Hearts of Oak
The desert country folk sounds of Hearts of Oak resonate from the vein of Neil Young's Harvest and John Stewart's California Bloodlines. Tribute is paid to both artists in 'The Mountain'. This first Hearts of Oak album was created with contributions from great Portland musicians, including: Andy Sheie of The Mighty Ghosts of Heaven on banjo and guitar, Joel Meredith of The Meredith Brothers Band on pedal steel guitar and B3 Organ. Marilee Hoard (member of too many great Portland bands to mention) on fiddle, Travis 'Tater' Harrison of Whiskey Puppy on upright bass and singing harmony, Aaron 'Rantz' Pomerantz of Weinland on mandolin, and Keith Richard McCarthy of Drunken Prayer on bass. The album was produced and recorded by Ezra Meredith at The Deer Lodge, a unique recording studio in SE Portland. Along with other solid Americana albums produced at the Deer Lodge over the last few years, this album reeks of the 'Deer Lodge Sound'. Producer Ezra Meredith of the Meredith Brothers band also played drums, electric guitar and added vocals to the album. Ezra mixed the songs to create a sound that was not too polished and not too turd; a nice groove in-between. The album sounds great, and even has a live sound at times. A lot of tracks were nailed in one take with the attitude being, 'I don't see me doing any better than that'. Sometimes folks would record multiple takes only to go back and use the first one. About 16 recorded songs were cut and trimmed down to 10 for the self-titled album. Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Nate grew up in the small Down East town of Eastport in Washington County ME. Nate says he was raised around music, with a songwriter father. "He was always playing his tunes, having jams at the house until all hours and covering tunes by John Prine, John Stewart and Stan Rogers. I guess I just picked up an appreciation for good songs. 'Funny thing I never picked up the guitar until I was about 25, didn't write a song until I was 31. I'm 34 years young now. Once I got that first song it all fell into place and now I can't stop." Nate moved to San Francisco and then back up to the 45th Parallel of Portland OR. He learned the guitar and started writing songs for The RCMP, a group of songwriter friends. As the songs kept coming, Nate formed Hearts of Oak, a project which continues to evolve. Thanks for reading and thanks for listening. Hearts of Oak.