Nathan Thompson
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Nathan Thompson

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Band Americana Country

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Discography

Solid Ground, Nathan's debut CD is about to be released.

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Bio

The notion of a small-town guy picking up a guitar and working out some songs is as American as apple pie and the wide-open prairie.

For Nathan Thompson, who grew up in the small farming town of Madelia in southern Minnesota, it has been a life-long, deeply-felt passion.

“Wanting to be a performer didn’t seem very realistic at the time,” he said, “but that wasn’t the most important thing about what I was doing. I liked to sing. I liked playing guitar. It was always about something more than being a performer.”

As a child, he played piano and clarinet; his love for jazz guitar would come later and lead him to a diploma with honors in Guitar Performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

His career as a solo singer/songwriter began soon after. It was as much an education as Berklee.
“I had to keep going to open mics to get over my shyness about playing in front of people and also
to learn how to present original material,” he recalls. “It's one thing to get up in front of people to cover a song that another artist has made famous, because you can copy some of the things that the artist did to make the song work. It's another thing entirely to get up in front of people to play a song that you wrote and that no one has ever heard before.”

Thompson says it was during that period that he learned to appreciate that having good songs to play and sing can make all the difference in the world—and why he puts so much effort into the process. His creative process starts with the groove for a song. “I always write with my guitar in my hands; usually what happens is I'll find something I like on my guitar and almost at the same time I'll get some lyrics and a bit of a melody,” he says. “Then it's all about developing and stretching that idea into a song.”

From there, he formed The Nathan Thompson Band with guitarist and banjo player Jim Bouchard; bass guitarist John Rapoza, and drummer Rick Pierik. The quartet played throughout Boston for the next two years.

Thompson says his songwriting comes from within because of his “need to deeply connect to whatever it is I am writing about.” His new album, Solid Ground, is an impressive exhibition of his songwriting talent, and he’s co-written two songs with Colleen Sexton, "Got You On My Mind," & "This Whole World," both of which are included on her CD, Greatest Find.

As for the experience of being an indie artist and the challenges it brings, Thompson is realistic about what it takes. “It starts with coordinating everything that needs to be done to get my name out there, from being effective in booking decent shows to being good at networking and creating exciting opportunities for myself,” he says. “That’s not tough in itself; doing all of this and keeping the creative side of things going strong is the challenge.”

What does the future hold for Nathan Thompson? More CD sales, of course, and more live performances in front of “a wildly enthusiastic audience whose members came to see me perform—and I'd be playing with a band as good as the one that is on Solid Ground.”

For now, Thompson continues to build an audience outside of his Boston core. He says he regrets not putting himself into a position to succeed earlier in his career, but all indications are that it’s going to be a moot point very soon.