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Artist Spotlight: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
This is the seventh post in a series of articles highlighting the artists performing at The 2018 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Check out the rest here

-Lauren Brown, Roots N Blues Intern

While Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats may be a Denver-based group, their newfound stardom has left them with little time in the city they call home. Since the release of their debut album in 2015, the band has been on the road together non-stop, traveling all over the world and playing 175-200 shows per year.

Rateliff was raised in a musical family in Hermann, Missouri, along with his bandmate and right-hand man, Joseph Pope III. “We would walk around these deserted country roads and talk about music all the time, how it can change the world and how it could change our world,” Pope III explains on the band’s site. “Music was what we thought would save us.”

Nathaniel Rateliff’s musical talent was evident from the age of seven when he first learned to play drums. Soon after, he learned to play guitar and write music. Rateliff began to play in his local church and eventually created a solo career for himself throughout the years, consisting of two albums and an EP, in addition to a record released with his previous band, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel; today, he is joined by his band, the Night Sweats, consisting of Joseph Pope III (bass), Patrick Meese (drummer), Luke Mossman (guitar), Andy Wild (sax), Wesley Watkins (trumpet) and Mark Shusterman (keyboard).

The band’s first album was produced by Stax Records and eventually sold over a million copies, with S.O.B. becoming the hallmark track of the album. S.O.B. became immensely popular despite their initial expectations, but the group has remained humble and refrained from producing tracks mimicking the single. Instead of trying to create hit singles, they chose to let them flow naturally, and next came “You Worry Me,” which rose to #1 on Billboard’s Triple A airplay chart. The track comes from the group’s sophomore album, Tearing at the Seams, and was the result of a completely different recording process than Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats was mainly written by Rateliff in the isolation of his attic, allowing for the creation of an incredibly personal record; whereas, Tearing at the Seams came from the desire for a record created through a group experience. The idea for the album was to have each member equally involved and to record it live together — giving the band new dimension and helping the audience to feel more connected, an important concept for the group. Tearing at the Seams was released in March and presents an exciting future for them.

The band took the Roots N Blues N BBQ Music Festival stage back in 2016, and we’re so excited to welcome them home this year! Rateliff and his band put on a show that you truly do not want to miss.

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