“Many have come and many have tried, but we may finally have a storytelling successor to Dylan, Van Zandt and Cash.” – Maverick Magazine
A bearer of the coveted Telluride Troubadour Award (2009), Nathan Moore is a pioneer of modern day troubadouring and a wellspring of songs like you wouldn’t believe. His love of poetry, songs and mischief has shaped his colorful, prolific career. He’s a founding member of both ThaMuseMeant and Surprise Me Mr. Davis, two bands that have toured the country extensively. There are a lot of folks out there that will tell you that one of these two bands is one of their favorite bands of all time. Between his solo career and his bands, Nathan has released 21 albums. From storytelling songwriter to rock band frontman (with a dash of magic here and there), Nathan has done it all with a disarming honesty and lyrical revelry that few could pull off. Lately he has taken to hosting a live online radio show from his home in Virginia.
“…a musician that is in a constant state of becoming, always in the present with wide-eyed curiosity,” State of Mind Magazine
“Nathan Moore…is one of the greatest songwriters we have and the faucet is always on pouring fresh songs out like water.” Aaron Case- Jambase
In 2012 Moore found “The End” of his epic Hippy Fiasco Rides Again adventure. For those that don’t know, he and his crew (road manager Chad Galactic and merch girl Liz Bunny) spontaneously headed out on tour without any gigs booked, but webcasting themselves 24 hours a day. They played only where they were invited by those watching the webcast who stepped up to host “Fiascoes” all over America. Nathan would perform in their homes, parks or other meeting places. Nathan encouraged everyone to bring instruments to the Fiascoes and play along, forming what became known as the Moorechestra. “Hippy Fiasco Rides Again: The Record”, was made with 100% fan participation through mobile recording and a special website. Over 100 people play on this record. There has been a movie made about the experience called, you guessed it, “Hippy Fiasco Rides Again: The Movie”. Just to recap, get this: the viewers of the webcast were watching a show about a traveling modern day troubadour and they decided where the tour went (heck they decided whether to get Salt and Vinegar or BBQ chips!). Not only that, they helped promote the tour, helped write the songs and in the end were invited to play on the record. All that happened! And it was way crazier than I’m making it sound.
“The sharp, introspective lyrics of Nathan Moore draw an instant connection to the great folk singers of the past.” -Paste Magazine
The versatility of Moore’s catalogue and performing experiences is hard to fathom and he’s shared the stage with an impressive list of talented artists (My Morning Jacket, Rickie Lee Jones, Greg Brown, Chuck Berry, Rambling Jack Elliot, Cheryl Crowe…) at venues and festivals all over the country. After touring relentlessly in the 90s and co-founding a small independent record label in Santa Fe, NM in 2001, Nathan returned to his roots in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in 2006 to launch a solo endeavor. Moore’s 2007 solo album, “In His Own Worlds“, spent 21 weeks on the Roots Music Radio Charts, and his evocative one-man show that is an innovative combination of music, banter and magic has wowed audiences and garnered critical praise from coast-to-coast ever since. His two records “Folksinger” and “Dear Puppeteer” are on The Royal Potato Family Label, and comprise some his best work. One music writer calls Moore’s performance on Folk Singer “…as proficient as Ryan Adams, as lyrical as Jeff Tweedy and as charming as a deadbeat cartoon character that wakes up, rubs his belly and leans into the day” (Relix Magazine)
“Nathan Moore should be a star. He’s one of the greatest songwriters we have and the faucet is always on, pouring fresh songs out like water.” -Jambase
10-12-1970 Nathan Moore was born in Clifton Forge, VA. His parents moved with him to Staunton Va.
1979 Nathan writes his first rhyming verses for his mom while she was away for her National Guard basic training.
1982 Nathan trades a halloween mask for a little guitar from a young man he met in Young Life who was about to return to Africa and didn’t want to travel with the instrument.
12-25-1984 Nathan gets his first “nice” guitar from Santa Clause whom Nathan had discovered hid it under his mother’s bed a week before Christmas Day! (That is one busy/clever man.)
