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Matt Nathanson

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Matt Nathanson is an American singer-songwriter whose work is a blend of folk and rock music. In addition to singing, he plays acoustic (usually a twelve-string) and electric guitar, and has performed both solo and with a full band.

His debut album, Please, was recorded and mixed in 1993 in a house in Van Nuys, California. Most of the songs were written while Nathanson was in high school and a freshman at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Please was released in the spring of 1993.

Recorded in Nathanson’s new hometown of San Francisco in the winter of 1997, Ernst was an entirely acoustic record - the instrumentation is mostly acoustic guitar with some accordion, cellos and percussion. This record was mixed at Toast Studios in San Francisco by Jaquire King.

His next album was Not Colored Too Perfect, a compilation of unreleased material, the bulk of which was recorded in San Rafael, California, in the fall of 1997. Two other songs on this compilation, “You’re Smiling” and “Wait Up” were recorded in Santa Barbara, California, in the summer of 1995. The final two songs, “Trace of a Cat’s Eye” and “Vandalized” were taken from the unreleased record by Nathanson’s college band, Here Comes Everybody. The HCE album was recorded in the spring of 1995 but was never released. Both these songs were written by the drummer of the band, Bill Foreman.

Still Waiting for Spring was recorded in December 1998 in Cotati, California, and in January of 1999 at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, with Mark Weinberg. This record features David Immergluck and Charlie Gillingham of Counting Crows on the song “Loud,” which was featured on the television show “Dawson’s Creek.” The record released spring of 1999.

For his 2003 album, When Everything Meant Everything, he enlisted drummer Nathanson Chamberlain, guitarist David Garza and Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket for background vocals. “Lucky Boy,” from Still Waiting for Spring was re-recorded for this record. “Suspended” and “I Saw” were released as singles and more than half the record was licensed to television various shows.

Upon deciding that the major label world was not for him, Nathanson got out of his contract with Universal Records and released At the Point. Recorded live over the course of two nights at The Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in June of 2005, this was Nathanson’s first live release. This record was released in April 2006 and debuted at Number 28 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart the week of its release.

Some Mad Hope was recorded between August 2005 and March 2007 in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cotati, California. The album was produced independently, and Nathanson partnered with Vanguard Records for its release in August 2007. It debuted Number 60 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was on the charts for 34 weeks. The single, “Come On Get Higher,” peaked at Number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, Number Three on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and Number 19 on the Adult Pop Songs chart. “Car Crash” peaked at Number 30 on the Adult Pop Songs chart and “Falling Apart” peaked at Number 28. “Come On Get Higher” was certified platinum, selling over 1.8 million in single sales.

Nathanson’s album, Modern Love, was released in June 2011. The first single, “Faster,” was released in March. The song, “Run” was recorded with the group Sugarland, but are credited individually as “feat. Jennifer Nettles & Kristian Bush.” The album reached Number 17 on the Billboard 200 and Number 4 on the Independent Albums chart.

Matt Nathanson possesses the wonderful gift to compose songs that are thoughtfully conceived, in the singer/songwriter vein. Not only can Nathanson pen ‘em, he can also sing them with great passion and nuance. On his 2013 effort, Last of the Great Pretenders, Nathanson delivers a set of eleven songs that soundly represent his musical talents. Tightly assembled at under 40 minutes, Last of the Great Pretenders is no “pretender” itself, easily captivating.


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