MUSIC REVIEW | Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (2015)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “60s blues and Motown, somehow transported through time to be made by this band in 2015.”

Rateliff 1
It’s amazing that at any given time, I have literally thousands of my favourite songs in my pocket, ready to go.  It’s great that I don’t have to be at the mercy of whatever’s on the radio.  They downside is, I hardly ever listen to the radio anymore, and therefore hardly ever stumble across anything totally new to me.  But one night recently, I was in the car with no phone or iPod.  Even the backup CD, the same one that has been in my car’s CD player for literally over five years, began to skip so bad that I had to resort to the wireless.

A scary prospect that immediately turned into a winner when I fired up Triple R and they were playing some Jason Isbell.  Which lead into some Henry Wagons.  Already, it was like they were programming their playlist just for me.  But the biggest highlight was yet to come.  The very next song hit me so hard, I did something I haven’t done in years.  As soon as I got home, I had to google the fragments of lyrics I could remember and hope for the best.  It paid off, and here I am, listening to Nathaniel Rateliffe & the Night Sweats, with their self titled debut.

Going way beyond tribute, pastiche or throwback, the opening trio of I Need Never Get Old, Howling at Nothing and Trying So Hard Not to Know aren’t just influenced by 60s blues and Motown, they are 60s blues and Motown, somehow transported through time to be made by this band in 2015.  The tight but free horn section, the groove of the rhythm section, Radcliffe’s weathered voice.  Nothing made in 2015 should have such an authentic, vintage sound, but Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats make it sound so natural and effortless.

Closing out the first half is the song that I had to google on that fateful night, S.O.B.  I have listened to this song at least 50 times since then, and it still has the same impact every time I hear its cotton field spiritual humming and clapping a Capella intro turn into its hell raising chorus.  I want to get that same time machine that brought this band to this day and age, and use it add this song to every bar room brawl scene in every 70s action, buddy comedy, like Smokey and the Bandit and Every Which Way But Loose.

How do you follow up that sort of sweaty good time?  Why, with a country ballad of course, which is exactly what we get with Wasting Time.  It’s a perfect match with the sentimentality of Thank You, before it’s time for the good time party vibe to fire off once more with Look It Here, and the trippy, desert hallucination of Shake.
Rateliff 2
Randomly stumbling across S.O.B that night in the car is one of the greatest music discoveries I’ve had in a long, long time.  Listening to Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats just made it even better.  A reminder that while styles might rise and fall in popularity, when executed well, with real heart and soul, no form music ever gets old.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Other Opinions Are Available.  What did these people have to say about Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats?
Rolling Stone
Consequence of Sound
Michael Cimaomo

3 thoughts on “MUSIC REVIEW | Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (2015)

  1. I was fortunate enough to have a “friend” point me in the direction of this artist/band. I was wowed instantly and have shared the discovery with anyone who will listen. Everyone has the same reaction as me – they love the guy!!

  2. Thanks for the inclusion of my opinion alongside Rolling Stone and Consequence of Sound. Pretty heady company, but any extra attention shown Nathaniel Rateliff and company’s way can’t hurt. Great band.

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