Nathan Jimson Weed

Nathan Jimson Weed
Right from Keri McTighe’s sleepy, yet assertive opening two lines of "I won’t be there when you call me/ you might go crazy thinking I’m gone” from the disc’s best track "Sunset Chaser,” you are transported by Nathan’s lead singer and songwriter’s captivating storytelling. With its dark imagery and airy country sounds, one imagines Nathan as natives of the Appalachian region, rather than purveyors of the Portage and Main scene in Winnipeg. McTighe’s masterful songwriting is combined with Shelley Marshall’s complementary harmonies, Devin Latimer’s bass, and Daniel Roy’s disciplined drums to create a sound that echoes the likes of Gillian Welch and Oh Susanna, but still defies classification. Add Burke Carroll’s pedal steel and dobro and you have one tight band. Nathan’s numbers jump just as easily from bluegrass ballads in the Appalachian tradition such as the aforementioned "Sunset Chaser” and "Home With Me” to Tin Pan Alley, ragtime and waltz numbers such as "Emelina” and "Lock Your Devils Up.” Themes of regret, female empowerment and betrayal, murder and retribution all weave themselves one way or another into the 14 tracks. Jimson Weed is Nathan’s major label debut, and what a stunning and soulful debut it is. With its angelic anthems, accomplished musicianship, and unpredictable musical twists and turns, this Jimson Weed, unlike its medicinal namesake, has few side effects, but like the plant, an overdose should be considered potentially serious and medical intervention sought.

What draws you to explore dark imagery in your songs? McTighe: Not so much drawn to darker imagery as being aware of it in the world and trying to not purposefully leave it out of stuff we are writing because we want to be presenting what we are feeling and going through.

Tell me about learning and playing the Theremin? They had one at Mother’s Music and it was half price at Christmas. We were thinking that some Theremin on this album would be awesome, but no one knew the first thing about how to play it. I spent four days, and actually recorded it at home because it was excruciating to listen to. My poor boyfriend was kicking me out of bed because my whole body was still in convulsions for four days because we had a deadline, so it was a small period of madness.

Tell me about the current music scene in Winnipeg? When I moved there I knew only four chords and one song. I was so drawn into the community of musicians there that were like "Oh you know a song? Get up on stage and play” and then you get to brag and then it’s all downhill from there. It’s really inexpensive to live and because we are so isolated, you can’t stick to one genre, so everyone just blends into one big morph. (Nettwerk)