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Folk/Acoustic

Nathaniel Rateliff

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Friday Dec 19, 2014 9:00PM Ogden Theatre Denver, CO Buy Tickets More Info

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The frosted and chilly cover of Nathaniel Rateliff’s newest collection of songs, “Falling Faster Than You Can Run,” with two naked bodies, lying still and apart, while...

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The frosted and chilly cover of Nathaniel Rateliff’s newest collection of songs, “Falling

Faster Than You Can Run,” with two naked bodies, lying still and apart, while partially

covered with bed sheets, makes you squirm. It puts those tiny spiders in your serum and

your stomach feels agitated, empathetically feeling for those two lovers, once removed or

remaining. Where they lie is about the coldest form of warmth you’ll ever touch, but that

half-folded hand reaching over is the sign that a fight will be put up to see that love is

saved.

Rateliff writes from that place where tears are being dabbed or brushed with the hairy

back side of a slow hand, when a reluctant but hopeful smile is peeking loose beneath

those dark trackings. He writes tragedies the way that Raymond Carver wrote tragedies,

as if they were unrecognizable as anything other than everyday life. They are stories of

the enduring power of a hope that we occasionally find that we have to drill new wells so

that it can be pumped out and exposed. It might not be ever-present, but it’s strangely and

thankfully dependable.

The man who was born in tiny Hermann, Missouri, one of those “if you blink you’ll miss

it” kinds of places, as his mother describes them, writes like a guy who lost his father as a

seventh-grade boy, during a particularly rainy year, almost 22 years ago now. He writes

like a guy who dropped out of school not long after that, who was raised by a loving and

determined, heartache-filled mother who cleaned houses, landscaped for a Tyson chicken

exec and fried chicken, baked cakes and served up BLTs in countless kitchens to make

the ends meet, who at 17 was working as the nighttime janitor at the high school where

he was supposed to be attending classes, who worked at Subway for enough money to

buy a car cause that’s what you do when your house is seven miles down a gravel road,

who has the same best friend since childhood, since they worked in the plastic factory

together before deciding to move to Denver to pursue their musical dreams, who feels

almost beaten every damned day. He writes like a man who knows that there will be

more where that all came from.

“Falling Faster,” an album that Rateliff recorded and produced in homes with Jamie

Mefford, follows the critically acclaimed 2010 album, “In Memory of Loss,” which he

toured long and hard on. The prolonged traveling made all of his personal relationships

suffer. It broke him down. He felt more wounds, more of those taxing body blows and

out came these 11 exhilarating tales of human beings doing everything they can to keep

the small fires burning and their heads above the flooded waters. “Still Trying,” “Three

Fingers In” and “When Do You See” hurt so much, but then they all do, so beautifully.

It’s a gathering of the pieces of Rateliff, as they exist, as actual pieces of him. He’s

offering you his skin. He is giving you a limb. He can’t take any of it back. He says, “I’ve

always wanted to affect people. Not many people cry and they probably should.” NATHANIEL RATELIFF

The frosted and chilly cover of Nathaniel Rateliff’s newest collection of songs, “Falling

Faster Than You Can Run,” with two naked bodies, lying still and apart, while partially

covered with bed sheets, makes you squirm. It puts those tiny spiders in your serum and

your stomach feels agitated, empathetically feeling for those two lovers, once removed or

remaining. Where they lie is about the coldest form of warmth you’ll ever touch, but that

half-folded hand reaching over is the sign that a fight will be put up to see that love is

saved.

Rateliff writes from that place where tears are being dabbed or brushed with the hairy

back side of a slow hand, when a reluctant but hopeful smile is peeking loose beneath

those dark trackings. He writes tragedies the way that Raymond Carver wrote tragedies,

as if they were unrecognizable as anything other than everyday life. They are stories of

the enduring power of a hope that we occasionally find that we have to drill new wells so

that it can be pumped out and exposed. It might not be ever-present, but it’s strangely and

thankfully dependable.

The man who was born in tiny Hermann, Missouri, one of those “if you blink you’ll miss

it” kinds of places, as his mother describes them, writes like a guy who lost his father as a

seventh-grade boy, during a particularly rainy year, almost 22 years ago now. He writes

like a guy who dropped out of school not long after that, who was raised by a loving and

determined, heartache-filled mother who cleaned houses, landscaped for a Tyson chicken

exec and fried chicken, baked cakes and served up BLTs in countless kitchens to make

the ends meet, who at 17 was working as the nighttime janitor at the high school where

he was supposed to be attending classes, who worked at Subway for enough money to

buy a car cause that’s what you do when your house is seven miles down a gravel road,

who has the same best friend since childhood, since they worked in the plastic factory

together before deciding to move to Denver to pursue their musical dreams, who feels

almost beaten every damned day. He writes like a man who knows that there will be

more where that all came from.

“Falling Faster,” an album that Rateliff recorded and produced in homes with Jamie

Mefford, follows the critically acclaimed 2010 album, “In Memory of Loss,” which he

toured long and hard on. The prolonged traveling made all of his personal relationships

suffer. It broke him down. He felt more wounds, more of those taxing body blows and

out came these 11 exhilarating tales of human beings doing everything they can to keep

the small fires burning and their heads above the flooded waters. “Still Trying,” “Three

Fingers In” and “When Do You See” hurt so much, but then they all do, so beautifully.

It’s a gathering of the pieces of Rateliff, as they exist, as actual pieces of him. He’s

offering you his skin. He is giving you a limb. He can’t take any of it back. He says, “I’ve

always wanted to affect people. Not many people cry and they probably should.”