Nathaniel Street-West
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Nathaniel Street-West

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter

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Sep
11
Nathaniel Street-West @ B.B. King's

Universal City, California, USA

Universal City, California, USA

Jul
21
Nathaniel Street-West @ B.B. Kings

Universal City, California, USA

Universal City, California, USA

Sep
14
Nathaniel Street-West @ PBS Television

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All cities, countries, California, USA

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Bam! Nathaniel's latest album starts off with not a punch but a full-blown suplex. Beginning with the track, Revulsion, he explains to the listener that something has been bothering him and that he may explode. This is a perfect lead-in to the second track, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, that dishes out his dirge on American history and its hypocrisy, all surrounded by his new love of bass fuzz and guitar crunch - something quite different than his previous release, Light Out For The Territory. The third song, Wedding Song, immediately changes gears into an acoustic ballad about growing up and spreading out. The songs on the album, American Way, Weighted Words, and Sidewinder, remind the listener of his naturally blues-influenced background are not overpowered by the strong intro and set the listener on a pleasant auto-drive through the rest of the album.


Once again the album's quality is top-notch, lyrically, musically, and poetically and ends with a free-form, train-of-thought poem, organically complimented by instruments. Nathaniel has an edgy voice that allows him to sing many musical genres and while most of the tracks gave the listener familiarity, the harder pieces show that his writing is not pigeon-holed into blues but yearns to explore and experience new sounds and feelings.



Added February 19, 2005
<http://gida.tzo.net/RadioDB/Artists.aspx>
Reviewed by Chris at Gida Folk Radio - Gida Folk Radio


Bam! Nathaniel's latest album starts off with not a punch but a full-blown suplex. Beginning with the track, Revulsion, he explains to the listener that something has been bothering him and that he may explode. This is a perfect lead-in to the second track, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, that dishes out his dirge on American history and its hypocrisy, all surrounded by his new love of bass fuzz and guitar crunch - something quite different than his previous release, Light Out For The Territory. The third song, Wedding Song, immediately changes gears into an acoustic ballad about growing up and spreading out. The songs on the album, American Way, Weighted Words, and Sidewinder, remind the listener of his naturally blues-influenced background are not overpowered by the strong intro and set the listener on a pleasant auto-drive through the rest of the album.


Once again the album's quality is top-notch, lyrically, musically, and poetically and ends with a free-form, train-of-thought poem, organically complimented by instruments. Nathaniel has an edgy voice that allows him to sing many musical genres and while most of the tracks gave the listener familiarity, the harder pieces show that his writing is not pigeon-holed into blues but yearns to explore and experience new sounds and feelings.



Added February 19, 2005
<http://gida.tzo.net/RadioDB/Artists.aspx>
Reviewed by Chris at Gida Folk Radio - Gida Folk Radio


(This review is based on an interview with Street West in January of 2005.)


Nathaniel Street West is the real deal, a restless, passionate troubadour with roots as deep and profound as the art he practices. You can see it in him as he works, so completely taken up, there is no separation between who he is and what he does – his life is his music and his music is his life.


For ten years, since he was fourteen years old, he has devoted his life to music, surrounding himself with it as a professional musician — guitarist, singer, songwriter, performer, and intellectually, possessing now an impressive storehouse of knowledge related to the history of American music, from American roots music (the blues, & folk), up through the development of jazz, up through early rock, punk, alternative and now, into the postAlternative state of things.


His latest album, American Way, recorded live with minimal over-dubs brings together the totality of influences that have inspired his development as a musician, from American roots music to the current post industrial/alternative state of music that we now inhabit. This new album was released at years end, on Christmas Eve 2004, and it is gaining quite a bit of attention as it gradually filters out into indie distribution channels and now that the songs are being streamed from the website Puffin Records maintains to promote Street West’s work: <http://nathanielstreetwest.com>.


American Way is an album of ten songs, a cohesive ten part comment — or poem, if you will — on the past and current state of our American way.


“And,” Street West comments, “the entirety of the work is not meant to be simplistically limited to an ‘American’ way. Much of what I touch on is common to all human experience, however I am an American and there is so much focus today on how we define ourselves as Americans that this concept became a focus for my thoughts as I was writing the album. It just felt right.”


The things that have happened in the world recently concerning “America” are definitely important issues throughout this work, but many of the songs touch on themes familiar to music, poetry, art, & rock ‘n roll — things like growing up, love, rebellion, and revolution.


This album tells great stories and graphically and honestly shares many of the feelings everyone can relate to. However, since these songs were written by Street West during the past decade, when he was between the ages of 15 to 24, they carry an undercurrent of the experiences that kids go through growing up in this world, in a vein reminiscent of the way Nirvana’s songs resonated with all ages. So while the greater concept relates to America (and make no mistake — it is a deep & thoughtful, even philosophical experience in this regard), it is also a youthful, exuberant, & joyful rock ‘n roll album, exploding as it is with great drum & guitar riffs, and crammed with delightful music.  


This album is a bit retro in feel, where Street West is definitely tipping his hat to many of the classic, great albums of the past. There is a certain sort of album that existed up through the early alternative days (circa Nirvana), which possessed a certain feel or energy, which after that period has been difficult to find in the album format.  This sort of album seemed to disappear from the scene at about the same time it became difficult to find great guitar riffs in the songs played by mainstream radio stations. This writer speaks here of the albums most of us grew up with and either (1) continued to appreciate all of our lives, or (2) became too old and tired to listen to anymore, or (3) simply forgot about as time went by. Whatever the explanation, this kind of album is hard to find, and now Street West has gone and made one. Go figure.


In the grand old tradition it is a rebellious album, made in passionate protest against what appear to be two great opposing forces, the first and most obvious protest being the kind of music currently being pushed onto the public by mainstream corporate interests and, second, against the fact that so much “alternative” music is flooding the alternative airways & choking the internet bandwidths that the listener is almost forced to go to some corporate information source in order to find the one song they might want to hear among the tons of really bad material out there. Furthermore, it is the opinion of Street West, one also shared by this writer, that the majority of the music heard out there, wherever you happen to be listening, is deficient in one main glaring area — it all demonstrates an astonishing lack of originality. Every band or singer/songwriter appears to be purposefully cloning themselves after one or more of their more successful brethren, who in turn have often cloned themselves after another act, so in effect it all begins to appear as some great hall of mirrors game where you have the Joh - Blogger: Bob Seal


(This review is based on an interview with Street West in January of 2005.)


Nathaniel Street West is the real deal, a restless, passionate troubadour with roots as deep and profound as the art he practices. You can see it in him as he works, so completely taken up, there is no separation between who he is and what he does – his life is his music and his music is his life.


For ten years, since he was fourteen years old, he has devoted his life to music, surrounding himself with it as a professional musician — guitarist, singer, songwriter, performer, and intellectually, possessing now an impressive storehouse of knowledge related to the history of American music, from American roots music (the blues, & folk), up through the development of jazz, up through early rock, punk, alternative and now, into the postAlternative state of things.


His latest album, American Way, recorded live with minimal over-dubs brings together the totality of influences that have inspired his development as a musician, from American roots music to the current post industrial/alternative state of music that we now inhabit. This new album was released at years end, on Christmas Eve 2004, and it is gaining quite a bit of attention as it gradually filters out into indie distribution channels and now that the songs are being streamed from the website Puffin Records maintains to promote Street West’s work: <http://nathanielstreetwest.com>.


American Way is an album of ten songs, a cohesive ten part comment — or poem, if you will — on the past and current state of our American way.


“And,” Street West comments, “the entirety of the work is not meant to be simplistically limited to an ‘American’ way. Much of what I touch on is common to all human experience, however I am an American and there is so much focus today on how we define ourselves as Americans that this concept became a focus for my thoughts as I was writing the album. It just felt right.”


The things that have happened in the world recently concerning “America” are definitely important issues throughout this work, but many of the songs touch on themes familiar to music, poetry, art, & rock ‘n roll — things like growing up, love, rebellion, and revolution.


This album tells great stories and graphically and honestly shares many of the feelings everyone can relate to. However, since these songs were written by Street West during the past decade, when he was between the ages of 15 to 24, they carry an undercurrent of the experiences that kids go through growing up in this world, in a vein reminiscent of the way Nirvana’s songs resonated with all ages. So while the greater concept relates to America (and make no mistake — it is a deep & thoughtful, even philosophical experience in this regard), it is also a youthful, exuberant, & joyful rock ‘n roll album, exploding as it is with great drum & guitar riffs, and crammed with delightful music.  


This album is a bit retro in feel, where Street West is definitely tipping his hat to many of the classic, great albums of the past. There is a certain sort of album that existed up through the early alternative days (circa Nirvana), which possessed a certain feel or energy, which after that period has been difficult to find in the album format.  This sort of album seemed to disappear from the scene at about the same time it became difficult to find great guitar riffs in the songs played by mainstream radio stations. This writer speaks here of the albums most of us grew up with and either (1) continued to appreciate all of our lives, or (2) became too old and tired to listen to anymore, or (3) simply forgot about as time went by. Whatever the explanation, this kind of album is hard to find, and now Street West has gone and made one. Go figure.


In the grand old tradition it is a rebellious album, made in passionate protest against what appear to be two great opposing forces, the first and most obvious protest being the kind of music currently being pushed onto the public by mainstream corporate interests and, second, against the fact that so much “alternative” music is flooding the alternative airways & choking the internet bandwidths that the listener is almost forced to go to some corporate information source in order to find the one song they might want to hear among the tons of really bad material out there. Furthermore, it is the opinion of Street West, one also shared by this writer, that the majority of the music heard out there, wherever you happen to be listening, is deficient in one main glaring area — it all demonstrates an astonishing lack of originality. Every band or singer/songwriter appears to be purposefully cloning themselves after one or more of their more successful brethren, who in turn have often cloned themselves after another act, so in effect it all begins to appear as some great hall of mirrors game where you have the Joh - Blogger: Bob Seal


"What a great young artist!
Makes our feet tap on the tour bus"

BB King from Chicago.
- Amazon


"What a great young artist!
Makes our feet tap on the tour bus"

BB King from Chicago.
- Amazon


Nathaniel Street West is a young blues-rock musician who's new album, Light Out For The Territory, mixes blues, rock, jazz, and some American folk elements into what is a marvelous-sounding double album. Since Nathaniel has such deep roots into the blues, half of the tracks of this album are full-bodied and clean re-works that pay tribute to great songwriters of our time, such as Leadbelly, and features tracks from other artists such as Bob Dylan and even George Gershwin. The rest of the great-sounding and well-versed tracks were written by Nathaniel, including the track The Time Will Come, which perfectly ends the album right before going into his version of Visions Of Johanna. GidaFolk is very impressed and honored to have Puffin Records send us a copy of this body of work to play on the station. To learn more of Nathaniel Street West, please visit his web site. - Gida Folk Radio


Nathaniel Street West is a young blues-rock musician who's new album, Light Out For The Territory, mixes blues, rock, jazz, and some American folk elements into what is a marvelous-sounding double album. Since Nathaniel has such deep roots into the blues, half of the tracks of this album are full-bodied and clean re-works that pay tribute to great songwriters of our time, such as Leadbelly, and features tracks from other artists such as Bob Dylan and even George Gershwin. The rest of the great-sounding and well-versed tracks were written by Nathaniel, including the track The Time Will Come, which perfectly ends the album right before going into his version of Visions Of Johanna. GidaFolk is very impressed and honored to have Puffin Records send us a copy of this body of work to play on the station. To learn more of Nathaniel Street West, please visit his web site. - Gida Folk Radio


As far as I'm concerned this is the best record I've heard released in 2003. As a long-time blues fan I'm not easily impressed by new artists, however the amount of talent this young bluesman displays in just 17 songs is astonishing. Whatever "it" is, he's got it - in spades. It is so rare to find an artist who truly has it all: great voice, superb guitar playing, gifted songwriting & arranging, and good looks. With his brilliant blue eyes, strawberry blonde curly hair, and classically handsome face this kid is a star waiting to happen - and not a POP star, but a genuine, authentic, American blues phenomenon —the real thing, in other words. With the five downloads he has available in the Free Downloads section here at Amazon, all songs from the album, it is easy to take a listen and get a taste of the kind of variety you will find from the entire album. Trust me. I own this album and I can't stop listening to it and none of my friends, family, or coworkers can stop listening to it. - Amazon


As far as I'm concerned this is the best record I've heard released in 2003. As a long-time blues fan I'm not easily impressed by new artists, however the amount of talent this young bluesman displays in just 17 songs is astonishing. Whatever "it" is, he's got it - in spades. It is so rare to find an artist who truly has it all: great voice, superb guitar playing, gifted songwriting & arranging, and good looks. With his brilliant blue eyes, strawberry blonde curly hair, and classically handsome face this kid is a star waiting to happen - and not a POP star, but a genuine, authentic, American blues phenomenon —the real thing, in other words. With the five downloads he has available in the Free Downloads section here at Amazon, all songs from the album, it is easy to take a listen and get a taste of the kind of variety you will find from the entire album. Trust me. I own this album and I can't stop listening to it and none of my friends, family, or coworkers can stop listening to it. - Amazon


"Light Out" is a great CD that needs to be listened to several times to fully appreciate. The album is rich with deep lyrics and pleasant, easy going melodies. It is different, a fluid and expressive work of art. Results are definitely surprising and loose-limbed. "Reconsider Baby" showcases the musician at home on acoustic guitar, while "Rest Your Head Upon My Shoulder" is fresh and alive with Street West merging country picking with electric blues. But it's as a writer that he really impresses. Overall, thanks to Nathaniel's terrific blues-inflected soloing, "Light" is a triumph of understatement that will move any listener. - Amazon


"Light Out" is a great CD that needs to be listened to several times to fully appreciate. The album is rich with deep lyrics and pleasant, easy going melodies. It is different, a fluid and expressive work of art. Results are definitely surprising and loose-limbed. "Reconsider Baby" showcases the musician at home on acoustic guitar, while "Rest Your Head Upon My Shoulder" is fresh and alive with Street West merging country picking with electric blues. But it's as a writer that he really impresses. Overall, thanks to Nathaniel's terrific blues-inflected soloing, "Light" is a triumph of understatement that will move any listener. - Amazon


After penning several classic 1930s novels, Nathaniel West took a half century off, then starting listening to Bright Eyes, added "Street" to his name, and reinvented himself as an indie-pop songwriter in his midtwenties. A more troubadourish version of Mr. Oberst, West is currently one of the hottest acts in red-hot Austin, TX. - CNET Music Reviews


After penning several classic 1930s novels, Nathaniel West took a half century off, then starting listening to Bright Eyes, added "Street" to his name, and reinvented himself as an indie-pop songwriter in his midtwenties. A more troubadourish version of Mr. Oberst, West is currently one of the hottest acts in red-hot Austin, TX. - CNET Music Reviews


Fast Focus on Music enjoys the opportunity to showcase emerging artists to the public television audience. Though just 26 years old, Nathaniel Street West is a poet with a spirit of the great folk artists of the 1960’s. Bob Dylan, his musical inspiration, clearly influences Street West’s’ lyrics and style, but he is also modern in approach, drawing on rhythm and blues, rock and roll and even modern punk. Nathaniel is a story teller and messenger. Like Dylan before him, American history and politics are woven through his lyrics. Fast Focus is pleased to present this interview and performance, shot live at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. - Fast Focus TV


Fast Focus on Music enjoys the opportunity to showcase emerging artists to the public television audience. Though just 26 years old, Nathaniel Street West is a poet with a spirit of the great folk artists of the 1960’s. Bob Dylan, his musical inspiration, clearly influences Street West’s’ lyrics and style, but he is also modern in approach, drawing on rhythm and blues, rock and roll and even modern punk. Nathaniel is a story teller and messenger. Like Dylan before him, American history and politics are woven through his lyrics. Fast Focus is pleased to present this interview and performance, shot live at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. - Fast Focus TV



Somewhere in Malibu, in a living room overlooking the ocean, a miracle transpired last November.
What else could you call it when Mark Howard, one of the most respected engineers and producers in the business, with credits that include Bob Dylan, U2, and R.E.M., drives down from the desert on little more than a hunch and moves his studio into the home of an artist he barely knows?
And what do you call it when some of the top session players, from up-and-coming stars like Alanis Morissette’s keyboardist Zack Ray to legends on the level of Jim Keltner, come to that same house and, in just one week, begin and finish an album of that artist’s extraordinary songs?
Call it a miracle if you like, but the real miracle is in the mind, the hands, and the voice of Nathaniel Street-West, who takes a big step toward greatness with that album, Witness.
Like landmark albums of years past, Witness is a live document, recorded by great players gathered into one room, feeding from each other’s energy and from the fountain of Street-West’s brilliant material.
Like the best of today’s releases, it’s tuned to a modern sensibility, alive with images that tumble through surreal streams of consciousness or pare down to the essence of anger and fear and wounded love.
There are epics on Witness, like “Debra,” a story of shattered beauty that bewilders as it enlightens, like a beacon in a house of mirrors. And there are moments of abbreviated eloquence, like “Road of Life,” which is here and suddenly gone, like the song’s picture of a jet plane that’s borne love away.
There’s plenty of space in this music – space for Street-West’s guitar to drip, rich and honeyed, through the dreamy shades in “Flowers of Summer,” or for his voice to quake and break with anguish in “Coldness Follows.” A song that Keltner said, “really got to me. I immediately connected to a person in my life who is meaningful to me. When art touches you where you feel that strongly, it doesn’t get any better. It’s what it is all about”
The emptiness, as much as sounds, that fills Witness, speaks from Street-West’s soul – and every moment that’s heard, every silence that’s felt, announces the arrival of a visionary, one whose music can change the listener’s world.
Despite his youth, Street-West has traveled a long way. Born in a cabin in the Sierra foothills on the day after Christmas, raised in places as contradictory as Texas, Colorado, and Florida, Street-West learned early on to live with uncertainty – to thrive on it, actually. He became comfortable in his role as new kid in town, learned to live with and eventually overcome a devastating long term illness, and mastered the guitar so quickly that he was admitted at age fifteen to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood – the youngest student ever accepted by that competitive academy. He recorded his first homebrew album at fourteen, released a few more over the next several years, played for tourists along the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, played for 500+ at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard …
But all of it was only a prelude to Witness. Dissatisfied despite his accomplishments, Street-West poured through his record collection to find the ideal producer for what he was trying to convey. His search led him to one of his favorite albums, Bob Dylan’s Time out of Mind. There, in the engineering credits, he found Mark Howard’s name. A cold call was made, and – miraculously – Howard showed up at Street-West’s home in Malibu.
“We talked about anything and everything,” Street-West recalls. “I told him my history. He talked a little about himself. I think we both sensed that it was fate and good timing that brought us together.”
At Howard’s request, Street-West burned some samples of his songs – 57, to be exact – onto discs and sent them to his home up in Joshua Tree. Howard poured through them all and replied with the message Street-West was hoping to hear: “We can make a record.”
“The songs he chose were the ones that had my best lyrics,” Street-West says, “including a few that I hadn’t finished yet, which surprised me. And each of them tells a story – which wasn’t a surprise, because Mark told me in our first conversation, ‘Above everything else, I’m drawn to lyrics with a story in them.’”
(“For me, great songs are journeys,” Howard confirms. “I’ve worked with some of the greatest songwriters alive today, and Nathaniel writes as they do in that his songs give me visions, just like reading a book. You feel that you’re in a dark place, or in a desert; wherever it might be, his songs take me there.”)
Right after that Howard showed up with tons of equipment packed in his Airstream trailer. Unloading it all into the Street-West family’s living room, he then summoned his selected musicians, some of them veterans from the Time out of Mind session, others offering a fresh perspective on the challenge of bringing great songs to life.
Before recording, Street-West made a critica - Music Reviews - 2006



Somewhere in Malibu, in a living room overlooking the ocean, a miracle transpired last November.
What else could you call it when Mark Howard, one of the most respected engineers and producers in the business, with credits that include Bob Dylan, U2, and R.E.M., drives down from the desert on little more than a hunch and moves his studio into the home of an artist he barely knows?
And what do you call it when some of the top session players, from up-and-coming stars like Alanis Morissette’s keyboardist Zack Ray to legends on the level of Jim Keltner, come to that same house and, in just one week, begin and finish an album of that artist’s extraordinary songs?
Call it a miracle if you like, but the real miracle is in the mind, the hands, and the voice of Nathaniel Street-West, who takes a big step toward greatness with that album, Witness.
Like landmark albums of years past, Witness is a live document, recorded by great players gathered into one room, feeding from each other’s energy and from the fountain of Street-West’s brilliant material.
Like the best of today’s releases, it’s tuned to a modern sensibility, alive with images that tumble through surreal streams of consciousness or pare down to the essence of anger and fear and wounded love.
There are epics on Witness, like “Debra,” a story of shattered beauty that bewilders as it enlightens, like a beacon in a house of mirrors. And there are moments of abbreviated eloquence, like “Road of Life,” which is here and suddenly gone, like the song’s picture of a jet plane that’s borne love away.
There’s plenty of space in this music – space for Street-West’s guitar to drip, rich and honeyed, through the dreamy shades in “Flowers of Summer,” or for his voice to quake and break with anguish in “Coldness Follows.” A song that Keltner said, “really got to me. I immediately connected to a person in my life who is meaningful to me. When art touches you where you feel that strongly, it doesn’t get any better. It’s what it is all about”
The emptiness, as much as sounds, that fills Witness, speaks from Street-West’s soul – and every moment that’s heard, every silence that’s felt, announces the arrival of a visionary, one whose music can change the listener’s world.
Despite his youth, Street-West has traveled a long way. Born in a cabin in the Sierra foothills on the day after Christmas, raised in places as contradictory as Texas, Colorado, and Florida, Street-West learned early on to live with uncertainty – to thrive on it, actually. He became comfortable in his role as new kid in town, learned to live with and eventually overcome a devastating long term illness, and mastered the guitar so quickly that he was admitted at age fifteen to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood – the youngest student ever accepted by that competitive academy. He recorded his first homebrew album at fourteen, released a few more over the next several years, played for tourists along the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, played for 500+ at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard …
But all of it was only a prelude to Witness. Dissatisfied despite his accomplishments, Street-West poured through his record collection to find the ideal producer for what he was trying to convey. His search led him to one of his favorite albums, Bob Dylan’s Time out of Mind. There, in the engineering credits, he found Mark Howard’s name. A cold call was made, and – miraculously – Howard showed up at Street-West’s home in Malibu.
“We talked about anything and everything,” Street-West recalls. “I told him my history. He talked a little about himself. I think we both sensed that it was fate and good timing that brought us together.”
At Howard’s request, Street-West burned some samples of his songs – 57, to be exact – onto discs and sent them to his home up in Joshua Tree. Howard poured through them all and replied with the message Street-West was hoping to hear: “We can make a record.”
“The songs he chose were the ones that had my best lyrics,” Street-West says, “including a few that I hadn’t finished yet, which surprised me. And each of them tells a story – which wasn’t a surprise, because Mark told me in our first conversation, ‘Above everything else, I’m drawn to lyrics with a story in them.’”
(“For me, great songs are journeys,” Howard confirms. “I’ve worked with some of the greatest songwriters alive today, and Nathaniel writes as they do in that his songs give me visions, just like reading a book. You feel that you’re in a dark place, or in a desert; wherever it might be, his songs take me there.”)
Right after that Howard showed up with tons of equipment packed in his Airstream trailer. Unloading it all into the Street-West family’s living room, he then summoned his selected musicians, some of them veterans from the Time out of Mind session, others offering a fresh perspective on the challenge of bringing great songs to life.
Before recording, Street-West made a critica - Music Reviews - 2006


