Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Why Don't You Give It To Me?
In this polished, hi-fidelity, production-heavy age of music, more and more of us seem to be seeking out the lo-fi, dirty, rasping, spit and sawdust side of things. "Why Don't You Give It To Me?" was recorded live in Detroit, Michigan, home of soul singer Nathaniel Mayer, quite probably on an 8-track reel-to-reel tape recorder, rough as it is. Mayer seems an unlikely Detroit soulman, he has none of the lightness or sweetness of the soul one typically associates with Motor Town and the likes of Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson inter alia. His sound, produced by a backing band made up of members from The Black Keys, Dirtbombs, Outrageous Cherry and The Sights/SSM, has much more in common with the black psychedelia of the late-60s - think Fugi, Black Merda, and the Temptations (when they ditched the 'classic five era' in favour of their Psychedelic Shack). Nathaniel's voice is a primal rasp, more Howlin' Wolf or Tom Waits than Smokey Robinson, and this album is a free-wheeling master-class in how to 'psychedelicise' the Blues, soul and rock'n'roll (for what many folks, though not me, widely regard as a cautionary tale, see Muddy Waters' "Electric Mud"). Highlights include 'Doin' It', a hypnotic, psychedelic freakout, with its explorative jamming providing a perfect balance to the more rehearsed, groove-based numbers such as 'Why Dontcha Show Me'. There's a freshness which pervades the album, probably because the band were still very much exploring the songs and sound at the time of recording. Qualms about a bass-heavy mix aside, this is a compelling and visceral slice of live dog-eared Blues. - Ian Kingsbury

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