Nate Jenkins Band
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Nate Jenkins Band

Dubuque, Iowa, United States | INDIE

Dubuque, Iowa, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock

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The morning of Session #4 was something awful getting started, camera batteries dying and extension cords failing, but when the burley gusts of the grim reaper started ripping through my hair, all the turmoil was worth it. For in the call of a sailor lost to the weather something serious was to be said.
Nate Jenkins would say it. Let me introduce him.
When we met him it was a snowstorm mid-December. He was a soul in the pit of an old building of faith bellowing out his Whoa now around a tale of mercy down, and he weren’t trading for good luck with nobody, cause nobody’s around. He walked and told his story beside the lateral columns of a dated steam furnace, deep under the structure’s cornerstone in a fallout shelter dubbed “The Tunnels.” There the lost luxuries of a once bright life were woefully sung (banjo included), the course of their glimmering, seafaring hopes having faded into a prison of troubles…
I never saw it coming
From the north it did descend
Caught me with my sails down low
With no pardon for to lend
Whoa now, mercy…
English teacher by day, lyrical Iowan folkster by frequent request (booking info below), Nate Jenkins’s neo-traditional traveler’s tale, “Mercy Down,” rose through the basement corridors of the ex-monastery as quickly and powerfully as it did later my Last.fm play count passed 100 listens. As he channeled the sailor, the trapped man’s lamentation seemed to resurrect the monastery’s deadened influences. And so, as is often the case in such a holy place, in came and sang the chorus of conscience-with Jenkins directing. Following the piper through the halls as he wailed and walked off towards the dark of the furnace room was man in his unequivocal need of mercy…
A storm is rolling in
This one could be the end
If I do not break
I’m surely gonna bend
Whoa now, mercy…
In a place as Session #4, lines like superstition’s got me now with that ocean bottom tease, fit. For there, death is close. There you know with the sailor, I can’t trade for good luck with nobody until I reach that solid ground. When you begin to see the unvisited crowds that lurk along the channels of a lost monastery’s still burning furnace and there is a tune and its sayer that seem to call audience to revenant whisperers. When it’s too hard to tell if it’s the histories or the hiss that you’re hearing pushed through the gnarled junctions of steam pipe. When the drips from them are as thick into your thoughts as their insulation sopping off in clumps to the floor. And when you’re in socks trying to keep quiet enough to video when it’s all too loud anyway and you see the rot of all of it on the floor in puddles. You try to avoid it, but you end up remembering that you too will rot. Such was the Session with Nate Jenkins “Mercy Down…”
At the end of the shot, as he faded into the black of the furnace room, I couldn’t help but think that in a holy place as this, that some Adamic apparition hadn’t just visited.
Enjoy the video and the downloads of two other Into The Hill studio tracks, “Glowing Eastern Sky,” and “Enough.” For booking information, contact Nate at, jenkins.songs -at- yahoo.com or www.myspace.com/jenkinssongs.
~Riley
- IntoTheHill


From: September 18, 2009

Andrew Bird started early and stayed late Thursday night at the Grand Opera House in his return performance to Dubuque. And, one of the area's newest performers - the Nate Jenkins Band - left a positive impression.

Bird, of Elizabeth, Ill., seemed more polished and confident than he did the last time he played in Dubuque. But that was back in October of 2006 during the Voices of the Warehouse show. Though it was obvious even back then that he was something special, Bird hadn't perfected his unique sound. Since then, he has become an international talent who was not only obviously happy to be back in the tri-states, he appeared to be a little nervous.

Yet, the few minor flaws in his performance - "I haven't played in about two weeks," he said a couple of times - didn't detract from the evening of beautiful music. I especially liked "Scythian Empires," "Master Fade" and an interesting version of "Darkmatter." The soft-spoken and modest performer will be playing in places such as Paris, London and Tokyo in future months. He's definitely become big-time.