"I am not a passenger. And I sure as hell ain't no true believer. … The only thing I am is a messenger, playing my message for you."
Nathaniel Street West, "Messenger"

Buckle up. Roll down the windows. Crank the volume. Pop American Way into the CD slot. And get ready to ride.

Your guide on this journey is Nathaniel Street West, a traveler as well as a messenger, who has seen much of this country and picked up his share of wisdom along the way. His name, at first glance, seems like your destination -- an address, perhaps, in one of the many towns he's called home through his twenty-five years. But let it settle in your mind as the music plays …

The hair-raising fury of "Revulsion," the blues-drenched guitar crunch and anguished, confessional vocals of "Mourning Mornings," the surprisingly visual imagery that splashes the colors of love and pain together on "Pas de Deux," the urgent pulse of his acoustic guitar driving the bitter insights of "Messenger," the trudge of primitive blues and Dust Bowl harp on "Weighted Words," and the conceptual sweep of the last track, "Battered Angels," one of the most ambitious fusions of spoken word and musical abstractions since Jim Morrison murmured his benediction to "The End" …

All of this flashes past as American Way rushes down the nighttime highway charted by Street West. Some of the scenery seems familiar: The grease that drips from his guitar summons black-and-white images of the distant Deep South. His voice -- wry and ironic, then ripped by a spasm of old agonies brought back to life, and then, just as suddenly, weary and weathered -- will suggest Dylan, or Hank Williams, or Kurt Cobain, depending on where the needle drops.

But in the end American Way paints a picture that's personal -- almost uncomfortably so -- and compelling. The more you listen, the more you're drawn in, until the truth becomes clear:

People like Nathaniel Street West come along too rarely. And when they do, what they have to say can change the landscape of our lives.

You can sense this without even hearing a note of his music. His features are delicate yet sharp, his language sprinkled with literary references that feel as natural as comments about the weather. He speaks quietly, listens attentively, and laughs softly at his own self-deprecating ironies. Though he enjoys conversation, he seems more comfortable watching and taking mental note as life plays out around him.
The main thing is, you get the feeling that he keeps something hidden -- a flame, perhaps, which both warms and burns in some secret corner. Eventually, if you stay with him for a while, you sense that this light ties in with memories of a nearly forgotten Eden, where his story begins, as well with more recent trials that he has borne and overcome.

First, that childhood scene: a cabin, made from pine logs, lit through stained glass, high in the Sierra Madres. Nathaniel was born there, at three in the morning the day after Christmas, in a silent and snowy world under brilliant stars. He passed his first four years there too; impressions still linger …

"We had our own generator," he half-remembers. "Every week my dad
would turn it on to pump the water out of the well into the gravity feed tank up the hill and to generate enough power to run the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, a few basic appliances. We had car batteries running our stereo system because we had constant music going on. But when that went off at night, we had candlelight & soft propane lamps. I have a strong connection to that place. When we left there for Texas, I was like, 'Okay … where are the trees? Where's the stream? Where's the silence?"

