“When I was around 16 or 17, I walked into Lestat’s to do my first open mic,” says ragtime roots-rocker Nathan Fox. “I had recently finished writing my first song and wanted to play it for an audience. Well, not my first song, exactly. I had a ska band in high school and wrote songs with the other members of the group, but this was the first song that was written by me and for me.” The song, “Dr. Marten,” appears on Fox’s I’m All Done EP, which drops this month.
The San Diego native’s tunes like “Cutie Pie” evoke Leon Redbone and Randy Newman, showcasing his acoustic cabaret bop with frequent touches of New Orleans swing. “Once I had all the songs written, I contacted my friend Jake Staley about coproducing the EP with me. Together, we wrote out charts for the players, preproduced mockups, click tracks, and scratch tracks in our own studio, and then flew out to Bomb Shelter Studios in Nashville.”
The Tennessee locale enabled Fox to recruit guest players such as bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins), banjo player Richard Bailey (Al Green, George Jones), and drummer Fred Eltringham (the Wallflowers, Sheryl Crow).
“We hammered out the recording and mixing in nine days with an engineer named Andrija Tokic. That was that. Or at least as far as the music was concerned. Totally didn’t think about the album cover and cover art until it was time to submit it to iTunes, Spotify, and so on. Oops!”
Fox contacted friends Whitney Pratt (photographer) and Christopher Murphy (graphic artist) to help out. “The music in the EP is very me. It’s stuff I like to listen to. I wanted the artwork to be the same in that regard. It’s basically a headshot on the front cover with hand-written lyrics and credit list in the jacket. That’s actually my handwriting, by the way. And yes, I know it’s terrible. I like to think of it as a free puzzle to go along with the music.”
- Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
Nathan Fox appears September 17 in the House of Blues Voodoo Lounge before departing on an East Coast tour.