Nathan Holscher

Nathan Holscher

 Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

In songs about restless hearts and changing skies, Nathan Holscher’s timeless imagery and lyricism reach well beyond his own 27 years. His songs are at once honest, desperate and simple, with flashes of early Springsteen, “Harvest”-era Neil Young and current luminaries Ryan Adams and David Gray.

Biography

Nathan Holscher’s imagery and lyricism exceeds the experiences a 27 year-old singer-songwriter should have to tap. Perhaps his repeated exposure to the harsh beauty and mythology of the American West as a youth coupled with religious studies at an eclectic midwestern college help him weave compelling narratives at will. Maybe it is an innate gift.

On the surface Holscher is a soft-spoken singer/songwriter. Once you drop the needle on his new album “Hit The Ground”, that persona is turned on its ear. You are immediately introduced to an old-soul seeker that has yet to find the life that fits him; that has seen the highs and lows of the human experience and feels there is little left to prove and much to lose. Just as that character starts to feel familiar, he turns the tables and assumes the guise of a broken spirit looking for a connection. The beauty lies in the mystery of which character is closest to the real Holscher. The magic is in knowing you will never be sure you have applied the proper label.

Following on the heels of 2007’s successful “Even The Hills,” “Hit The Ground” finds Nathan again melding influences from all genres of classic and contemporary American songwriting and literature. The artist demonstrates a keen ability to let the song steer the ship. Like the best before him, he allows himself to disappear into the song, acting as its conduit rather than its master.

A stellar new backing band The Ohio 5, and additional session personnel introduce piano, pedal steel and horn parts to the mix, which fuel the passion of the songs. The strength of the musicians is in their ability to play for the song. Holscher’s production collaborator Ric Hordinski (Over the Rhine, David Wilcox) brings a sonic depth, lustre and openness to the songs that pays homage to recent Daniel Lanois and T Bone Burnett-helmed records.

The album showcases Americana sensibilities while introducing elements of classic folk and modern rock. The tunes are at once honest, desperate and simple with flashes of early Springsteen, “Harvest”-era Neil Young, and Graham Parsons; and a kinship with current luminaries Ryan Adams and David Gray. “Hit The Ground” is Holscher’s most compelling work to date. Well-crafted songs about restless hearts and changing skies aimed at the heart of the listener.

Lyrics

My Sweet

Written By: Nathan Holscher

Moving slow
I feel the morning come
And the good light grow
And the highway hum
Coffee black
Windows down
Now I’m looking back
On a lonely town

See the blacktop rise
Then it clears the ground
And then engine sighs
When the pedal’s down

Nothing on the radio
(From) Wichita to West Kentucky
All I have is room to grow
Used to pray I’d be that lucky
People do the strangest things with time
Never found a way to make you mine
That’s a little more than I can take
Oh my sweet, oh my sweet

Now I’m all alone
Now I’m in relation
Here’s a telephone
And a filling station
There’s a broken line
And the buck stops there
And I’ve got the time
If you even care

Chorus

Bridge:
Spread your love just like a pattern from a gun
Don’t take a road sign just to tell me where the highway runs
Can you tell me where the high runs . . . . today?
Today?

In the years to come
I can feel the danger
When we meet
It will be a stranger
I won’t shy away
From the light we knew
And the good I take
Hell, I took from you

Too Many Roads

Written By: Nathan Holscher

I guess you got your man
I guess you got it done
I bet you hold him tight enough to know that he might run
Fortunes have been told
Gypsies have been stoned
And everyone you left in love is bound to cry alone
If that’s your little act
Then that’s a crying shame

Too many roads out of this town
Too many lost before their time
Too many nights lay on the bottle
Too many years I called you mine

Every little loss
It just helped for you to sing
And everything about it says you can’t feel a thing
You can’t feel me know
Cause I’s a dying dream
But I can’t burn at every turn cause I ain’t kerosene
But the blood that’s in me now
Ain’t worth the price of you

Even the Hills

Written By: Nathan Holscher


I like to rest and hear the rain sometimes
And I like the sun when it finally shines
And I like the time at the end of the day
When your works all done and you feel OK
And you go outside

Down to the graveyard looking for a place to sit
I know where you lie and I ain’t ever gonna forget
But I’ll never know what you left so soon
A big old house, an empty room
For me and your things

Chorus:
Now even the hills are blue
I pray to God they take me too
Hot sun and the run is dry
And I can feel you in the sky
I can’t go before my time
I can’t go before my time

I know about Jesus, I heard about the chosen one
But I feel like a queen whose kingdom was a setting sun
Ain’t no gold that I can touch
It was the little things that meant so much
And you were the one

Summer’s gone, there’s color on the hill
But the grass is green where you set your still
It wasn’t whiskey, it wasn’t the shine
It was the simple glow of a love so fine
Of you, you and I

Chorus

Hard, High and Blue

Written By: Nathan Holscher

Got a friend in Albuquerque
Only one who never hurt me
She can paint the whole world blue
And sell it like a song
Autumn days are moving fast
Lovers lie in dying grass
Alice says this too will pass
(But) don’t it take too long