1986 Nathan plays his first gig at the Wharf Pub in Staunton Va.
1986-88 Nathan joins with High School friends to form the band Toast which later became Moral Chaos. The Toast song “Talk Dirty To Me Dr. Ruth” was definitely stolen some years later by the band Poison.
1988-1991 Nathan attends Mary Washington College and started “The Sad Eyed Drifters” with guitarist Joe Clayton. This band grew into a band called Mr. Flood’s Party. The demo this band made was the first time Nathan went into a recording studio.
Late 91- 92 Nathan lives briefly in Williamsburg, Virginia with his bandmates in a group called Buddahey. Upon hearing that the best drummer in town was in prison the band visited him there, introduced themselves and performed a gig with him in Richmond within a week of his release. His cohort through this portion of his life, a guitarist from Mr. Floods Party.
1992 Nathan quits college at the same time as his Blake professor and with him takes his first cross country trip driving from Virginia to Seattle. Upon his return home he buys a one way ticket to “the live music capitol of the world,” Austin, TX.
1993 Nathan meets David Tiller and Aimee Curl who were busking on 6th Street with a group of Virginians calling themselves Buzzard’s Breath.
1994 Nathan, David and Aimee move to Santa Fe, NM and start playing Tuesdays at El Farol as ThaMuseMeant. The trio records two full length recordings that appeared only on cassette.
1995 Drummer Jeff Sussmann joins ThaMuseMeant and the band self releases it’s first C.D., “Live at The Mineshaft Tavern” recorded 6-14-95 in Madrid, NM.
1996 ThaMuseMeant relocates back to Austin, TX and begins busking religiously until they secured a weekly spot at the infamous Black Cat Lounge. Bobby Sheean, the bass player for Blues Traveler, alone in a car on a long roadtrip, finds one of ThaMuseMeant’searlier cassettes under the car seat. A few months later, ThaMuseMeant plays all of the Texas dates on Blues Traveler’s H.O.R.D.E. tour with Dave Mathews, Rickie Lee Jones and others. Nathan holds pinkies with Rickie Lee Jones.
1997 Dave Tiller leaves ThaMuseMeant. TMM records the self released “Breakfast Epiphanies” at a studio in Austin, TX. TMM trio moved back to Santa Fe, NM.
1998 Dave Tiller rejoins ThaMuseMeant in Santa Fe.
1999 ThaMuseMeant records the self released album, “Sweet Things,” their most potent recording up to then. They buy themselves a Silver Eagle tour bus and begin touring relentlessly coast to coast.
In this year, Nathan also records his first solo album “Single Wide” with members ofHundred Year Flood, a band he’d befriended in Austin.
Based on word of mouth and “Sweet Things,” ThaMuseMeant become the first band to be invited to play the Main Stage at High Sierra Music Festival sight unseen.
Late 1999 High Sierra Records signs ThaMuseMeant, picking up “Sweet Things” and agreeing to fund the next record.
2000 ThaMuseMeant records “Grow Your Own” for High Sierra and continues relentless touring.
Late 2000 ThaMuseMeant disbands and Nathan returns to his hometown in Staunton Va. This begins a string of solo records that Nathan records and releases himself, most notably are “Sad Songs Make me Happy” and “Live at The Blackfriars Playhouse.”
2001 Rescued from a bout with cabin fever, Nathan goes on a month long tour with his friends The Slip as their merch man. In the process, he films and edits “A Fly on The Road with the Slip” a movie that was never released but foretold their creative collaboration. On this tour, Nathan joined The Slip a number times to play songs with them that he had written along the way including “To You” and “Mardi Gras.”
2002 Nathan and John Treadwell decide to create a record company based out of Santa Fe to release all the recordings that he and friends were making that had no other outlet. They name the label Frogville Records. Nathan then visits The Slip in Boston and proceeded to get snowed in with them in the “biggest blizzard since ’78.” This lead to massive amounts of playing around with their new home studio gear. By the end of the week they decided to give their experiments to Frogville Records as an anonymous release called only “Surprise Me Mr. Davis.”
2003 Nathan went to Santa Fe to help with the construction of the Frogville recording studio and to rally friends and other local talent under the umbrella of the label. By the end of the year, the label will have a library of over 30 albums and a roster of working bands including- Joe West, Hundred Year Flood, Goshen, Blind James and Nathan Moore.
