12 December 2017

Nathan Smerage hits his full potential with 'NO LAND Sessions' - by Alex DeVore

Lately, Nathan Smerage spends a lot of time on the road. The young guitarist, who originally hails from Chicago, hits as many regional shows as he can for a few weeks at a time, swings back through Santa Fe for a month or so, and then back out he goes. It's a solo affair and an evolving practice for Smerage; both a far cry from his days of straight rock with Venus and the Lion, a once-promising band formed during the heyday of Santa Fe University of Art and Design that is now no more, and a departure from his session and concert work with bands like Storming the Beaches with Logos in Hand. Smerage's solo work has been contemplative and complicated, like a gospel-adjacent next step for a fan of Iron & Wine or the culmination of a studied guitarist who splits time between riffs and rock and fingerpicking lessons. - Read on at:


06 June 2016

Nathan Smerage, Rain Check - by Alex DeVore

If the name Nathan Smerage is familiar, it could be because he spent the last few years riffing it up as the guitarist for classic rock throwback act Venus and the Lion. On his debut four-track EP, however, Smerage leaves bluesy guitar fuzz behind in favor of ethereal, acoustic (mostly) beauty with barely noticeable, minimal effects laced throughout his songs. Think the incidental music from a Zach Braff film or, appropriately, the soundtrack to a rainy day; this music is very cinematic in its movements and hits a certain European flair a la music one might imagine when thinking of Paris. The only real problem with these instrumental numbers is that there aren’t enough of them, but that’s a small price to pay. The production on Rain is spotless but deftly avoids overdoing it in favor of being unobtrusive—Smerage’s playing is the star of the show, and ain’t nothing going to take away from that. Make a note to mentally congratulate Smerage for not only showing his stylistic range, but for being one hell of a guitarist. - See more at: