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

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Fear not. That’s not the sound of the bottom of the barrel being scraped.We lost a good ‘un when resurrected soul veteran Nathaniel Meyer shuffled off this mortal coil in 2008 and this is a fitting tribute, even if assembled from studio bits-and-pieces.
Half-a-dozen of these eight cuts are from the session that yielded "Why Don’t You Give It To Me?" with the balance from a live-in-the-studio acoustic bracket taped for radio. The differing approaches meld seamlessly.
If you didn’t hear the predecessor album "Why Don’t You Give It To Me?" then you need to. It was an astounding comeback-from-God-knows-where that welded Mayer’s scarred, knife-edge vocal to sometimes sparse and often confronting accompaniment from a crew of underground notables like Dave Shettler, mostly from Nat’s Motor City. Black Key Dan Auerbach’s guiding hand (and guitar) was on the tiller and Jim Diamond engineered.
"Dreams Come True" is a restrained opener and sweetly soulful in its own inimitable way. Mayer’s voice is undeniably ravaged but he doesn’t push it to the edge here. For that we only have to wait a song; "Mr Taxman" reverts to recent type – a seven-and-a-half-minute vamp wrapped in fried guitar and lyrical allusions to being down-and-out. Its sister track is the intently plodding "The Puddle", another intense burner. Brevity’s at the soul of "She’s Bad" but it, too, shares the same postcode.
Mayer’s vocal is at its most pure on the acoustic "You Are The One", a mid-album oasis among all the brooding and dissonance. "The Girl Next Door" is ushered in by Tim Boatman’s plaintive piano and harks back to "Why Dontcha?" form the previous al
Apart from a distorted bass solo in its closing bars, "If You Would Be My Guide" faintly echoes "Unchained Melody." No shame in that ‘cept Nathaniel Meyer puts it out there more nakedly than the Righteous Brothers ever did.
If the acoustic "What Would You Do?" seems an oddly quiet way of closing, you can’t but smile at Nat’s mumbled reference to being happy in his own world on the end. Let’s raise a glass to that. – The Barman / I-94 Bar

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