Nathan Evans Fox – Wasted Love
With a warm voice similar to singer-songwriter Marc Cohn (“Walking In Memphis”), Nathan Evans Fox sings with delicate precision & starts with “One of These Days,” a beautiful ballad with soft piano & sincere vocals. Despite the delicacy, Fox has power, authority & he’s articulate. The problem with this song? It’s not long enough.
Nice rural accent to his voice, a little more country-oriented. Disciplined within his rootsy music Fox summons “Mercedes Benz,” a song that could’ve gone astray into novelty, but never does. Mindful of the late legend Roger Miller in style Fox decorates his tune with good playing — somewhat subtle. As it should be – it lends more authenticity.
This music is cosmopolitan country. I can appreciate that. It’s not cornpone, it’s not alt-country, country-western, or pop-country. Fox has a solid hold on a serious genre of country seldom covered by many artists. It cuts through the commerciality of country music. Lays down stylistically with confidence. Many tracks are streamlined, with little overblown. The music glides along like a surfer on a board. Cruising the waves silently but getting to the destination just as fast.
For my ears, it’s different to hear the wonderful playing laid down less prominently than most. I like it. It’s done well. It isn’t wooden or crunching. The soft-focus arrangements are solid, work within the framework of Fox’s superior songs.
Wasted Love (Releases Oct 8– Independent) is Fox’s 4th self-produced CD. A 12-cut that delves into ways love gets spent without expectation of return. Heavy. Some people never keep score. Nathan’s songs matter – they seem to go a few feet beyond mere entertainment. If a listener listens to his collection there will be a tune they’ll relate to strongly. The authenticity is there – you can hear it, & you can taste it. “When They Take the House,” is exceptional.
“Carolina Boy,” is a well-developed ballad. Good insightful lyrics & arrangement. Though North Carolina’s Nathan doesn’t sound like John Prine he has that discipline. Not a stranger to grief is in that kind of song structure. He tells good stories, uses clever words, & adds his Marc Cohn-Chip Taylor-Peter Himmelman strength on each. Not yet as deep, intense as Townes van Zandt but Nathan isn’t far.
“These Four Walls,” & “Wasted Love,” finds Nathan in the warm Marc Cohn vocal frame. Surrounded by elegant musicianship. A little double-clutched is “Damn Hard,” a real cool banjo foot stomper. CD players: Nathan (acoustic-pedal steel-electric guitars/fiddle/keys/banjo/percussion), Drew Lloyd (bass), Will Kissane (drums), Mike Harris (electric guitar solo/slide guitar), & Lindsay Foote (BGV).
Nathan’s produced some great stuff. Photo courtesy of Nathan’s website.
Not a stillborn idea among these songs.
The 44-minute CD available @ http://www.nathanevansfox.com/#home-1-section