Here at the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, we share an enthusiasm for all types of music — but when push comes to shove, the stuff that really floats your hosts’ boats (try saying that ten times fast) is the stuff that sounds like it was created by human beings in the same room. And while we wouldn’t go so far as to say that kind of music is an endangered species, it’s certainly gotten a lot easier to circumvent the often-messy process of honing your craft and using your recordings as snapshots of artists in action, rather than relying on digital manipulation to present the listener with a perfectly clean facsimile.
Enter Nat Osborn. The mastermind behind the suitably named Nat Osborn Band, a sprawling New York collective whose latest album, The King and the Clown, is out now, Osborn writes smart, punchy tunes that blend old-school Gershwin-era songcraft with decidedly modern sensibilities. We both swooned over the tunes on the new LP — particularly the outstanding brass arrangements — and we were eager to speak with Nat about the personal ingredients that went into these songs, as well as the recording process, the economic realities of touring with a seven-piece band, and more. It’s all right here, in your lucky fourteenth episode of the Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour:
The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 14: Nat Osborn interview
As an added bonus, we’re offering a standalone clip of Nat’s in-show solo performance of the album cut “Fire in the Wind.” Have a listen — then do yourself a favor and check out The King and the Clown. It’s easily one of our favorite albums of the year so far:
Nat Osborn, “Fire in the Wind” (live at Popdose) (download)
And finally, here’s a terrific live video from the full band performing “Fire in the Wind” in all its brass-bolstered glory: