Even if you're not familiar with Matt Nathanson, chances are that you've heard his music on television. Nathanson's songs have been featured on such TV shows as Scrubs, Privileged, NCIS, Women's Murder Club, Men In Trees, One Tree Hill, Newport Harbor, and Private Practice.
Yet the San Francisco-based singer-songwriter is not just some studio rat concocting music for TV, he's a real live touring musician. In fact, Nathanson kicks off his latest tour on April 7 at the Warfield in San Francisco on a bill that also includes Jack's Mannequin and Low Vs Diamond. Nathanson and his band will tour with Jack's Mannequin through early May before moving on to dates with Sugarland for the latter part of May, and August, September, and October.
So you can experience the magic of Nathanson's live show, we have some footage of him performing live, during the first leg of his Some Mad Hope tour, at the House Of Blues in Chicago. Here are Nathanson and company performing his current triple-A hit, "All We Are" live for your pleasure.
As you heard in the video, Nathanson plays a brand of emotional adult pop not too dissimilar to John Mayer or Jason Mraz, but he's not some newcomer merely copping their style. Nathanson has been releasing records since the early '90s. He's had stints on indie and major labels and now finds himself somewhere in between on Vanguard Records, distributed by major EMI. Whatever the case, Nathanson's commitment to his music is unwavering and he continues to steadily building a following. Check out this live version of "Come On Get Higher," also recorded at the House Of Blues in Chicago.
One of the things I like most about Nathanson is his good taste in other people's music. In his blog, he recently raved about a version of Coldplay's "The Scientist" by former Concrete Blonde front woman Johnette Napolitano. "Wish I had written 'The Scientist.'" Nathanson confesses. "I'm not the hugest Coldplay fan, but that song crushes. Johnette Napolitano, ex-Concrete Blonde, does a version that just turns my insides out. It decimates. I listened to it on repeat last night while I fell asleep. Spooky dreams. She has my most favorite of female voices."
Turns out that Nathanson is handy with other people's songs as well. His version of "Laid," written and originally recorded by recently reunited British band James, is featured on the American Wedding soundtrack. No matter how schlocky that seemingly never-ending series of films may be, Nathanson's cover is pretty darned good. Check it out and let me know if you think Matt Nathanson's time has come or is he just another singer-songwriter trying to be heard.