Nathan Hamilton

Nathan Hamilton

 Austin, Texas, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Americana meets Indie Rock. Gritty, thought provoking songs with unforgettable melodies & lyrics.
"Simply put, a revelation...snarls and sighs with swaggering conviction worthy of McMurtry and Escovedo at their best." - Richard Skanse Texas Music Magazine

Biography

Nathan Hamilton was born and raised in Abilene,Texas. He currently resides in Austin. He has been performing music professionally for 16 years. During that time he has released six albums on his own and two as a member of the Good Medicine Band (aka Sharecroppers). He was a winner of the 2000 Kerrville New Folk Award and a Top 5 Finalist in the 2008 Independent Music Awards. Nathan tours internationally both solo and with his band No Deal. His latest CD entitled, "Beauty, Wit and Speed" will be released in October, 2011 and recently debuted at #10 on the Euro Americana Chart.
The album was co-produced with engineer Britton Beisenherz (Monahans, Milton Mapes, Doug Burr, Seryn) at Ramble Creek Studio in Austin,Texas. A wonderful group of artists took part including Kevin Russell (The Gourds) on mandolin, Jeff Lofton on trumpet, Greg Vanderpool (Monahans) and Amy Cook on vocals and many more. The result is a collection of some of Nathan's strongest songs yet, set to a multifaceted, oft times lush and sometimes sparsely lit sonic soundscape.

Full Bio:

My earliest musical memories are of my father playing guitar and singing songs by Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. He played in country bands when he was younger. I also remember my mother singing hymns around the house. My first performance was at six years old, singing in church with my father. I also have a distinct memory of laying in the backseat of the car, traveling at night, looking out the window at the stars and listening to Ray Price on the radio. I was born and raised in Abilene,Texas. But my parents were both from East Tennessee, so bluegrass and mountain music were a big influence. The storytelling tradition was deeply instilled. I grew up hearing family stories about tobacco farmers, soldiers, preachers, moonshiners and more. All of these relatives and tales would shape the imagery and ideas in much of my music when I began writing. I grew up in the church so biblical themes would begin to make their way into my songs as well.
My older brother was always turning me on to new music, everything from Elvis Costello to Jimmie Dale Gilmore. He is a musician and played in many rock and blues bands throughout Texas. He played bass with Texas guitar hero, Jesse Taylor in his band “Tornado Alley”. When I was in high school the band came through and stayed at our house. They all slept on the floor and ate dinner with us and even came to see me perform in the school musical. It was pretty great to see this band of long haired, tattooed, road weary rockers sitting on the front row of a high school theater, hooting and hollering during the show. Then they all piled into the van and headed down the road to their next gig. I think I was hooked on the idea of traveling around playing music right then and there.
In 1987 I moved to Dallas,Tx where I began going to art school. It was then that I discovered, through punk and new wave, a new shade of influence in songwriters like Julian Cope, David Sylvian, Ian McCulloch and Lloyd Cole. I began to write my own songs at this time blending these influences with the American songwriters I had recently discovered like Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt and Tom Waits and working to find my own voice. I started playing open mics in Dallas.
Later, I dropped out of art school, moved to Los Angeles, California and started playing the coffeehouse scene there as well as writing and performing with a local theater company. In 1992 I discovered a new batch of musicians. Joe Henry, James McMurtry Peter Case and Chris Whitley were all influences that would fuel me even further to write and perform my own songs. Two years later I moved back to Texas, this time to Austin and devoted my time and energy to songwriting and singing. I met up with my childhood friend from Abilene, Marc Utter and we began performing as a duo. Shortly thereafter we met brothers Bill and Jim Palmer (now of Hundred Year Flood) and we began playing together as “The Sharecroppers” we eventually met and added multi- instrumentalist David Sawtelle and percussionist Ron Mann. We performed all over Texas, sharing stages with everyone from Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Blue Mountain, Joe Ely and The Dixie Chicks. We recorded an album “Spirit of the Sharecroppers” with producer Lloyd Maines and released it under the name Good Medicine Band (we had to change our name due to an already existing band called TheSharecroppers.) The album was released in late 1997. The band split up in the spring of 98 and I began performing under my own name.
I put together a new band and with the help of Ted Cho ( of Poi Dog Pondering) recorded my first solo album, “Tuscola”. It was released in 1999 on the Austin based label Steppin’Stone Records. Both regional and national touring followed and the album received strong reviews. In 2000 i was honored to be chosen as a winner of the Kerrville Folk Festivals "New Folk Awa

