Nathan Moore Tops at Telluride

Singer/Songwriter Nathan Moore Tops at Telluride

Nathan Moore
Telluride Bluegrass Festival boasts on its website that it has the “smartest audience in the country,” so when Virginia-based singer-songwriter Nathan Moore was named the 2008 Telluride Troubadour on June 21, he had a tall order to fill. The festival crowd swelled throughout the weekend to an estimated 10,000 and had already listened to legends like Arlo Guthrie, Leftover Salmon, Ricky Skaggs, and Bruce Hornsby when Moore took the stage. He had impressed the judges; he had fifteen minutes to impress festivarians. And while Moore has performed with bands at his fair share of festivals in the last fifteen years, when he stepped onto the main stage at the thirty-five year old Colorado tradition, it was just him, the brand new custom-made guitar he was awarded as the winner, and “the largest crowd I’ve ever played for in my life.”

We here at JamBase said this about Moore a few years ago: “As troubadours go, they don’t come much truer than Nathan Moore. Nathan has a genuine communion with the lyric and craft of song… an emotive and experienced voice influenced largely by Dylan, Tom Waits, Bukowski, Leonard Cohen and years of travel…” and his performance at Telluride followed suit. Nathan played three songs – two favorites suggested by family members from back home in the Valley, and a brand new tune he wrote “in true troubadour tradition” while getting to know the new guitar and celebrating the victory around the campfires of the festival the night before. The audience roared their approval as Moore’s fans listened via a live streaming feed on the Internet.

Moore is familiar to summer festival fans out west in his incarnations as the frontman for the innovative folk-bluegrass-jamband ThaMuseMeant and his indie rock collaboration with The Slip known as Surprise Me Mr. Davis, but the appearance at Telluride comes at the end of his first year of dedicated solo work. Critics have touted Moore as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, and the honor at Telluride tops off a growing appreciation among fans and industry professionals for his prolific and heart-felt gift. His 2007 solo album In His Own Worlds spent 21 weeks on the Roots Music Radio Charts, and Moore was featured on the cover of State of Mind music magazine in early 2008.

High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA is Moore’s next stop, where he will treat 4th of July festival-goers to his one-man show as well as the always popular Surprise Me Mr. Davis performances. Nathan will be touring California and recording with Surprise Me in July, then traveling solo in Colorado, New Mexico and on the East Coast from August through October. He heads back to California in November to celebrate the digital-only release of his new solo album, You Yeah Smokin’ Hot. The CD was recently recorded at the independent Frogville Records studio he co-founded five years ago in Santa Fe, NM.