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Nathaniel Talbot

Nathaniel Talbot

"With influences ranging from prodigious guitar pickers such as Doc Watson, Leo Kotke, and Kelly Joe Phelps, to the more soulful folk poetry of  Elliott Smith, Gillian Welch, and Paul Simon, the music represent a unique synthesis of old-time picking and the indie here-and-now. Nathaniel combines masterful finger-style guitar work with thoughtful, melodic vocal lines to create a sonic experience that is truly fresh and impactful. His latest group Nathaniel Talbot Quartet, featuring Portland all-stars Sam Howard (upright bass), Russ Kleiner (drums) and Anna Tivel (violin), are helping him push his music, and the folk genre as a whole, to new dynamic depths and altitudes."

Two years ago I uprooted myself from the Portland music scene to pursue a career in organic farming on Whidbey Island. An interest in growing food had been creeping inside me for several years. I grew up on a 8-acre, mostly-forested homestead tucked in foothills of the Cascades, so perhaps the move north stemmed from a deeper desire, not just to farm, but more generally to rediscover a land-based way of life, as an adult, on my own terms. This was in no way a music-based decision. In fact, I had already began to accept that a move to a small, rural community and a commitment to a career in agriculture would likely result in an end to my musical career as I knew it. But it hasn’t worked out that way. If anything, farming has only cranked the heat under my musical kettle, so to speak, opening up vaults of new lyrical themes and imagery. The basic acts of hoeing, harvesting, and evening driving a tractor allow space for my mind to arrange and rearrange new musical ideas, play with lyrics, and if nobody’s around, sing aloud to myself.

My songs have always been strong reflections of the landscape in which they were written, both natural and urban. It seems natural to now be weaving the images and stories of farmers, their fields and surrounding communities into the music. But more importantly, moving beyond the immediate subjects of the songs on this record, I think this album signifies a strong maturation in my general approach to storytelling... In “Here in the Fields” I think the stories, for the first time, played a dominant role in helping sculpt my songwriting. As I grow and evolve as a farmer, I’m inadvertently uncovering stories that are too rich to ignore. The interactions of humans with their land base, in my opinion, provides some of the most interesting, tragic and underrepresented, raw subject matter for songwriters to work with, especially in the folk tradition. 

"I'm an Oregonian born and bred, and my songs are directly inspired by both the state's unrivaled ecological diversity as well as its rich history of people working the forests, rivers and rangelands. I sense that Breedlove is part of this history, responsibly making beautiful products out of region's natural resources. In an age where most things are built cheap and forest resources are often squandered with abandon, I'm impressed and refreshed by the level of intention and artistry that goes into each piece of wood on a Breedlove guitar. 

 I play complex fingerstyle guitar arrangements mostly in the style of Travis picking, which utilizes lots of harmonic bass lines combined with melodies on the treble strings. It's rare thing to find an instrument that can carry both my bass and melody lines with equal clarity and resonance. Many of my songs have never sounded better than when played through a Breedlove Masterclass or Legacy Concert guitars. I'm humbled to be chosen as a Breedlove artist and to get to play such an incredible instrument!"

 

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