Lyrics

Green & Gold

Written By: Nathan Hamilton

At the center of nothing, in the middle of it all
I was waiting for your love to come around
But you were lost to another in a world of green and gold
And I was digging in the earth for skin and bone

That's how it goes sometimes
That's how it goes

We were dirty little children but we did not seem to care
The clothes we wore were torn, they were frayed and threadbare
We stole our every pleasure in the space between the need
Raised our heads high enough to find a way with which to leave

That's how it goes sometimes
That's how it goes

I saw a broken, black umbrella, just like a fallen new born bird
Lying in the street just as useless as a song gone unheard
Somehow I knew it would be you to chew the fattest plum
You left the skin and seed here for me when you were done

That's how it goes sometimes
That's how it goes

The Cut

Written By: Nathan Hamilton

I don't mean to be so angry
Truth be told I am just scared
Lashing out at anybody
That has the bad luck of being there
I would do most anything
To sooth this fevered brow
I'd do what it takes to bring
Bring you back here to me now
Well my big ol' heart is hurting
I have shut down like a mill
On my hands and knees and crawling
I'm sinking ever lower still
I have done my level best
To keep this all in check
But I trail the heels of trouble
Just like a siren trails a wreck

Goodbye to my old friend

I wear this shiny band of copper
Around my wrist till it turns green
Reminds me of the place I falter
And the envy within me
I have lain open the cut
Sucked the poison with my mouth
Turned my head with both eyes shut
I spit it out down to the ground

Goodbye to my old friend

Undone

Written By: Nathan Hamilton

He burns the road behind him
Leaves no cobwebs on the moulding
Just a tattered Spanish blanket
Hanging lonely on the wall
He's a stronger man at forty
Got a weathered face from fighting
He's the only one with guts enough
To try and break the world's jaw

But I know, yes I know
He's coming undone

He's got a stained and battered Stetson
He keeps it pushed back on his head some
He's got a hand rolled cigarette
Clinched between his smiling teeth
He's got no romantic notion
About where his life is going
He's apt to vanish like the vapors
He might stay drunk and mean for weeks

But I know, yes I know
He's coming undone

I hear the rain is falling
I feel the spirit calling
I hear the echo of the laughter
The heavy sobbing of a cry
I let his memory rest
I won't follow in his footsteps
It's not for me to pity him
It's not for me to question why

I just know, yes I know
He's coming undone

Receive

Written By: Nathan Hamilton

I may have doubts, I may have worries
At times it seems I can’t go on
In just one moment that all changes
When in your strength I find I’m strong

You don’t talk down to anybody
You don’t speak with a forked tongue
No held grudges, no bitter judgments
No regrets for anything you’ve done

You just keep giving, just keep giving
You just keep giving to whoever will receive

I am tired of all this living
I am tired of the dying too
All I’m wanting, all I’m needing
Is the life that we once knew

And to just keep giving, just keep giving
Just keep giving to whoever will receive

Discography

2011- "Beauty, Wit & Speed"
2010- "My Brightest Diamond" (single)
2010 - "Trick of the Light" - w/ Good Medicine Band
2008 - "Receive"
2007- "Six Black Birds"
2003- "LIVE at Floore's Country Store"
2001- "All for Love & Wages"
1999- "Tuscola"
1997- "Spirit of the Sharecroppers" - w/ Good Medicine Band

Set List

Maximum- 2 one hour sets.