Published Sep 01, 2004Right from Keri McTighes sleepy, yet assertive opening two lines of "I wont be there when you call me/ you might go crazy thinking Im gone from the discs best track "Sunset Chaser, you are transported by Nathans lead singer and songwriters 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. McTighes masterful songwriting is combined with Shelley Marshalls complementary harmonies, Devin Latimers bass, and Daniel Roys disciplined drums to create a sound that echoes the likes of Gillian Welch and Oh Susanna, but still defies classification. Add Burke Carrolls pedal steel and dobro and you have one tight band. Nathans 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 Nathans 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 Mothers 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 its all downhill from there. Its really inexpensive to live and because we are so isolated, you cant stick to one genre, so everyone just blends into one big morph. (Nettwerk)