Reverend Nathon – Vol 1
12 songs – 47 minutes
Reverend Nathon is a Texas blues-rock band fronted by Nathon Dees and based out of Marble Falls, TX. Dees is very much the main man here, contributing vocals and background vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, bass, slide guitar, recording and engineering, production and songwriting, whilst receiving able support from Gary Delz on drums and Aaron Dees on bass.
As one might hope from a three-piece from Texas, the album kicks off with the ZZ Top-esque gallop of “Darker Shade Of Blues”. It is immediately apparent that Reverend Nathon is on the rockier side of blues rock, with a healthy slice of Southern Rock thrown into the mix as well. The snake-like single-note riff that underpins “Bi Polar Blues” reminds one of early Johnny Winter whilst the slide-driven boogie of “Walking On” sounds like something George Thorogood wishes he had written. As the album progresses, however, there is more than a hint of the rock-funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in “I Find Hope Again” while both “The Way It Could Have Been” and “Golden Key” have a gloriously early-80’s Southern Rock feel to them – the former even has an echo of “Highway Song” to it.
Dees is a fine guitar playing, capable of both raucous lead guitar such as the wah-wah’ed solo on “I Find Hope Again” and the closing solo on “A Better Day” as well as gentle finger-picked acoustic on the power ballad, “Autumn Breeze”. His slide playing, on tracks like “Goin’ Fishin’” is top drawer. He sings in a warm, weather-beaten voice that is particularly effective on “Golden Key”. He also displays a wry sense of humor in the heavy shuffle of “Millennial Blues”, which opens with the classic line: “Hey man. I’m offended by everything. I think I may have the Millennial Blues”, while “Bi Polar Blues” actually addresses a very serious issue of mental health.
Reverend Nathon are the type of band one is delighted to find playing in a smoky bar on a Saturday night. Vol 1 is a lot of fun to listen to but it is not a blues album. It’s a Southern Rock album with a discernible blues influence. So don’t expect the Texas blues of the likes of Albert Collins, Lou Ann Barton, Johnny Copeland or Anson Funderburgh. If however your tastes run to the guitar-focused, blues-influenced Southern Rock of the likes of Blackfoot or even .38 Special, you will find a lot to enjoy in Reverend Nathon.