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Man of the Week: Nathaniel Rateliff

Photo: Laura Harvey

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats released their soulful, energizing, self-titled debut, and if you caught them performing S.O.B. on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, you’ll understand why Mr. Rateliff is this week’s Man of the Week.

A Missouri native, by way of Colorado, Rateliff got into music a little later than most, spending the early years of his career as a janitor, a gardener, and a loading dock worker at a trucking company, while honing his musical craft when he had the time. He and his best friend started a band called Born in the Flood, and after a few years of making rock music, turned to folk. Rateliff also focused on his own music, releasing In Memory of Loss, and Falling Faster Than You Can Run. Then, he put together his latest band, The Night Sweats.

Nathaniel Rateliff
Photo: Laura Harvey

Don’t let the folk description fool you – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats is a soul album, featuring the kind of music you want to listen to in a car with the top down while flying down the backroads just outside of town. The lead single, “S.O.B.,” is a barn burner that gets everyone out of their seats with its stompin’ and clappin’ beat, while “Wasting Time” is slower and more introspective, while still offering a genuine warmth many attempt, but few pull off with this type of music.

Nathaniel Rateliff photographed by Malia James
Photo: Malia James

Rateliff and company have created a sound that is equal parts honest, joyful, effortless, and fun – something we don’t see a enough of in music today. You can expect to hear a lot more about the man and his band in the coming months. Listen to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats on your favorite streaming service, or go see them live when they come to your area.

Featured photo by Malia James. All photos courtesy Concord Music Group