Nathan Hamilton - All For Love And Wages
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All For Love And Wages (Steppin' Stone, 2002)

Nathan Hamilton

Reviewed by Michael Berick

Townes, Guy, Butch, Robert Earl, Lyle - the list of talented Texas songwriters is impressive, and seemingly endless. After just two solo albums, Nathan Hamilton has secured his place on this Texas troubadour list. Born and raised in Abilene, Hamilton now lives in Austin, the epicenter of Texas songwriters. He pens evocative story-songs that are literately written yet also musically moving. The pain is nearly palpable in "Let It Lie" as a man examines a relationship that has just collapsed.

Hamilton is especially strong in his songs about working men - "Shape I'm In," "Wages" and "Bottle In The Bathroom." The latter tells the tale of a man trying to deal with his wife's alcoholism in an emotionally powerful manner. He also provides a nice musical diversity. "Fiero's Run," a Pancho Villa-centered story, is driven with Tex-Mex rhythms, while "Get It Right" gets propelled by a twangy rock beat and the introspective "4 Directions" has an appropriately low-key folk feel. This impressive outing makes Nathan Hamilton a name to remember in the crowded Texas singer/songwriting scene. (P.O. Box 650138, Austin, TX 78765)

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