You have to be impressed that there are so many so-called "Next Gen's" out there taking up the blues. There are impressive musicians and singers bringing the blues into a more contemporary world, twisting, bending, and churning the genre, remarkable results that are blowing minds, turning heads, and bending ears around the country, throughout the world.
Nathan Pope is one of those incredible talents, already on the radar of blues fans and critics alike. The world needs to discover this rising star before he bursts into a supernova sometime soon!
Waiting There For Me is Nathan's first full-length compilation and it is filled with his heart and soul. Remarkably impressive blues-rock that has veterans out there scratching their heads and wondering, "Where the hell did this kid come from?"
I was completely floored by the music that poured out of my car stereo the first time I played Waiting There For Me. Cranking the music up loud - so-called "headphone music" - was not an option - I had to hear this “the louder the better" as I drove around on a few family errands, to doctors visits, and taking some time for a few family-fun road trips.
Perfect soundtrack to the craziness on the roads these days! Pope provides really extraordinary guitar work - truly impressive finger-picking - i was completely blown away by the talent of this remarkable 19-year-old guitar prodigy.
All the songs relate to the beginning of Nathans life, where he is now, and the future, none of the songs have random names, none of the songs have random lyrics. 90% of the album is the takes from the demos he was working on during 2020-2021.
He doesn't want to simply be known for his killer riffs and there is substance there, soul there, a part of himself has to come out of the music. Deeply intense and personal songwriting is blended seamlessly with Nathan's intoxicating and mesmerizing guitar work.
"Blue and Black" lyrically is remarkable all by itself. In Nathan's hand this classic track is reworked and reimagined . This is the first song Nathan ever taught himself - at age 4! He did this as a fun demo in June of 2020, decided not to shelve it, reworked all the guitar, and added the track to Waiting There For Me.
"The One" - This track is about someone who came into his life unexpectedly, flipped his life upside down, and kind of gave him a new perspective and helped him grow. “Doom" - tells the tale of horrible family members ... and Nathan leaves it at that.
"Waiting There For Me" is a love story to his Grannie who, when Nathan was 2 years old, gave him a little red guitar for Christmas. They have always been extremely close. She is quite a character! The track features Grandma beating the snot out of a piano that James Brown himself beat up on and tore apart. At the end of the track is a touching, "I love you Nathan,” with Jason replying, "I love you Grandma". "Beautiful Cruel World" showcases some exciting and energetic electric guitar work that is blended seamlessly with some tasty and dazzling acoustic finger picking.
Nathan's goal is to just get up on those stages and play. All the other bullshit doesn't matter. He wants to keep control of his music, keep his management in-house, and run his own label, his own way, without interference. Nathan Pope's " Waiting For Me " is dizzyingly intoxicating. With the influences of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa, RUSH, Eric Johnson, Gary Moore, Walter Trout, to name a few, the CD rocks at a fast-pace that will leave you speechless.
The future of the blues is staring us down and Nathan is not backing away or blinking any time soon. Waiting There For Me is a beautifully crafted project that brings out the musical personality of a young guitar master, unafraid to reveal his emotions, taking the audience on a journey that is in full flight. Music played by excellent musicians having a good time, not afraid to take chances, no filler here but extraordinary performances from start to finish. Is it blues? Is it rock? For me ... Simply Remarkable!
Producer: Nathan Pope / Gold Top Entertainment
Musicians: Nathan Pope - Guitar, Vocals, Synth, and Theremin; Kenny Aronoff – Drums; James LoMenzo – Bass; Bogie Bowles – Drums; Tal Bergman – Drums; Bruce Wassel – Drums; Dave W. – Bass; Dana Trantham – Bass: Doris Powell - Piano and Vocals.
Reviewed by John Muller.