers - What You Make Of It
Tracklist 01. Chosen Kind [03:30] 02. What You Make of It [04:41] 03. Black Snakin' Jiver [04:47] 04. Later On [05:53] 05. Get To the Country [03:44] 06. Make It On Your Own [04:30] 07. Rhino Horn [04:48] 08. Pretty Baby Don't Be Late [03:27] 09. Blues Headache [03:48] 10. Pain Inside Waltz [03:31] 11. I'm a Slave To You [04:30] 12. First and the Most [04:39] 13. You Led Me On [05:15] 14. Tri-Tar Shuffle Twist [02:40]