Nate LaPointe Band
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Nate LaPointe Band

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Americana Jam


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"LA Is a Long Way From Laramie"

Laramie may be a long ways from
Los Angeles, but for 1996 LHS
graduate Nate LaPointe, his music
will always keep him close to home.
Nate officially released his self-titled
debut CD on Dec. 16 at a release
party at the WeHo Club in Hollywood.
Nate, 28, grew up in Laramie
under the musical influences of his
parents, Dan and Mary LaPointe.
Dan owned Top Notch Records, a
record store in downtown Laramie
on Ivinson Ave., and he and Mary
began taking Nate to Grateful Dead
shows when he was just 4 years old.
Shortly thereafter, at the age of 5,
Nate picked up the guitar. By 9, he
was playing for people at the downtown
Laramie street festivals. He
played at the street festivals for several
years, both by himself and with
a band called The Role Models.
“I was just a kid sitting in with
these hippies, which was fun,”
Nate said in a phone interview
from his home in Los Angeles.
He and Dan, who started playing
bass guitar after Nate started playing
lead guitar, also played around
town in another band called Somebody’s
Mother. Nate played everything
from Grateful Dead music to
jazz, country to rock.
“I think that I kind of had a unique
perspective (on music) because of my
father, because he owned the music
store. So I was exposed to more than
Laramie naturally had to offer,” Nate
said. “On that level I was unique for
someone in Laramie, but on another
level, I was able to see a lot of live
music and a lot of traditional and
country music, just being around in
that town. I’m grateful for it.”
After graduating high school,
Nate moved to Los Angeles to
attend the California Institute of the
Arts – an all inclusive art academy
that features one of the best jazz
and music programs in the country.
The school was started by Walt
Disney for animation, so he could
hand-pick his animators. Disney
wanted to include all of the arts, so
he expanded the school to include
music, dance, photography, film and
theater. It is a small and selective
school with only 1,200 students, but
a place Nate would find good friends
that would one day become his band.
At the same time Nate moved,
his parents had to move. Dan was
forced to sell Top Notch Records
after Hastings came to town, and
he soon found work in Oregon.
Unfortunately, four years later in
April of 2000, Dan passed away.
After arriving in Los Angeles, Nate
started working as a freelance musician.
He graduated from Cal Arts in
2000 with a bachelor of fine arts
degree in jazz guitar, and continued
working as a sideman, appearing on
hundreds of CDs as a contributor.
He has played and continues to
play with various groups throughout
Los Angeles and the world, including
the Jeff Jensen Blues Band, which
recently opened for blues legend
B.B. King. He also plays with a
Grateful Dead tribute band, Cubensis,
that original Grateful Dead
member Vince Welnick occasionally
joins. Nate also plays with 1960s
soul and R&B legend Bobby Womack
during the summers.
Although he enjoys his time on
the side, it was always his goal to
one day get to the point where he
could put out his own music. But in
one of the biggest cities in the world,
nothing is handed to you, and Nate
had to pay his dues before he was
in the position to make his own CD.
“You have to gain the experience
and the contacts in this large city and
have the connections in order to pull
something like this off, and also
money. Right out of college I didn’t
have money to spend doing my own
thing. I was having to make money
just to pay rent. So it’s a combination
of experience, contacts and money.”
“Nate LaPointe” was funded
jointly by Nate and Luna Records,
an independent label in Los Angeles.
Nate was signed to the label
about a year ago.
“I’ve personally known the executive
there for a long time. When I
started working on my album, he
said, ‘I love your music, Nate. Why
don’t you come to Luna and record?’”
Nate recruited three of his good
friends to play with him on his CD.
Two of them, bass player Ivan Johnson
and keyboardist/producer
Jamieson Trotter, attended Cal Arts
with him. The third, drummer Tim
Campbell, has been a close friend of
his for 10 years. Nate said he considers
these three to be some of the
best musicians in all of Los Angeles.
“They are work friends and
friend friends. That’s how it is; the
music business is very personal,”
Nate explained.
Nate said he has played hundreds
of gigs with Johnson, hundreds
more with Trotter and Campbell.
Nate and Campbell co-wrote eight
of the eleven songs on the CD, a collaboration
that produced an eclectic
mix of music. Each song on the disc
is different, ranging from the introspective
ballad to the rock anthem.
One song sticks out though, the
lone instrumental, “Laramie.”
“I originally came up with the musical
idea for that tune and was trying
to think of what to call it. It came
pretty naturally to me so I thought of
the name “Close to Home.” That was
my original, working title for it,
because I felt like I was close to home
when I was writing it,” Nate explained.
“Then we went into the studio to
record it, and I looked at it, and I said,
‘You know what, “Close to Home” is
too generic. I need something more
specific, because it is about me.’ So I
thought, ‘Well, this sounds like, and it
feels like it could be from Laramie.’ So
we named it Laramie.”
Nate hasn’t been back to Laramie in
over two years. He still has friends
here and with the possibility of the
band touring this summer, Wyoming
and Colorado are on the top of his list.
Overall, Nate is very happy with
how his musical career has turned
out so far. He is doing what he
loves with people who share his
same passion for music. In just 10
years he has gone from an 18-yearold
kid from Wyoming to a seasoned
musician with his own CD.
He even had a celebrity, Rhea
Pearlman of Cheers, at his release
party. But Nate LaPointe has no
intention of stopping anytime soon.
“I’ve met a lot of my goals. As with
any good artist, you are always creating
new goals for yourself. I figure
if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
So as a growing artist I’m constantly
reevaluating and making new goals.
And they frequently get fulfilled, to
be honest with you.”
For more information on Nate
LaPointe, to get a copy of his CD
or for a free download of one of his
songs, visit - Laramie Daily Boomerang


"Nate LaPointe" released October '05
Nate LaPointe Band "Live '06"



Follow the flow of your own unique instinct and intuition - this is where music lies. A collaboration of Los Angeles-based players who come from strong musically-educated backgrounds, The Nate LaPointe Band has blazed its own trail by utilizing rootsy, introspective songwriting, and the free-flowing knack for eclectic improvisation.

In its early realization, the concept of The Nate LaPointe Band began in 2004 as a songwriting outlet for Nate LaPointe and lyricist friend Tim Campbell. Area musicians soon joined and the group began playing gigs and creating a buzz in the LA area. This eventually led NLB to embark on a 2006 California tour, opening for Cubensis featuring the world-renowned keyboardist Vince Welnick.

NLB has since evolved into one of Los Angeles' freshest and most unique bands, combining the skills of four diverse Cal Arts trained musicians - Nate LaPointe on guitar and vocals, Ivan Johnson on acoustic upright bass, David Johnson on keys & harmonica, and Christopher Payne on drums & percussion. In October 2008, vocalist Christine "Cece" Sherman was added to the group. The result is an assembly of articulate, driven and creative musicians who take their audience on a journey through multiple genres with incomparable talent.

2009 has been a year of reflection, re-evaluation and revelation for NLB, who have been hard at work in the studio during much of the summer. Respected recording engineer John Baffa of TV Tray Studios in Simi Valley, CA has been working with the band to record a completely new, highly-anticipated, full-length album that showcases each member's talents in musicianship and songwriting like no NLB album has before. The album releases in December 2009. In the meantime, check out the calendar and don't miss the next Nate LaPointe Band show.