Live Review: Nathan Jacques

The Federal  North Hollywood, CA

Web: nathanjacques.com

Contact: [email protected]

Players: Nathan Jacques, guitar, vocals; Allen Moreno, steel & baritone guitars; Edward Cerecedes, drums, percussion, backing vocals; Matt Littel, bass; Jackson Cordes, guitar

Material: Nathan Jacques is a singer-songwriter who’s music is eclectic, in that you can’t really pin him down to a certain genre. So many influences oozed out of Jacques during his performance that it was like a spin of the wheel or luck of the draw as to what was coming next; from Americana to rockabilly to country to rock, and a ballad was thrown in for good measure. Every song was different, but they all had one thing in common: they were likable, melodic tunes that touched the soul of whoever was listening.

Musicianship: The musicianship was good all around. Jacques struggled vocally on “I’m Lonely,” but he is a good songwriter and improving every day. His songwriting is second only to his guitar playing. On “Hold My Hand,” he pulled some beautiful sounds out of his acoustic guitar. So smooth and effortless was his play, that the audience couldn’t help but clap and cheer at the end. Cerecedes and Littel were superb as they held down the rhythm section like pros. They were on beat on every song and were on que on all the breaks. Moreno and Cordes were an integral part of Jacques music as they pulled every kind of sound out of their instruments as humanly possible and turned some uninteresting sections of music into something you could sink your teeth into.

Performance: The performance was very good. Littel was having way too much fun on the low end as he danced, grooved and motioned to Cerecedes on all the tunes, especially “The Fire Smells Like Rain.” Watching and listening to Cordes take a violin bow to his guitar was almost spectacular. He and Moreno took turns turning noises upside down and right side up to bring you some amazing and unique sounds that fit the music perfectly. Jacques has extremely good stage presence and his invoking of the audience was more than enough to take this performance over the top.

Summary: Nathan Jacques’ music sounds like acoustic guitar meets the world; Americana that was added to a working band. It had lots of inuendo and messages that only come from sitting down to write good lyrics and poetry. A couple of the songs were radio-worthy, most notably, “Hold My Hand.” Beautifully performed and executed, it was the highlight of the night. “Big Iron” was another strong tune that got the audience extremely interested as Cordes’ guitar squealed, reverberated, and resonated with exquisite taste. Catch Nathan Jacques on Instagram and Facebook, and on his latest, full-length effort, Loud Mind.