Artist of the Week: Nate Bergman

Posted by Greg on Mar 7, 2022 in Music |

Who the heck knows what makes music popular these days? The more one casually listens to Top 40, the more disenchanted one feels. At least that’s true for this writer.

In a perfect world Nate Bergman would be a chart-topper. Whether that ends up happening remains to be seen. But if this blog has any say in the world (and we think it has some) let this be the first of many posts championing the likes of Mr. Bergman.

One day you’re managing your inbox and you stumble across a publicist invitation to a show. The artist is new to you but the PR firm is one you’ve come to respect immensely. You listen to one song and you’re sold. In the case of Bergman that one song is “Loser’s Game”, a whiskey-soaked slice of blues-country that feels not unlike a Chris Stapleton b-side.

Bergman’s voice is big with a capital B, he possesses a wide range and has the kind of timbre that demands authority, attention and immediate command. It’s not Stapleton by any stretch but it will capture your heart, promise you that. Seen this past Friday at Orlando’s House of Blues he was, in a word, mesmerizing. In just 25 minutes he sang with determination that one couldn’t help but be awed. Pitch-perfect in all six of the songs it was the kind of stuff that makes one glad they were there to experience it.

Beginning with a solo acapella version of “There’s a Reward” by Higgs and Wilson he had every intention of alerting the audience this would be no ho-hum, ordinary opening act. This was a man with every intent on making an impression.

That sentiment continued on the aforementioned “Loser’s Game” and was equally as stirring as the studio version, if not more so. The country crooning continued on the weary “Highway Friend” and the timeless, should-be-classic “Livin’ On the Line.” After the funereal “Ode to Manchester” Bergman switched to an electric guitar and delivered with aplomb on the arena-ready “Into My Arms.”

Bergman is currently on tour with emo heavyweights The Appleseed Cast, Cursive and Thursday and while that is probably not the best tour for him, just remember As Tall as Lions once toured that scene before breaking out with their self-titled and its subsequent follow-up You Can’t Take It With You before breaking up. Their vocalist Dan Nigro is now a household name after producing and co-writing nearly all of Olivia Rodrigo’s chart-topping Sour.

We’re only halfway through our first cursory listen of Bergman’s forthcoming LP Metaphysical Change (out in May on Velocity Records) but if this album and his live show are any indication, Nate Bergman will be a name you will want to remember by year’s end. Sure it’s just March, but this very well might be one of the best albums we hear this year.

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