Late 2003 ThaMuseMeant reforms, this time as a string quartet with Dave’s wife Enion Pelta on violin and Aimee on upright bass.
2004 ThaMuseMeant, based out of Portland OR, writes many new songs and begins touring again. Also, Nathan and The Slip decide to do a tour calling themselves Surprise Me Mr. Davis.
Late 2004 ThaMuseMeant records “Silver Seed” at Frogville Studios and it’s released on Frogville Records. Engineered by Bill Palmer from Hundred Year Flood, the record’s roots gypsy sound recieves good critical acclaim and puts ThaMuseMeant back on the map.
2005 ThaMuseMeant plays alot of prominent festivals including- The String Summit, High Sierra Music Festival, The Joshua Tree Festival. Surprise Me Mr. Davis also did two more tours gaining momentum as a great band in and of itself, receiving rave reviews everywhere they play. In late 2005, Surprise Me recorded “Only in Montreal,” yet to be released, at Breakglass Studios in Montreal Quebec. Also, ThaMuseMeant does another session at Frogville.
Early 2006 ThaMuseMeant releases its second Frogville Record, “Never Settle For Less,” but takes a hiatus from touring.
2006 Nathan moves back home to Virginia where he currently lives with his brothers in the country outside of Staunton.
2007 Nathan records his first solo record at Frogville studios with members of Hundred Year Flood and other Santa Fe talent.
March 2008 Nathan appears on the cover of State of Mind magazine.
June 20, 2008 Out of over 800 submissions Nathan makes the top ten in the Telluride Troubador competition. He flies to Colorado and competes. After two rounds he is declared the winner and performs three songs to 10,000 people. He always takes home an amazing custom built Shanti guitar that is now his prized posession.
November 2008 Nathan releases “You Yeah Smoking Hot” which he recorded at Frogville with many of the same players as “Worlds.” It is released digital only by Frogville in conjunction with Reap and Sow (a new company Nathan signed with to handle his digital distribution).
April 2009 Surprise Me Mr. Davis records the Demo “That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast.”
2009 Nathan records “Folksinger” at Greenwood Studios in VA for the Royal Potato Family Label. He tours the rest of the year in support of this release.
2010 Royal Potato Family releases “That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast.”
August 2010 Nathan and Bryan Elijah Smith hole up in Nathan’s basement in Swoope and record the initial songs for “Dear Puppeteer.” Solo acoustic tracks recorded at Frogville with Bill Palmer engineering are added to these for the final product.
November 2010 SMMD goes into Studio House to finally make a full length album. This is the first session with Marco Benevento. Jesse Lauter (who engineered The Low Anthem’s “oh My God Charlie Darwin”) was brought to sail the ship.
July 2010 Nathan flies to California to play the Mystic Garden Party festival. He plays but does not get paid. Instead of flying back home defeated, he cancels the flight and launches a spontaneous tour of California to recoup his losses. He calls the tour Hippy Fiasco Rides Again. The resulting week and the way his fans stepped up to host him changed his life and perspective forever.
February 2011 Nathan is the opening act on ALO’s annual Tour d’Amour at the end of which Nathan and his road crew, Chad Galactic and Liz Bunny, begin their four month nationwide Hippy Fiasco Rides Again tour. On July the 4rth they reach the finish line, High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy CA.
September- October 2011 The Fiasco webcast goes live once more, 24/7, to make The Record. All of the songs that were written on the Hippy Fiasco Rides Again tour are put on the website and fans are invited to submit parts for The Record. Over 300 submissions were received and mixed into the tracks in real time, Live on the webcast.
2012 Once again, Hippy Fiasco Rides Again goes nationwide playing only where invited. They found themselves coming full circle and wound up back where it all began, the Mystic Garden Party. This time Nathan was paid in advance but the festiveal was such a Fiasco that he did not get a chance to play.
2014 Nathan’s latest venture has been the creation of Revolution Radio. It streams his music from this website 24 hours a day and he goes live weekly Monday-Thursday to sing songs, talk about current events and DJ music from his vast archives of all the music he’s been a part of.
