SNL brought in Nathanial Rateliff as the musical guest for S46:E12, hosted by the amazingly talented Regina King. After hitting the seen about 18 years ago, this was the first time I heard of Rateliff. Watching the episode with my girlfriend, I was quickly chastised for not knowing who he was. After his set on SNL, I chastised myself for not hearing of Rateliff earlier. This guy is good!
Leading off with a single that Rateliff wrote for the forthcoming movie, Palmer, starring Justin Timberlake, “Redemption” is a ballad that starts off with just a few strums of the guitar and Rateliff singing in hushed tones. It slowly builds with him bringing in his backup band, the Night Sweats. No offense to the backup band, as I’m sure they’re talented musicians, but they play a very small role here as Rateliff controls this song with his dulcet tones.
A Little Honey
For his second song, he returned with the Night Sweats. Again, he doesn’t need them, but they are a little more prominent in “A Little Honey.” Rateliff stretches his legs with this folk-pop style song off their 2018 album, Tearing at the Seams. Rateliff foregoes the guitar and starts off behind a keyboard before performing some kind of funky slide walk to the lead singer spot on stage and finishing off this great toe tapper of a song. In fact, have you seen that viral video of those 2 old guys Appalachian Flatfooting to various songs? Well, I could see this song being added to the viral video string!
Looking For More Rateliff
So, I can’t go a full blog without some kind of criticism, so here you go…Rateliff needs to button up his shirt. I’ll give the guy credit for not having a wardrobe change, but wearing a popped collar jacket with a popped collar shirt with like 4 buttons undone and nothing to look at except bare chest and some sparse hair, well… I mean, at least add a chain or something. But seriously, this guys voice is solid. One of the best I’ve heard in a long time. I’m glad I finally found out who he is and will be looking to add his stuff to Spotify playlists soon!