Dead Leaves Sing
Drawing inspiration from the field recordings of audio archivist/musician Alan Lomax, Nathan Wade's debut CD,'The Dead Leaves Sing,' was performed and recorded live in various and unlikely stops around Bainbridge Island, Washington: a 19th Century schoolhouse, a cavernous lodge in the woods, and an intimate parlor overlooking the coast. Across the Puget Sound and in the dead of winter, those locations created a grand atmosphere for the album--sometimes eerie, sometimes somber--and capturing all the instruments and vocals together in the same room lent an immediacy to the music so many traditional studio recordings lack. Whether it's the lonely boot-stomping wail of Nathan and his guitar, or with the four-piece string-band moan of grass-roots ensemble Creeping Time, the raw excitement of a live performance makes for a listening experience that's visceral and organic. That sound couldn't be more appropriate for Nathan's music--a genre he calls Post-Apocalypse Americana--which combines the Gothic literary world of Nick Cave with the gritty, reinvented bluescapes of Chris Whitley; there are also echoes of John Fahey, Jeff Buckley, Ry Cooder, and Italian film composer Ennio Morricone in there as well. Drawing on language from old fiery gospel and blues numbers, the grim imagery of traditional murder ballads, and the high-plains lonesome of early country music, Nathan set out not to reinvent a well-worn wheel, but instead to revitalize the asphalt it rolls on. And with a voice both soulful and intimate, Nathan brings emotional honesty and light to the darkest highways of 'The Dead Leaves Sing', taking the listener on a detour down the lost roads of a forgotten countryside...and finding the most beautiful sunrise you've ever seen.