and his wife Sarah
Bork Hamilton will have their artwork on display
their home studios on the weekends of April 27,28 and May 4,5.
tour info: WEST STUDIO
Installation in Kerrville
had the privilege of being asked by Keri Kropp, to design the
latest window display for Schreiner Goods, located in Kerrville,Texas.
I was given full creative license with fall being the theme and
I had a really fun time putting it all together. Thanks to Keri
and all at Goods for the opportunity.
can check out more pics here
"Best of 2011"
Latest Reviews for Beauty,Wit & Speed
It is a rare find to encounter an album that commands attention
with an alluring blend of intelligence and restraint. Put this one
down on that list.
Mayer Danzig Twangville
Nathan Hamilton has come to confess what every singing
poet who has every crafted sentiment into song has known: “Sometimes,”
as he sings on his latest album, Beauty Wit and Speed, “you
gotta fake it until you can believe.” Because the Abilene
native and 2000 Kerrville New Folk Winner has arrived at a destination
many songwriters set off for but few reach: bold, stark, simple
and beautiful truth.
It’s a trite cliche, “less is more,” but true
nonetheless, because as Hamilton has cranked out fewer steely, twangy
songs steeped in those familiar but — let’s be honest
here — tired ’ol red dirt-dyed motifs, he has revealed
more and more of himself. As Hamilton says, “While in
the past, I have written songs about outlaws and bar fights, my
days of late are more realistically filled with swim meets and car
seats. The seemingly ordinary and mundane often holds a galley of
riches.” But fear not. These aren’t the sappy musings
of a hipster guitar dude new to the chores of parenting and going
all baby gaga over his adorable offspring’s tiny little toes.
These are the songs of a man who is thinking long and hard about
the passing of time, the intimacies we cherish and the connections
we lose with each calendar turn, and the memories we leave behind.
With a voice that resides somewhere between Jackson Browne and Sam
Baker — and songs that could have easily been penned by either
— Hamilton has evolved into a confident songwriter who, one
senses, labors intently over every ounce of syllable for authenticity
and efficacy. Today, Hamilton wastes precious few words, delivering
songs of compact precision that dramatize the honesty at their core.
Nowhere is that more evident than on “Rust of Age,”
a gorgeous reflection centered on a mournful muted trumpet, a plaintive
piano and an elegant observation that “we all must face our
grave mistakes of body, mind and soul, but I believe I’ll
take the dirt and leave behind the hole.” On “Roadside
Prayer,” a song that builds from a stark solitary strumming
to a Joe Henry-like lushness in the chorus’ admission that
“I fear that I may fail you, though I pray it isn’t
so.” And on “Days of Caution,” which finds Hamilton
joined by Amy Cook in celebrating that “the end is the beginning,
there is grace enough to spare.”
Faking it no more, Hamilton is making believers of us all.
— GLEASON BOOTH Lonestar Music Magazine
Still traveling the roots-rock path he's known for,
Nathan Hamilton matures before our ears on Beauty,Wit
and Speed. A meditation on time, aging, and how technology accelerates
life, it hearkens more to the dark moods and fiery crashes of the
Waterboys, but from the point of view of someone born in Abilene.
Bonus points for recording an honest-to-god whole album in the age
of downloaded singles.
- Jim Caligiuri Austin Chronicle
* A nice feature article here in Buddy
*The album was co-produced with engineer
Britton Beisenherz (Monahans, Milton Mapes,
Doug Burr ,Seryn) at Ramble
Creek Studio in Austin,Texas.
A wonderful group of artists took
part including Kevin Russell (The Gourds) on mandolin,
Jeff Lofton on trumpet, Greg Vanderpool
(Monahans) and Amy Cook on vocals and many more.
Check out the behind the scenes video
out the song
"My Brightest Diamond" recorded at Frogville Studio in
with Adam Tyner and Bill
You can read the story
behind the song as well!
A new album"Trick
of the Light" from Nathan's
Good Medicine Band (aka The
now available from CD
Find out more info on the band
and the making of the album here
can see Nathan's paintings,poems,woodwork and more right here!