A combination of factors -- his father's work on the fast track as a young executive and later, a series of health setbacks for Nathaniel -- kept the family moving. Nathaniel grew to like the idea of pulling up and relocating someplace new and strange every year or two: He made friends but didn't mind spending time alone, watching the scenery change from Texas to Colorado and Florida and eventually to Malibu.
That's where the guitar comes into the picture. Nathaniel had always been into music, absorbing everything he heard, from Frank Sinatra to Nine Inch Nails and all points beyond, and filing it away. In Malibu, though, the last pieces fell into place, and at age 13 his own music began to assert itself.

The keys to the story are two: his premature insights into the fragility of life … and the fathomless appeal of the blues.

"We'd been living in Aspen, where I'd taken ill and almost died," he explains. "We'd come down to sea level because my doctors insisted, saying that I was unable to breathe well enough living year round at that altitude (8000 ft). I spent my first year there recovering. During much of that time I got serious about playing this electric guitar my parents had bought me after I’d asked for it one Christmas; this guy called Guitar George gave me lessons until I d - NathanielStreetWest.Com


"I am not a passenger. And I sure as hell ain't no true believer. … The only thing I am is a messenger, playing my message for you."
Nathaniel Street West, "Messenger"

Buckle up. Roll down the windows. Crank the volume. Pop American Way into the CD slot. And get ready to ride.

Your guide on this journey is Nathaniel Street West, a traveler as well as a messenger, who has seen much of this country and picked up his share of wisdom along the way. His name, at first glance, seems like your destination -- an address, perhaps, in one of the many towns he's called home through his twenty-five years. But let it settle in your mind as the music plays …

The hair-raising fury of "Revulsion," the blues-drenched guitar crunch and anguished, confessional vocals of "Mourning Mornings," the surprisingly visual imagery that splashes the colors of love and pain together on "Pas de Deux," the urgent pulse of his acoustic guitar driving the bitter insights of "Messenger," the trudge of primitive blues and Dust Bowl harp on "Weighted Words," and the conceptual sweep of the last track, "Battered Angels," one of the most ambitious fusions of spoken word and musical abstractions since Jim Morrison murmured his benediction to "The End" …

All of this flashes past as American Way rushes down the nighttime highway charted by Street West. Some of the scenery seems familiar: The grease that drips from his guitar summons black-and-white images of the distant Deep South. His voice -- wry and ironic, then ripped by a spasm of old agonies brought back to life, and then, just as suddenly, weary and weathered -- will suggest Dylan, or Hank Williams, or Kurt Cobain, depending on where the needle drops.

But in the end American Way paints a picture that's personal -- almost uncomfortably so -- and compelling. The more you listen, the more you're drawn in, until the truth becomes clear:

People like Nathaniel Street West come along too rarely. And when they do, what they have to say can change the landscape of our lives.

You can sense this without even hearing a note of his music. His features are delicate yet sharp, his language sprinkled with literary references that feel as natural as comments about the weather. He speaks quietly, listens attentively, and laughs softly at his own self-deprecating ironies. Though he enjoys conversation, he seems more comfortable watching and taking mental note as life plays out around him.
The main thing is, you get the feeling that he keeps something hidden -- a flame, perhaps, which both warms and burns in some secret corner. Eventually, if you stay with him for a while, you sense that this light ties in with memories of a nearly forgotten Eden, where his story begins, as well with more recent trials that he has borne and overcome.

First, that childhood scene: a cabin, made from pine logs, lit through stained glass, high in the Sierra Madres. Nathaniel was born there, at three in the morning the day after Christmas, in a silent and snowy world under brilliant stars. He passed his first four years there too; impressions still linger …

"We had our own generator," he half-remembers. "Every week my dad
would turn it on to pump the water out of the well into the gravity feed tank up the hill and to generate enough power to run the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, a few basic appliances. We had car batteries running our stereo system because we had constant music going on. But when that went off at night, we had candlelight & soft propane lamps. I have a strong connection to that place. When we left there for Texas, I was like, 'Okay … where are the trees? Where's the stream? Where's the silence?"

