In the ever-evolving tapestry of the music world, few artists stitch together a narrative as intriguing as Nathan Kalish. His latest endeavor, Southern Poverty Guitar Center VOL 2, is not merely an album; it’s a portal into a world where musical expression reigns supreme. Kalish, a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and engineer, is not just another musician in Nashville’s crowded scene. He’s a nomadic storyteller, a sonic explorer, and, as Rolling Stone Country and Billboard have noted, a name to watch.
Born in Milwaukee, WI, to missionary parents, Nathan’s life was a patchwork of experiences from an early age. Moving across the Midwest and Europe, including Eastern Europe, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Kalish’s childhood was as eclectic and varied as his music. This whirlwind of change and exposure to diverse cultures is echoed in his songs, each a chapter of a life lived in transit.
After high school, Kalish embarked on a relentless touring schedule, bringing his unique blend of music to bars and honky-tonks across continents. His hard-touring ethos and prodigious output have led him to share stages with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Lucero. This impressive resume is a testament to his relentless drive and passion for his craft.
Southern Poverty Guitar Center VOL 2 is a vibrant canvas of psychedelic folk-rock, ’90s alternative rock, and cosmic country sounds, a genre he jokingly refers to as “Beyondicana.” The album, produced and mixed by Kalish himself in his 450 sq ft apartment-turned-studio Maroon Lagoon, is a five-song exploration of lyrical sincerity and absurdity. It’s an anthology of tales from a fictional town where songwriting is the highest calling, a theme that resonates deeply with Kalish’s own life philosophy.
Kalish’s previous releases have drawn comparisons to greats like Tom Petty, John Prine, Gram Parsons, and Paul Westerberg. His storytelling prowess and musical versatility have captivated critics, earning him praise from American Songwriter and Saving Country Music, among others. With Southern Poverty Guitar Center VOL 2, he continues this trajectory, weaving stories that are both intimate and universal.
But to understand Nathan Kalish fully, one must look beyond this latest project. His journey from a globetrotting youngster to a mainstay in the Americana music scene is a story of resilience, adaptability, and unyielding dedication to his art. It’s a story that has seen him weather the unpredictable storms of the music industry and emerge with a clear vision for his path forward.
As 2024 unfolds, Kalish shows no signs of slowing down. With a busy schedule and a heart still firmly planted on the road, Southern Poverty Guitar Center VOL 2 is not just another album; it’s a milestone in a journey that defies the typical narrative. Nathan Kalish is not just another name in Nashville’s bustling scene – he is a testament to the power of stories, songs, and the endless road that connects them all.
“It is an album to enjoy for the quality of the musicianship, and with the range of moods to be found here, you will always be able to find something that suits whatever vibe you are in. The strong foundations are Kalish’s honest reflections of life and its struggles. Listen in and savour the lessons learnt on his travels without having to leave the comfort of your own armchair. A perpetually wandering soul, keeping country music alive, strong… and cosmic.” – Americana UK
“Americana and country that dips its toes into the waters of alternative rock and psychedelia.” – Rolling Stone Country
“It’s a warm, melody-forward country soul project that stands out even among the sensational projects so far this year from Nashville-based artists.”- Craig Havighurst (WMOT // NPR)
“Kalish rattles you to the core, and he’s unafraid to make you squirm ─ or at least jolt you awake.” – 4 out of 5 // American Songwriter
“These searing reflections are delivered vigorously by Kalish, its spry instrumentation a force prepared to fill any honky-tonk with its rootsy charisma.” – Popmatters
“in fact, a set of songs for everyone who likes their music real with a hard coating of country music in several forms.” – Lonesome Highway
“Like Daniel Romano or Robert Ellis, he wields a complete working knowledge of what’s come before in country music, even if he prefers to operate slightly outside the norm. ” – Routes and Branches
“Part Waylon Jennings and part Gordon Lightfoot, he perfectly blends rough-edged lyrics with lush musical arrangements. Like a velvet-gloved fist”- The Alternate Root Magazine
“A throwback country folk nugget that harkens to the work of Steve Earle and Robert Earl Keen. Kalish delivers with an aged bravado that conjures images of 70’s wood paneling and neon beer signs.” – Glide Magazine
“Nathan Kalish consistently tells a heartwrenching lyrical tale over serious alt-country musicianship. He’s gathered a band of heavy hitters around him on Songs for Nobody, and it really puts his already-great songwriting over the top.”- Americana Highways
“Nothing beats a well-written song, with strong playing and topped off by a voice brimming with soul and character. All the boxes are ticked on this new single (and the accompanying album) from Nathan Kalish.” – Post to Wire
“It’s the real, true-to-life version of forgotten America that songwriter Nathan Kalish and The Lastcallers sing about in their new album Continental Breakfast of Champions; not some fairy tale to help prop up a false sense of escapism for bored suburbanites.” – Saving Country Music