I stumbled upon local San Francisco-based artist Matt Nathanson as a happy accident when he opened for G. Love and Special Sauce last Spring. It was an interesting bill to be sharing since his music is nothing like G. Love's (god bless G's Booty Call soul). But Nathanson gave an excellent, hilarious performance (he is like half stand-up comedian, half guitar-wielding troubador).
You may have heard his cover of the James song Laid, but his original work far outshines it. After the show I bought his album Beneath These Fireworks, which is his major label debut with Universal (he has a string of indie releases over the years as well - building steam).
Beneath These Fireworks has a killer line-up of musicians playing with Nathanson. Matt Chamberlain drums (Pearl Jam's first drummer), David Garza plays guitar, Matt Fish does cello (who's played with Mark Eitzel and Alejandro Escovedo) and Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket, love them) does backing vocals on two tracks. But I learned all that after I got and loved the CD. So it's just icing on the cake.
Here are two album tracks:
"Angel" (from Beneath These Fireworks)
"Sad Songs" (from Beneath These Fireworks)
...And an absolutely awesome live Prince cover from the Spring tour. He covered this also at the show I was at, so I was all over the singalong action. I am not too cool for that.
"Starfish and Coffee" (live Prince cover - right click, save target as)
Many other live tracks can be found on the Live Music Archive site if you like his sound. But buy the album, it is great. And then go see him live. He toured a ton in 2005, and no new 2006 dates are posted to the website, but surely he will head out again as I hear he is one of the most relentless travelling songsmiths in the business.
P.S. - He has also been known to cover Journey's "Any Way You Want It" in concert, but don't hold that against him. I also have been known to pull that one out of my back pocket in karaoke, but you all still love me anyways. So it goes both ways.
Labels: matt nathanson