If you need a break from Superbowl Sunday and all that guacamole dip madness, then you'll find relief at Ovations' upcoming performance by Nathan Fox. You might be familiar with Nathan's voice; his songs have been used in popular television shows and commercials. Now you get to see him in person.
Nathan Fox started playing music before he could read, gleaning what he could from listening to his older siblings’ piano lessons and then hitting the ivories on his own, playing everything by ear.
“I played all the time,” Nathan said, “My parents couldn’t get me away from it.”
So the natural thing was to send him to lessons, but as much as he loved playing tunes, he didn’t take to instruction as a child. Learning to read music was a struggle, and besides, he was already creating everything he wanted just by instinct.
Fox brings a lot of that instinct to his compositions of songs both sly and lyrical, spanning styles from old school blues to modern pop, country western, and rock. “I don’t think one style can tell every story,” he said. “So I try not to pigeonhole myself.” He covers many styles; one of his recent songs, Falling in Love, is up-beat and pop flavored, with Nathan's gravelly voice offsetting the sweetness of the music. The Devil and the Hourglass thumps like the best Country Rock. But his preference for old school blues is evident, especially in songs like the clever and retro I’m all Done, which he wrote in a style that blues singer Billie Holiday would be comfortable performing.
Fox says that when he writes songs, “It’s the meeting of my conscious and subconscious. I’ll start with an idea for a story,” and then he starts writing the music. “When I’m thinking about telling the story, I’m thinking about the delivery. What would be the best musical accompaniment to deliver the hook?” Recently he’s been trying out new styles; one of the new songs he’ll be performing in Angels Camp he describes as more of a “Quentin Tarantino” style.”
Nathan’s hooks have been delivering a certain amount of creative freedom since television shows like Once Upon a Time and advertisers like Hulu have picked up his songs. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he started out as a composer for film and television. But selling his songs gave him freedom to be a performing musician. “It occurred to me I could be a singer/songwriter,” he said. Lucky for us, and lucky for him.
Nathan on acoustic guitar will be accompanied by Kiel Feher on drums and Erik Kertes on bass.
Nathan's website: www.nathanfoxmusic.com
Funding for the Commission and its programs is provided by the Western States Arts Federation and the National Endowment for the Arts. This project received support from the California Arts Council, WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation; and/or IMTour.
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