Nate Fredrick is ready for a new chapter.
To say the Nashville-based singer-songwriter has made a change or two since he released his debut album, Different Shade of Blue, back in 2021, is an understatement.
“Someone will only follow you if you know where you’re going,” he says. “And so I went to rehab two times this year. And I recorded an EP, and I have a band. So it’s been two starkly different halves of the year.”
“But I needed to do that—I didn’t know if I was necessarily going to work out like this. But I knew that the only way I was going to be able to keep playing music was to get sober. I knew that was the only way I could lead a band or even be a part of a band.”
The band he’s referencing, Nate Fredrick & The Wholesome Boys, also finds him in an uncharted-but-welcome territory: it’s the first real band he’s been in. The foursome—Fredrick on lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitars; Dylan Miller on drums and percussion; Frank Patrick James on vocals and electric guitar; and Andrew Foreman on bass—began playing together in the summer of 2022 and quickly found out that the whole thing felt a bit kismet—and different than anything the other members had experienced in previous bands. For one, everyone in the band is sober, and their ethos as a group is built around the idea of the band as a community, less about ego and more about a common goal. “I think what connects us is that we’re all using our ears,” Miller says. “We’re listening.”
While Fredrick is still a writer on each of the EP’s six songs, which were recorded at Nashville’s Farmland Studios, as Different Shade of Blue was—sonically, there’s also been an evolution. “I play a Gibson 355,” Frederick notes, a departure from his usual acoustic. The guitar’s most famous devotees include B.B. King and Chuck Berry. ”It’s an electric versus an acoustic, so I get to play loud.”
“I get to play loud, but I also get to play less, you know, because with my acoustic guitar, I tried to make the song sound closer to how they were in my head, melodically, without a band. So, I learned I have to do a lot more; now, I get to listen and don’t have to work quite so hard to get all this stuff out.”
The result is a cohesive look at what it means to make music in your terms—less centered around tenets and tropes of what it is to be a musician and, instead, revolving around what it is to make music you’re proud of, that’s inarguably full of life and creative force—exploring what it means to follow a dream; to feel low and still find a way to pick yourself up; to put down vices, finally; and to find ways to be intoxicated by life, without any help.
The Wholesome Boys:
Drums – (DYLAN MILLER)
Electric Guitar/ Vocals – (FRANK PATRICK JAMES)
Bass – ( ANDREW FOREMAN)
“Nate Fredrick’s Different Shade of Blue Reflects maturity”
“The level of introspection is as reassuring as hearing some friendly advice”
“Different Shade of Blue is first and foremost a country album, but its bluesy edges, steel guitar flourishes, and Van Morrison-style airiness make it unlike anything else in the genre at this moment in time. “
Ohly is a Detroit-based indie folk singer-songwriter fronted by Christian Ohly. Each song features Christian’s captivating voice, a rich, lilting baritone that subtly glides atop expressive guitar lines and echoing pianos, with words that capture snapshots of everyday life, mining profundity from the mundane.
His latest release, Enfilade, leans more towards the rock side of the genre, but doesn’t leave out acoustic guitar and pedal steel commonly heard in folk music. Christian shares thoughts of self-reflection on what might be next as his 20’s pass by. Relatable lyrics are hugged by distorted, layered guitars resulting in a genre-bending sound that still places an emphasis on the impressive vocal performance.
Ohly has released 2 EPs and opened for national bands like The Brook and the Bluff, Bad Bad Hats, and also landed a spot at SXSW 2022 in Austin, Texas. He plans to release his first full length album in 2023.