Album Review: Nathan Moore – Folk Singer (Royal Potato Family/R.E.D.)

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MP3: Nathan Moore – Tombstone, Live @ Tuolumne Hall (Nov 1 2009) via Live Music Archive

“I go into a convenience store and I will hear someone say something and I know that is going to go into a song somewhere,” explains Nathan Moore, about how he gathers inspiration for his songwriting.  It is something he says he is doing constantly, all day, his eyes and ears noticing the way people say something; it is what he calls “the filter through which I see the world.”

And it is this attention to detail, to the minutiae in conversation and daily life, to the ways and worries of the people around him, that make Moore such a devastatingly accurate storyteller, with everyday life brought alive through his songs and his words.

Moore’s new album, the aptly titled Folk Singer, is a stripped down affair, with Moore, a guitar, and his “filter” telling the stories of what Moore sees and hears around him, those same stories which you live.  The album is a step away from Moore’s previous band ThaMuseMeant and his widely entertaining side project Surprise Me Mr. Davis (with The Slip and Marco Benevento).  In the eight songs on Folk Singer, Moore evokes the spirit of protest and folk singers from a time long gone, instantly placing his name along side those legendary storytellers of the past – Havens, Dylan, Guthrie.

Much like those legends before him, Moore’s strengths lie in his ability to absorb the experiences and sights around them, and distill them into a three-minute song that sums the feelings and meaning of those moments.  Folk Singer is a perfect representation of those distilled moments.  Whether it is the simple, wishful ruminations of man in love from “I Can Make You Smile” (“I don’t know what you’re thinking/ I just know what I’m hoping/ and wouldn’t it be something if they were the same”),  or the acid-tongued take on our economy, “Hard Times” (“Hard times ain’t just some old-folks song/ Fannie and Freddy were sweethearts/ We got pirates on the ocean, we got pirates on the AIG”), one thing is clear: this songwriter has been watching and listening to the world.

Label: Royal Potato Family / R.E.D. Distribution

Release date: Aug 18 2009

Track list:

  1. Tombstone
  2. Hard Times
  3. Bending Spoons
  4. Travelin’ On
  5. Everybody Dreams
  6. I Can Make You Smile
  7. Invisible Guy
  8. All I Can Do Is Dance

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One Response to “Album Review: Nathan Moore – Folk Singer (Royal Potato Family/R.E.D.)”

  1. Thank you for the great article on someone who in my opinion is one of the most relevant and inspiring Singer-Songwriter of our times. I have had the pleasure of putting on shows featuring Thamusemeant and have worked with Nathan Moore on a few other occasions. He is quite an amazing talent and an even more impressive human being, kudos to you for shedding a light on him for your readers!
    James Williams of The Williams Brothers Band

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