A combination of factors -- his father's work on the fast track as a young executive and later, a series of health setbacks for Nathaniel -- kept the family moving. Nathaniel grew to like the idea of pulling up and relocating someplace new and strange every year or two: He made friends but didn't mind spending time alone, watching the scenery change from Texas to Colorado and Florida and eventually to Malibu.
That's where the guitar comes into the picture. Nathaniel had always been into music, absorbing everything he heard, from Frank Sinatra to Nine Inch Nails and all points beyond, and filing it away. In Malibu, though, the last pieces fell into place, and at age 13 his own music began to assert itself.

The keys to the story are two: his premature insights into the fragility of life … and the fathomless appeal of the blues.

"We'd been living in Aspen, where I'd taken ill and almost died," he explains. "We'd come down to sea level because my doctors insisted, saying that I was unable to breathe well enough living year round at that altitude (8000 ft). I spent my first year there recovering. During much of that time I got serious about playing this electric guitar my parents had bought me after I’d asked for it one Christmas; this guy called Guitar George gave me lessons until I d - NathanielStreetWest.Com


Discography

Release #3: "Witness", ©2006. New release produced by MARK HOWARD released for sale and distribution online on June 20, 2006. Full length LP, 3rd release; Puffin Records, Inc. In-store "box" distribution by Burnside, (begins in September 2006.

Release #2: "American Way", ©2004: Full length LP, 2nd release; released 12/24/2004 with Puffin Records, Inc.

Release #1: "Light Out For the Territory", ©2003: Full length LP, debut album, released 9/1/2003 through Puffin Records, Inc.

Radio: Many of Street-West's songs may be heard on hundreds of radio stations around the world and throughout cyberspace.

To hear all of his released songs visit his official website at www.nathanielstreetwest.com.

Photos

Bio

Nathaniel Street-West is a singer, songwriter & guitarist well known for his prodigious talents as a musician and performer. Since he was around fourteen years old he began working as a professional musician and now in 2007 stands at a pivotal point in his decade long career.
Street-West's guitar playing is widely admired. He is known as one of the most talented guitarists of his generation. "Not only is he a great guitar player," quips a long-term band member. "He's a scary guitar player. I've seen him change people's lives right in front of me. He's that good."
Street-West has written hundreds of original songs and is respected for the melodic hooks, storytelling style and poetic lyrics of his work.
Producer Mark Howard (Daniel Lanois, U2, Bob Dylan) who produced Street-West’s most recent release ("Witness") says, “Above everything else, I’m drawn to lyrics with a story in them.
For me, great songs are journeys,” Howard remarks. “I’ve worked with some of the greatest songwriters alive today, and Nathaniel writes as they do in that his songs give me visions, just like reading a book. You feel that you’re in a dark place, or in a desert; wherever it might be, his songs take me there.”

As if this were not enough, Street-West has a strong, nearly instantly recognizable tenor singing voice that spans around five octaves and can easily handle most of the genres of today’s popular music. His songwriting, performing, and guitar styles range from good solid rock, through alternative rock — nimbly dispatch the blues, folk, and Americana — and extend into jazz and beyond.
Writing about Street-West’s second release ("American Way"), Bob Doershuck explains: “All of this flashes past as "American Way" rushes down the nighttime highway charted by Street-West. Some of the scenery seems familiar: The grease that drips from his guitar summons black-and-white images of the distant Deep South. His voice -- wry and ironic, then ripped by a spasm of old agonies brought back to life, and then, just as suddenly, weary and weathered -- will suggest Dylan, or Hank Williams, or Kurt Cobain, depending on where the needle drops… People like Nathaniel Street-West come along too rarely. And when they do, what they have to say can change the landscape of our lives.”
Renowned musician and drummer Jim Keltner participated in the recording of Witness. Keltner, moved deeply by the song "Coldness Follows" on "Witness", said “That song really got to me. I immediately connected to a person in my life who is meaningful to me. When art touches you where you feel that strongly, it doesn’t get any better. It’s what it is all about”
Bob Doershuck writes of "Witness", “The emptiness, as much as sounds, that fills "Witness", speaks from Street-West’s soul – and every moment that’s heard, every silence that’s felt, announces the arrival of a visionary, one whose music can change the listener’s world.
Magic, miracle ... these aren’t the kinds of words you associate with most new albums these days. But there’s no better way to describe "Witness". Some albums document exceptional performances. Others are sonic masterpieces – monuments to studio wizardry. Rarely do these qualities meet and enhance each other, but that’s what happens throughout Witness.
Let’s add one more word to the list: classic. That’ll become clear in the years to come – but, judging from what we’ve heard from Nathaniel Street-West, by that time he will have taken us to some other place, vivid and mysterious. “He’s a very old soul,” says Keltner.
“His journey is just beginning …”