Show Reviews

    Nate Martel solo CD release at Hawks and Reed-December 10th, 2017


    Nate Martel solo cd release show Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center, Greenfield, MA December 10 2017

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    I have had the pleasure of seeing Nate Martel in a variety of bands including Orange Television years ago, several times recently with his band Outer Stylie, and also with Llama Lasagne.  So it was with great pleasure that I went last Sunday to Greenfield to check out the release of his latest effort, a solo album titled Short Stay. Hawks and Reed was pretty packed for a Sunday night, a testament to the strength of the Pioneer Valley music community and a testament to Martel’s musical community and the love and support they feel for him.

    The show opened with a few tunes by Nate and a bassist named Matthew Thornton who did a few tunes in this acoustic duo.  It was a nice appetizer and folks were still gathering and chatting and getting ready for the evening. The next set was by folk / americana / bluegrass / country / rock ensemble, the Eavesdrop trio:  three women from the area with soulful harmonies and a rich down-to-earth sound.  They also appeared on the solo album by Martel.  Everyone there seemed to know all about them but it was a first for me.  The obvious comparisons to the Indigo Girls, Lucius, Emmylou Harris, Patsy Cline and any other female lead vocal heavy ensemble are there but there is an originality and purpose to their sound.  I like the subtle alternative undertones with a tip of the hat to traditional sounds and music.

    Video by Angel Simon

    Up next was the full band for Nate Martel’s solo CD release.  He played the entire album from start to finish.  Several Pioneer Valley regulars were in the band including Marc Seedorf (lately with Marc Mulcahy) on the bass, Monte Arnstam (Outer Stylie, Workman Song) on drums, Darby Wolf on keys, and lots of different people coming and going throughout the set. The music is a departure from Martel’s past.  Where OT and really Outer Stylie is an exploration of Martel’s heavy rock roots, swinging elements from Floyd to Zep to Black Sabbath, this record is more of an exploration of Martel’s classic Americana viewpoint, at times shiny and earthy.

    While for a song or two he may have put on his darker uniform, this album and performance was based more on traditional sound and structures, more acoustic guitar and voice than distortion and drums that are typical of Martel’s other projects. A smile was plastered on his face the whole show, and for good reason.  Both the show and the album are great accomplishments.

    You can tell that Martel is embraced by the community as within the audience I saw band members from Stylie, the Alchemystics, rice – an American Band, Llama Lasagne, Medicinal Purpose, Gaslight Tinkers, Pangea, and countless other bands.  But unlike the musicians band of prog rockers trying to defy each other, this night was about song, and specifically about Martel’s appreciation of it. While I don’t know if this night will ever be repeated, it was a special treat to be able to catch it last Sunday in Greenfield. Most of the album set audio was captured:

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    Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.