This Ain't Metal: Nate Hall – A Great River

USX or U.S. Christmas have been around for 10 years now, forming in the western part or North Carolina in the Appalachian mountains. If you read the brief post on the TDM Facebook Page, you would have seen that they are self-described as a “unique brand of psychedelic, high-volume blues rock”. Their latest album, The Valley Path, was a single track of the same name that was almost 39 minutes long. At times, without a transition between songs, the average person with a low attention span may lose interest. However, the album/track is quite excellent.

Nate Hall, singer and guitarist for USX, released A Great River on May 1st of this year on Neurot Records. It’s his first solo album and it was recorded in one night in March.Hall’s voice is warm and soothing, yet it has a certain haunting similarity to Bob Dylan. In the mix of folky acoustic guitars is an electric tone that mixes so well, without overpowering the rest of the music. The press release describes The Great River as:

As pure and honest as music gets. The songs are regretful of the bad times, hopeful of times to come, and respectful of the great power that causes all thing to be. It is a reflection of a lifetime spent with the echoes of Dylan, Young, Petty, Springsteen, and Van Zandt. It draws from the rich musical history of America, the melancholy of Appalachia, and harnesses the “electric vacuum roar” of guitar slingers past and present.”

Not to sound lazy, but I don’t think I could describe it any better than that. The third track of the album, Kathleen, is a Townes Van Zandt cover. If you read the last edition of This Ain’t Metal, then you’ll know exactly who that is and hopefully you became a fan of Van Zandt. When I’m sitting in my favorite cat-fishing spot on the muddy river bank, I like to listen to this album. It seems to fit well with my surroundings at that particular time and echos nicely in the evening air over the frogs and crickets and whatnot. Below you’ll find a few still-videos of songs from A Great River. in the next edition of ‘TAM’, I’ll be doing a long overdue review of a certain collaborative album from two big names in [modern] Prog-Metal.


One response to “This Ain't Metal: Nate Hall – A Great River

  1. I named “The Valley Path” as #1 on my year-end list for 2011. I think what appealed to me the most was how introspective that album was.

    Sounds like this solo material captures that same quality, just approaching it from a totally different direction…

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