I believe that it is a sworn obligation to introduce one another to new music. It is a sacrament in the enjoyment of the art. That said, All About Jazz's own resident Genius, Jeff Fitzgerald did his part in spades. Directing my attention to the official video of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats' "S.O.B." Thank you, Genius. Missouri-native Nathaniel Rateliff came into the music world on a mission trip to Colorado, a well-meaning and understated folkie known for polite and introspective songs. Excellent songs, but polite and introspective. Then, somehow, he rubbed up against Beale Street and was transformed into the next thing after Alabama Shakes and St. Paul and the Broken Bones.
What Rateliff and this band does is nothing new. Ray Charles recorded "I Got a Woman" in 1954, fusing the harmony and melody of the black church with the carnal ecstasy of the secular. Rateliff pulls a spiritual groove right out of the white Holy Roller tradition and adds not only profanity but the taboo element of intoxicants to the mix. The result is a radioactive O Brother, Where Art Thou driven by the resurrection of the Memphis Horns. Infectious and irreverent, "S.O.B." (yes, that "one") is a slingshot throwback that brings us full circle through the history of American Music from the last 50 years. Tent-revival hand clapping coupled with a reeds-heavy horn section reveals the love child of Al Green and Joe Cocker.
Those fearing a one-hit wonder, the rest of the new album is just as good.
Nathaniel Rateliff: vocals, guitar; Joseph Pope III: bass; Mark
Shusterman: keyboards; Patrick Meese: drums; Luke Mossman: Guitar;
Wesley Watkins: trumpet; Andy Wild: tenor saxophone.