Chorus:
Ain’t no deal sweet enough to make me hang around
Every road I ever take, (just) takes me out of town
I’m driving hard, high and blue
I’m driving hard high and blue

Forty through the morning sun
Diesel makes my kingdom come
There’s a road for everyone
And some they go astray
When Juarez brought me blood to bleed
I choked it down like chicken feed
Played the role of friend in need
And cursed the light of day

Chorus

Bridge:
Learned a little bit of shame
I keep it like a family name
Only have myself to blame
I only have myself
And when it’s over
I pray the wind will keep my name

Now I sing a drifter’s song
Tell myself it won’t be long
Get to be where I belong
And never go away

Chorus

Locust

Written By: Nathan Holscher

When the buds are open
And the whole world’s hopin’
Longer days prevail
When the honey locust
Spreads and finds its focus
And the shade falls on the trail
That’s when I found you
I found you

When the breeze becomes the wind
And the color goes again
And the lies are all that’s left
I will love you yet

When the leaves are green
And the swallows seem
Unhurried in their flight
When the air’s so still
They can make their kill
And feed into the night
That’s when I lost you
I lost you

Chorus

When the color changes
And the swallow ranges
Out through distant shores
When the leaves no longer fall
You won’t need the shade at all
Though there’s nothing I miss more
That’s when I need you
I need you
Chorus

One Last Day

Written By: Nathan Holscher

I wouldn’t want it right/when so long’s just the same
Tell me that you tried/ cause I can feel the changes come
The tremble and the touch/till nothing matters much
The turning of the tide/the secret that you hide from me

Chorus:
There’s something that I saw/in you/it all
Made it hard to stay/at ease/at bay
For one last day
One last day

I know you’re moving now/you make it clear and how
Better light will come/and choose to shine on some my dear

Chorus 2:
There’s nothing that I saw/in you/at all
That made me want to stay/at ease/at bay
For one last day
One last day

Bridge:
Keep your secret where the sidewalk ends
Leave your lover in the rain
There’s another and I won’t pretend
That the mystery remains
Everybody’s got to change

My eyes can crack the code/they shine with what I know
And poisoned as your tongue/I watch the changes come for me

Along the Way

Written By: Nathan Holscher

They pulled up and towed my car
(They) showed me where the motels are
A day out from Sante Cruz
Didn’t know just what I had to lose
Warm night/early June (One night/early June)
I got the feeling that we moved to soon (I could feel it, that we moved to soon)
And I knew
This wasn’t gonna do

Chorus:
I knew in San Antone
Wasn’t sure in Sante Fe
I have come to find a home
Is what you lose along the way
And you can’t find a love song
When you can’t even stay

Short trip to tell my mom
That the wedding plans were on
Front yard and fixed rate loan
A used car, I’d get straight home
But all the desert looked the same
And she never took me name
And I know
I wasn’t good to go

Chorus

I pulled up and sold the car
I mailed the money and I own the scar
A day shy of being true
To what I promised I was gonna do
Feels right/on the day
That you tell her that you’re gonna stay
Then you find
You can change your mind

Only One

Written By: Nathan Holscher

Walk away
And follow your heart/ I will stay
Here for the start/for the day
That you see/you should stay/close to me

Chorus:
There’s only one
Reason to pray for the sun
On my knees
I’ll be till the day that you come
Home . .. please
Come home to me

Just one light
But I find my way to the bed
And the right
Side where I lay as you read
About roads/to the sea
Where you chose/well to be

Chorus

Bridge:
You can change
Quite all right
Thoughts might fade
Love won’t die

Chorus

Caroline

Written By: Nathan Holscher

Every dream calls you out in places I can’t find
When will they come and call you to stay
If only I’d seen, and followed the light of your stars as they shine
If only I’d seen, and followed the way

Chorus:
But no one knows your next move like a do
The turning into nothing, fade to blue
Caroline, I wish I was your brother
Cause then when you go you can’t find another
And your heart and mine would never have to change with time
When there’s nothing left for us to find
Why don’t you go my Caroline

I’ve had some days I swore that life was golden
A lot of those found you by my side
And most of the time it’s there for the takin’
Eases my mind when the shivers and shakin’
Come to the places I let you inside

Chorus

Discography

Hit the Ground, Sept., 2009
Even the Hills, 2007
Pray for Rain, 2004

"One Last Day," "Along the Way" and "Caroline" are receive play on WNKU (89.7 in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky). They are also being played on several radio stations throughout Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Songs have also received play on college and independent radio shows, such as "Americana Crossroads" (WMKY) and "In Review" (WAIF).

"Even the Hills also reached #4 on the Euro Americana Chart in December 2007 and is receiving radio play in in a half dozen European countries, including Europe, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Set List

A typical setlist would vary widely, but would consist of original songs. Set lists are built to fit within the time requirements of the specific event.

An example set list:
Hit the Ground
Caroline
Locust
Even the Hills
Know You Too
Too Many Roads
My Sweet
One Last Day
Bakersfield
Find Me
True?
Seven Years
Along the Way
Only One