Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats

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“He is one of these guys that will just carry the torch,” the legendary Robert Plant stated in a recent interview when asked “who is your favorite young artist?” Calling Nathaniel Rateliff ‘a leader of the next generation of greats,’ he continued, “Beautiful songwriting, beautiful singing, great delivery and he is a magnificent guy to go with it.” Plant is not alone. Rateliff’s collaborations with Paul Simon at Newport, Willie Nelson at the Hollywood Bowl and performing on-stage alongside Bob Weir and the late, great John Prine are just a few examples that underscore Plant’s sentiment.


Fast forward to 2024.


South of Here, Rateliff and The Night Sweats’ fourth full-length album⎯produced by Brad Cook (Waxahatchee, Bon Iver, Kevin Morby) and recorded at Sonic Ranch outside El Paso, TX⎯reckons with a lifetime of pain and trauma and transforms it into a stirring, soul-baring rumination on love, loss, hope and resolve. Following And It’s Still Alright, Rateliff’s beloved 2020 solo LP, and The Future, The Night Sweats’ acclaimed 2021 release, the new album (with help and insistence from Cook), seamlessly blends both sides of his immense talent: emotionally potent, vivid storytelling and the rugged, R&B revivalism that has powered the band to world-wide acclaim over the past decade. 


Rateliff’s songs have always come from a place of deep honesty, however through this recording process he found he was incorporating more of his own personal story than ever before. “Brad was a great producer to write alongside,” Rateliff noted. “This album is a look into my own struggle with anxiety, insecurity and also stories of my life. He encouraged me to take responsibility for my own narrative in the songs and to write about what’s happening in my life. These recordings were done together in a room with my closest friends. I hope these songs and stories give people an opportunity to better understand their own struggles, whatever they may be.”


South of Here’s 11 original tracks were all written by Rateliff and performed by The Night Sweats: Nathaniel Rateliff (vocals, guitar), Luke Mossman (guitar), Joseph Pope III (bass), Mark Shusterman, (Hammond B3, piano), Patrick Meese (drums, piano), Daniel Hardaway (trumpet), Jeff Dazey (tenor sax), and Andreas Wild (baritone sax). The band, in peak form, fill these songs with intuitive beauty while Cook’s production captures their soulful fire with immediacy and purpose.