We love Matt Nathanson’s latest offering Last of the Great Pretenders for a number of reasons. Solid songwriting, good lyrics, and of course, the many references to San Francisco. Acoustic Nation editor Laura B Whitmore had the opportunity to sit down with Nathanson and chat about how the record was made, as well as his influences, favorite gear, loves, hates and much more. Turns out, not only is Matt Nathanson a gifted songwriter, he’s also hilarious!
One of the great parts about touring is meeting other artists and forging new relationships that might not otherwise come to pass. I met Isaac Johnson briefly when we shared the bill at a show in Hollywood. We kept in touch and quickly got the feeling that we might like to write together. That lead to a collaboration with a very satisfying result.
I love guitars. I look at them online like most people look at porn. Over the years, I’ve built up a nice little collection. Acoustics from the ‘30s. Electrics from the 50s. When I’m on tour, I make a point of finding rad guitar shops (thank you, Gbase), guitar factories to tour (thank you, Collings!!) or museums with exhibits that have anything remotely guitar about them. Over the summer i was playing a show in Indianapolis, and happened to catch signs hanging around downtown for the Eiteljorg Museum’s “Guitars! Roundups to Rockers” exhibit. So I busted a move over there, not knowing what to expect.
In this segment of our exclusive Acoustic Nation Play It Now video series, hit singer songwriter Matt Nathanson teaches me, and YOU, how to play his latest single, “Mission Bells.” The track appears on his new album, The Last of the Great Pretenders. Nathanson, and his guitar player Aaron Tap, run through the riff, verse and chorus arrangements for what is basically a fun to play three-chord song.
Nathanson, a veteran of folk-laced rock, sings a path to my heart with this latest amalgam of longing mixed with bouncy fun. His many references to San Francisco also hit close to my part of the globe and bring the album a fresh, sincere vibe. Last of the Great Pretenders is a window into what it’s like to be inside of Nathanson’s head.