Medicine Band - "Trick of the Light" (2010)
In the 12 years since their last album together, the three singer-songwriters
from the Good Medicine Band have all stayed pretty busy: Nathan
Hamilton and Marc Utter with their solo careers and Bill Palmer
with the band Hundred Year Flood. But a handful of feel-good reunion
shows sparked a wild-hair trip back to the studio, and the resulting
Trick of the Light is one of the nicest musical surprises of the
young year. It's hard not to pick favorites any time you've got
multiple singers taking turns at the wheel. I initially pegged Hamilton's
"Rival," "Broken Bottle Days" and "Old
Leather" as the standouts, but subsequent spins favored Palmer's
"End of the Line" (think backwoods Byrds) and Utter's
tremendous "River" and equally compelling title track.
No matter who's driving though, the cohesiveness of the whole set
is very much the work of a band with genuine chemistry; original
members Jim Palmer (drums), Ron Mann (percussion), and David Sawtelle
(banjo,trumpet and violin) are all back as well. Wherever they all
may roam after this, Trick of the Light is proof that there's still
plenty of magic left in this old medicine show.
-Richard Skanse Texas Music Magazine
Nathan Hamilton - "Receive" (irondust music
"A little gem from a new voice to me; a quick
check on the web reveals that this Austin-based performer is, in
fact, about ten years into his career and that Receive will be his
Starting from country/folk roots he has apparently moved more towards
what Americans describe as an indie rock sound. Well there's certainly
plenty evidence of a rock edge and drive here, but his roots are
certainly showing, too.
Just seven songs of high quality combine a Guy Clark-like fondness
for characters and story-telling with a very twenty-first century
musical approach. Three tracks of random radio stuff ("reception#1",
etc) don't make too much sense to me; I guess it's an attempt to
make the songs seem like random unknown voices from the ether too.
Nonetheless, bags of atmosphere are conjured from some pretty sparse
ingredients; Nathan's warm, slightly fractured vocal on Cinders
is sung right up against the mike and supported by an arrangement
of great delicacy shot through with steel - reminiscent, I suppose,
of one of Lou Reed's painfully intimate songs. If Cinders was on
your mp3 and popped up out of the blue I think you'd have to stop
what you were doing to drink it all in.
Weary World, on the other hand, demonstrates an ability to make
an apparently simple, straightforward tune and lyric carry an awful
lot of emotional weight, not an easy trick to pull off whilst Change
could have come from Nels Andrews' songbook; it has a similar weighty,
considered style to the acoustic guitar sound, an echo-laden pedal
steel for the atmosphere and an acute sensitivity for the disappointments
experienced in real lives - a long way from the vacuous optimism
of pop music.
Receive, in contrast, gets the electric guitar brought out and a
pretty fuzzy, heavy sound backed by a thumping drum; Nathan's vocals
have the edge required for a very good rock voice and the warmth
that draws you in for the quieter, folkier songs. It's a slow-burner,
this one, and it'd be well worthy buying or downloading what you
can and familiarise yourself with Nathan Hamilton's style before
you check him out live; there's hidden treasures here and I think
the man could be a real find."
- John Davy www.nessmp3.com/music/biscuitsandgravy
SIX BLACK BIRDS (On the Corner Music 2007)
In a word, damn. Austin's Nathan Hamilton was always “good”-
good in the way you would hope any singer-songwriter with a Kerrville
New Folk win to their name would be. But who knew he could
be great ? That's not meant as a backhanded compliment; it's
just a real (and welcome) kick in the butt when an artist you think
you've got all sized up throws you off guard by quietly releasing
a record that rocks on the level of Six Black Birds. “Even
the sweetest of saints/show their teeth sometimes,” Hamilton
sings on “Teeth”- a perfect metaphor for the album's
secret weapon: Billy Brent Malkus, the Texas Sapphires guitarist
whose jagged leads lend the whole record a bite worthy of James
McMurtry's Heartless Bastards. But Hamilton's songs here
cut just as deep, and when all the elements- killer rhythm section
and B3 included- lock together perfectly on the title track or for
the album's five minute, gear grinding, tour de force centerpiece,
aptly titled “The Cut”, the result wrecks unholy hell
on your CD or MP3 player's repeat button. Of course, not
every track here carries the same undeniable swagger; some of them
take a stealthier approach. But the tension never lets up
until the very end. By the time Six Black Birds winds down to its
closing grace note, the acoustic guitar strum and quietly reflective
tone of “Hanging On” feels like a deep sigh after surviving
a thrilling knife fight.
