Photo
Good things often take time, and for some artists that means playing a decade or more before breaking out.

Missouri-born, Denver-based Nathaniel Rateliff knows the grind all too well after spending years crafting a folk sound that drew appreciation from his peers.

“For a long time Nathaniel was a musician’s musician,” High Road Touring’s Dave Rowan told Pollstar. “He opened up for Laura Marling, for The Tallest Man On Earth, went out with Mumford & Sons two separate times, and The Lumineers. A lot of that is due to him – people admiring him and being friends with him.”


Photo

Photo: Jason Squires

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Though he’d developed a solid fan base over time as a solo act, things really took off after he filled out his band with the Night Sweats lineup, bringing in a guitarist and three horn players. Rateliff has noted his appreciation for artists like Sam & Dave and Otis Redding in interviews, and the addition of the Night Sweats helped shift his sound into retro R&B and soul territory.

The group scored critical acclaim for its August 2015 self-titled debut, with single “S.O.B.,” a track that may seem to be a drinking song on first listen, but lyrically treads into darker territory of alcoholism, peaking at the top of the adult alternative charts.

The late-night television circuit and festival slots followed, and Rowan noted “things really took off exponentially” after that, leading to the band’s entire fall tour being moved from 500-cap to 1,000-plus capacity rooms.


Photo

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Rateliff’s itinerary for 2016 includes 2,000- to 2,500-capacity rooms that are selling out “well in advance,” festival slots, and trips to Europe and Australia. Plans are also in the works for some brief package runs.

“He’s struggled like we all have, had his ups and downs,” Rowan said. “This is not an overnight thing; he’s been honing his craft. I’m appreciative of his ethic, good nature, extraordinary talent, and I’m also appreciative of the fact that the world caught up to such a wonderful and supremely talented artist.”