Opening act the Nate Jenkins Band got things going in grand style. A mix of rock, folk and country, the relatively new group - it was formed earlier this summer - was pretty tight and quite entertaining. Jenkins' voice had good range, and the other members meshed as though they'd been together longer. Keep an eye out for our weekly Thursday Nightlife listings for when you might get a chance to see them. - Telegraph Herald Online


Nate Jenkins
North of London

North of London is Dubuque singer-songwriter, Nate Jenkins’ debut release. The self-produced CD is named for the area around Norwich, England which happens to be, well, north of London. The six months Jenkins spent studying there during his college years had a great impact. “I learned more in those six months than in all of my undergraduate education,” he admits during our relaxed conversation at a street-side table outside Café Manna Java on Main Street in Dubuque.

An appropriate introduction, North of London celebrates the experiential learning of a young and talented songwriter honing his craft. Piano lessons and experience in choir when he was younger led to an interest in guitar and songwriting. Eight years and two college bands later, Jenkins has transcended his early influences, drawing inspiration from a diverse group of unique artists. Noted songwriters like Nick Drake, Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Tom Waits were mentioned as we talked about his musical history leading up to this recording.

Listening to the EP length CD, the influences make sense, but not in any derivative sort of way. Jenkins is creating a voice and style all his own. Though he admits they might not be representative of his live sets (which include covers of artists as diverse as the Beatles and Radiohead in addition to his originals), the five songs on North of London are generally introspective with lyrics that explore nature and human relationships. The second track, “Moonlight River” especially evokes a haunting sense of uncertainty in the face of imminent change.

The recording production matches the mood of each piece, despite a whirlwind recording schedule. Prompted by an opportunity to open for Gaelic Storm in March of 2004, Jenkins set out to get a CD recorded that he could make available at the gig. With only a two-week production schedule, the entire recording was finished in nine days, a fact made more remarkable by the range of guest musicians who performed on the songs.

While Jenkins handled the vocals and intricate finger-style acoustic guitars, each song utilizes the unique talents of area musicians. Dave Christensen contributes organ and accordion, Shawn Healy and Jen Wiater (of Big Muddy) play electric guitar and flute (respectively), Kristina Castaneda sang backing vocals, Andy Noll (of Echo 3) plays electric bass, Jimmy Berg (of Heartland Studios and half the bands in the Tri-State) plays percussion and Brandon Golden adds upright bass.

Though he had some parts in mind when he began scheduling recording times for guest players, Jenkins said everyone who participated, including recording engineer Laird Scott, contributed to the production. “On all the songs, it was fun to have people come in and play their parts,” he explains. “I gave them free range. It was pretty spontaneous.” In the spirit of collaboration and completing the overall package, Jenkins’ fiancé, Ellen Thimmesch, contributed cover art and photography to the CD.

A learning experience, Jenkins says the shorter length of the CD was a direct result of the time available to record – “This was a flash of lightening.” “Two Rails West,” an instrumental piece was written “on the fly” during recording. The experience has fueled his interest in recording. He has more songs in the works for the next project. The next recording will be “bigger, better, badder, brighter and darker,” Jenkins predicts. With North of London as a first stop on his travelogue, I’m excited to see where Nate Jenkins takes us next!

– Mike Ironside

North of London is available at Mississippi Mug and Moondog Music and at Nate Jenkins’ live shows. Catch him at Andaluz on Friday, September 10, at the Irish Cottage in Galena on September 16 and 23rd (both Thursdays) and again at Andaluz on Friday, October 8.
- Dubuque365


Sunday, September 13, 2009
Folk-rock band to open for Andrew Bird
The four-piece Nate Jenkins Band connects with featured performer.
BY MEGAN GLOSS TH STAFF WRITER

Event: Nate Jenkins Band, opening for Andrew Bird

Time: 8 p.m.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 17

Place: Grand Opera House, Dubuque

Cost: $31.50

The Nate Jenkins Band, of Dubuque, will open for Andrew Bird's Sept. 17 performance at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque.