Richard Skanse , Texas Music Magazine
Hamilton makes a glorious racket, a sort of indie-folk with guitars
careening around like a six-string mosh-pit... What is great about
these songs is that whilst you hear echoes of other bands (Jason
& the Scorchers, Buzzcocks, Pixies, Richard Buckner) the dominant
personality is all Hamilton's.
is a well-balanced set - he doesn't rely too much on any one element.
He's just managed to arrange everything into the correct pattern
and what a pattern. Just sit back listen and watch this one go.
Cowling for Americana UK, 05/05/07
Nathan has always gone back and forth easily between the rock and
folk camps. He did, you may recall, win the Kerrville New Folk award
in 2000. But, as if to erase any doubt about which side of the fence
he’s now on, Six Black Birds jumps out of the gate with a
straight rocker, “Sooner or Later.” This song displays
some beautiful guitar work, and the subtle, but unusual, background
instrumentation makes me think that Nathan may be exploring new
ground with this record. And he is. The second tune, “Enough,”
features strong percussion as the primary musical accompaniment
to Nathan’s haunting vocal. “Teeth” then takes
us back to straight rock. It has a subtle organ backtrack and gives
us Nathan’s best guitar hook since Tuscola’s “Two-Penny
Vengeance.”...Six Black Birds grabbed me from the first guitar
lick and didn’t let me go until the last note almost forty-five
minutes later. And then it left me wanting more.
Steve Circeo, Texas Music Times
Hamilton's first album in 2000 was undoubtedly Texas-roots country,
but the soulful songwriter's fourth CD titled Six Black Birds has
shifted into the rock realm.
did actually tell the band ‘No twang' on the first day in
the studio,” Hamilton said. “ I knew that I would be
drawing a line in the sand for many people with this record. If
you listen to it back-to-back with my first record Tuscola, then
it sounds like a drastic shift. However, for those who have been
coming to the live shows in the last few years, they should not
be too surprised.”
is Hamilton's first studio album in five years. While satisfying
the urge for something new, the album still is classic Hamilton
with his deep and reflective songwriting. The CD has the insightful
and vivid lyrics that Hamilton is known for. Coupled with the raw,
aggressive sound of his band, No Deal, Hamilton swings between
a country sound with the folk tunes he is known for when playing
solo and a heavier or indie rock feel when he's with the band.
“Musically and sonically, I was partly drawing on earlier
influences and bands I was listening to in high school like the
Teardrop Explodes, the Replacements and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions.
I also have been influenced a lot in the last few years by many
of the Euro-pop bands like the Frames, Radiohead and Elbow,”
he said. Hamilton also credits influences from his band members
— all of whom have played in punk bands — and called
this album “a natural progression and not a calculated choice.”
title track is commanding and abrupt, and is reflective of the entire
album that Hamilton calls a “slow burn.” “Frame
to Finish” shows the softer side of the album. A slower love
song, it shows the range of Hamilton's writing ability while offering
up smooth, but not weak, harmonies and accompaniments. With Billy
Brent Malkus's guitar riffs and Hamilton's powerful lyrics, “Burn”
is like a call to arms, protesting corporate America.
album wraps up with the lone acoustic track “Hanging On,”
a slow, rhythmic ballad played solo but as rich as the other nine
Six Black Birds, Hamilton shows, he's grown more complex and evolved
as a singer and songwriter. He this album is his most personal.
.‘The Cut' is probably the most personal song I have ever
written. Many times in a song, even if I am singing in first person,
it is still about someone else. In that one, I am not hiding behind
a character at all,” Hamilton said.
winning the 2000 Kerrville New Folk award and landing on the Americana
charts with two singles from his debut, Tuscola, Nathan was already
off to a great start. With his follow-up,All for Love &
Wages, Hamilton planted his feet firmly as one of the next great
Texas singer-songwriters. His gift lies in his ability to paint
vivid stories through song."