2016 After two years the Revolution Radio project was wrapped after a couple hundred live shows, Nathan was looking to get out of the house. Together with Lex Park, Nathan manifested a new vision, MOORE. The two perform behind a sheet projecting their shadows thereon and play electronic versions of NM songs with Nathan on electric guitar and Lex on electric bass. Look out world, it’s Nathan Moore VS The Boom Box, may the only man win!
“Moore calls himself a “trickster character in the troubadour tradition,” and he’s right—he even has the custom built Shanti guitar bestowed on winners of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s prestigious troubadour Competition (2008) to prove it. And though he’s a skilled magician, wonderful storyteller, emotionally-rich singer, good guitar player, and has successfully co-founded and fronted both folk rock band thaMuseMeant and jam rock super group surprise Me Mr. Davis (featuring the slip and Marco Benevento), what Nathan Moore really is—and always will be—is a songwriter.”
“Nathan Moore should be a star. He’s one of the greatest songwriters we have and the faucet is always on, pouring fresh songs out like water. He’s intelligent, funny, honest, warm, a little crazy and full of love, and so is his music…it’s with just a solitary acoustic guitar and his open voice that we see deepest into his soul. Watching him strap on his harmonica while listening to him tell stories between songs, explaining their inspirations and deeper meanings, we’re reminded of folk legends like Woody Guthrie and pre-electric Bob Dylan. His ability to tap emotions and use his experiences to create unifying theories throws a rope around the crowd, pulling us all closer.”
“From the first time I saw Nathan Moore sing a song, I had no doubt in what he was doing. I saw zero bullshit; the man was one hundred percent believable to me…On this new release (In His Own Worlds) he’s at it again, like a poet that sits on your shoulder and puts what you’re feeling into words. Just like many of the greats who have inspired him, he understands how to say those words simply, yet he delivers them in a way that makes you feel their importance and urgency. ”
State of Mind Music Magazine
“Nathan (Moore) is the kind of guy who seeps into your subconscious. He was on the road with us (playing with members of The Slip as Surprise Me Mr. Davis) and… He’d throw lyrics at me all the time while I’d be working on music. I was really inspired by his whole literary angle, which would unfold in this beautiful way. It really stayed with me–it made me less afraid to try out different genres, like country. He made me embrace simplicity in my songwriting.”
Brad Barr of The Slip
as told to Mike Greenhaus
“While he is undeniably one of the finest songwriters of the modern age, I’ve also never heard anyone who knows Nathan Moore speak an unkind word about the man.”
The Many Worlds of Nathan Moore
“Nathan Moore may very well be one of the finest singer/songwriters of our generation. With songs that are so pure and honest, you can follow his pains and his joys note for note and word for word.”
“Moore’s songwriting is a combination of his intensity with the unpretentious mastery of language, literary depth, sardonic humor, incisive insight and unflinching honesty.”
Third Coast Music
“A songwriter so prolific, so diverse and so polished that you have to wonder if a chance desert expedition didn’t turn him into some nuke-test-accelerated, sci-fi songwriting monster.”
Iowa City Press Citizen
“Nathan Moore is possessed by both the drive and the ability to write interesting songs at dizzying speeds and they aren’t blow-off tunes either. They somehow draw from the harmonic and rhythmic complexity of jazz, the emotional intensity of the Delta blues, the melodic interest of Nino Rota and the lyrics of an experienced Greenwich Village bohemian.”
“As troubadours go, they don’t come much truer than Nathan Moore. Nathan has a genuine communion with the lyric and craft of song, and an emotive and experienced voice influenced largely by Dylan, Tom Waits, Bukowski, Leonard Cohen, and years of travel.”
“Nathan’s versatile voice takes us into dark, eerie tunnels, ghoulish and prowling, then into country drawls, expanding notes through the ether of sound and into sweet ecstasy. Standing at the front of the stage, guitar hanging at his side, he sings, “Back in Fifteen Minutes”, vulnerably, fully exposed, like he may draw back at any moment and break into that playful Mardi Gras persona, but he doesn’t. It’s surprising.”