Friday Jam: Nathaniel Rateliff and Alice in Chains
Posted Friday, April 7, 2017, at 11:48 AM
What does one of the SeattleGrungeBig4 of the early 1990s have to do with a current purveyor of folk/blues/soul/gospel/Americana/rock?
Probably not much. If I think hard enough about my own musical journey, I can probably draw a connection between Alice In Chains and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Stops along the way probably include Pearl Jam, Wilco, Ryan Adams, the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons. It all has something to do with thoughtful, pensive young men with guitars and perfectly imperfect voices.
But, really, it has a lot more to do with the graphic to the right, which our sports editor sent to me last week.
It is indeed true. Any random phrase could send me off on a musical tangent from which I may not soon recover.
The same thing can happen with music that's seemingly unrelated. One of those terrible songs by Godsmack (I refuse to even link it.) always reminded me of Sade's "Smooth Operator." Turns out those jokers stole from someone besides Alice In Chains.
So what's the point of all this? Not much, except to say that about 15 seconds into "Wasting Time," Nathaniel Rateliff makes a sound that makes me think of a sound that the late, great Layne Staley makes about 25 seconds into "I Stay Away."
The singers are nothing alike. The songs are nothing alike. But every time I hear "Wasting Time" on the radio (which is a lot lately), I think of Alice In Chains and being 16 years old and being OK with listening to certain ballads, provided they were made by angry dudes with long hair and guitars.
These songs make me happy. And they make me think.
In the end, aren't those two of the best things music can do for a person?