The four-piece folk rock band is in its infancy. It was formed earlier this summer and headlined at Dubuquefest.

It will take the Grand stage at 8 p.m., with Bird to follow.

Jenkins, who is a teacher in Dubuque, has written music and performed as a notable solo act for several years. He met Bird while playing at Voices from the Warehouse in 2006.

The two formed a musical connection and remained in touch.

Jenkins thought the show partnership with Bird would be a good fit for the newly formed band.

"When I found out Andrew Bird was playing at the Grand, I gave him a call," Jenkins said in a phone interview. "It will be a good experience for the group."

The band, which Jenkins described as having an "indie rock feel," will perform many of Jenkins' originally penned tunes using an assortment of instrumentation, from guitars to banjos and trumpet.

"My original music uses elements
of folk and pop -- we get rock in there, too," Jenkins said. "There's definitely an indie feel to it."

The Nate Jenkins Band plans to continue getting its name out in the area, as well as tapping into the regional music scene.

"We'd like to get down to the Quad Cities and the Twin Cities and continue to poke around here," Jenkins said. - Telegraph Herald


Sunday, September 13, 2009
Folk-rock band to open for Andrew Bird
The four-piece Nate Jenkins Band connects with featured performer.
BY MEGAN GLOSS TH STAFF WRITER

Event: Nate Jenkins Band, opening for Andrew Bird

Time: 8 p.m.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 17

Place: Grand Opera House, Dubuque

Cost: $31.50

The Nate Jenkins Band, of Dubuque, will open for Andrew Bird's Sept. 17 performance at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque.

The four-piece folk rock band is in its infancy. It was formed earlier this summer and headlined at Dubuquefest.

It will take the Grand stage at 8 p.m., with Bird to follow.

Jenkins, who is a teacher in Dubuque, has written music and performed as a notable solo act for several years. He met Bird while playing at Voices from the Warehouse in 2006.

The two formed a musical connection and remained in touch.

Jenkins thought the show partnership with Bird would be a good fit for the newly formed band.

"When I found out Andrew Bird was playing at the Grand, I gave him a call," Jenkins said in a phone interview. "It will be a good experience for the group."

The band, which Jenkins described as having an "indie rock feel," will perform many of Jenkins' originally penned tunes using an assortment of instrumentation, from guitars to banjos and trumpet.

"My original music uses elements
of folk and pop -- we get rock in there, too," Jenkins said. "There's definitely an indie feel to it."

The Nate Jenkins Band plans to continue getting its name out in the area, as well as tapping into the regional music scene.

"We'd like to get down to the Quad Cities and the Twin Cities and continue to poke around here," Jenkins said. - Telegraph Herald


Discography

Nate Jenkins Band
Live at The Grand EP
February 2010

Nate Jenkins
Bagnoregio, EP
Home Recordings 2006-2007

Nate Jenkins
North of London, EP
February 2004

~~~

Other Media:

Official Website:
www.natejenkins.com

Nate Jenkins Band on Myspace.com (www.myspace.com/jenkins.songs)

"Mercy Down" Video
Streaming at IntoTheHill.com

Videos from DubuqueFest 2009
www.explorationiowa.com

Nate Jenkins on Youtube.com

Radio Airplay with KUNI (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Radio Airplay with KGRR/Midwest Music Makers (Dubuque, IA)

Photos

Bio

NJB Biography

Nate Jenkins sings with a captivating vocal style atop vintage indie rock and pop arrangements, channeling his original songs through veteran musicians Brad Cavanagh, Rob Martin, and Chad Witthoeft. Onstage, the band incorporates a unique blend of effects and loops into their set, formulating a quality equating that of a studio session, while preserving the raw power and spontaneity of a live performance. Blending their varying styles and distinctive instrumentation brings a refreshing interpretation to the story of popular rock and roll. Nate Jenkins Band is at once fresh and unique, yet strangely familiar.

~Dr. Ivan Rhomberg