- Austin American Statesman
"Nathan Hamilton's second solo album hangs it's hat on rugged
authenticity and individualism. Like Robert Earl Keen and Slaid
Cleaves, Abilene native Hamilton excels in capturing little desperate
slices of life. He's best when delving into the messy lives
of sad sack protagonists. Hamilton aims for the kind of dark
majesty on many of Townes Van Zandt's most vivid compositions."
- No Depression
“Austin singer- songwriter, Nathan Hamilton, weaves insurgent
country rave-ups and gritty rock ballads on his latest CD , AllFor
Love & Wages. Though his intelligent lyrics are drenched in
sorrow and despair, we hear he’s actually a pretty happy
guy.” - The Rage (Nashville,TN)
"I rated this as one of the best pieces of work available now
by anyone on the Texas music scene, or anywhere for that matter."
Country Line Magazine
"Hamilton specializes in lyrics that expose the raw emotions
and feelings of characters and the situations people find themselves
in. Almost haunting the listener with a stark reality is what sets
Hamilton apart from the rest of the singer-songwriter crowd, and
the gritty rock edge that sharpens All for Love & Wages merely
adds a new layer of complexity to his craft."
-Texas Music Magazine
"His first solo turn, Tuscola, had its inspired moments, but
nothing in his past could have prepared us for these 11new songs
filled with empathy, stick-in-your-head melodies, and unremitting
spirit. All for Love and Wages rocks harder than Hamilton has in
the past, but his music remains rooted in country and folk. With
the guitars of Brent Malkus and producer Ted Cho (PoiDog Pondering)
right upfront, there are times, especially on Dirt in theWound and
Thing of All Things where they seem to be channeling Crazy Horse
on a steamy night. Then, on the smooth, hook-filled opener Dry River
and the lazy acoustic 4 Directions,Hamilton recalls the early country
rock style of Jackson Browne... All for Love and Wages is a healthy
helping of new American roots rock."
- Jim Caligiuri The Austin Chronicle
“Hamilton’s music is the antithesis of today’s
mainstream country-cheese which is fabricated solely on making the
biggest bucks….Hamilton keeps the spirit of original
country music alive.” - Pop Culture Press
“Hamilton is building on a major dose of Americana credibility….It’s
the kind of meaty folk that insurgent country folks will find satisfying.”
– Westword (Denver,CO)
“Hamilton isn’t one of those people who speaks just
to hear his own voice. He has watched the world and he’s
worked through the chaos; now he’s simplifying it for and
explaining it to the rest of us….Hamilton’s second solo
cd All For Love & Wages, contains 11 rootsy tracks that herald
the new generation of Texas-style folk.”
- Weekly Alibi (Albuquerque,NM)
“If there is one American music tradition that carries on
basically unadulterated, it is that of the Texas singer-songwriter….
Into this deep tradition has stepped Nathan Hamilton.”
- The Aspen Times
“Hamilton’s power lies in his intelligent and unpretentious
lyrics and his stellar backup band, No Deal.”
- Santa Fe Reporter
“Townes, Guy, Butch, Robert Earl, Lyle- the list of talented
Texas songwriters is impressive and seemingly endless. After
just two solo albums, Nathan Hamilton has secured his place on this
Texas troubadour list."
– Country Standard Time
“Austin singer- songwriter, Hamilton, turns in an eminently
listenable follow up to his 1999 solo Americana radio fave, TUSCOLA,
with his latest, All For Love & Wages. Standing out from the
alt-country pack with his sharp songwriting…Hamilton deserves
every Lyle Lovett comparison he inspires.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Nathan Hamilton is the kind of up-and-coming artist who’s
mentioned in the same breath as Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.
His second release, All For Love & Wages, is an earthy
collection of songs that not only captures the spirit of the West
but shows that Hamilton and his band aren’t afraid to rock.”
- Independent Weekly (Raleigh,NC)
“Thinking man’s roots music: that’s what Nathan
Hamilton & No Deal have been playing,in unjust near obscurity,
for years. Hamilton’s lyrics zing close to the bone like
a knife-throwers blade and Billy Brent Malkus plays his guitar like
he just walked down a mile of traintracks with it on his back. I
don’t know what that means, but a listen to the band’s
new “Live” album made me write it.”
- Michael Corcoran Austin American-Statesman