Q&A with Texas-based Blues Rocker Rev. Nathon Dees, his music is proof that good music is real religion

"I feel like we have a ministry of distraction. If I can provide people a few moments of joy or move folks out on the dance floor, then I have performed a great service as a worship minister. People go out to see live music performance to forget about their troubles and enjoy life and I am pleased to be a part of that."

Rev. Nathon Dees: Texas Outlaw Blues

After many years of songwriting and holding down the lead guitarist spot in Texas rock bands, Nathon Dees now steps forward to debut his new solo Blues Rock project "REVEREND NATHON". A polished slide guitarist as well as being a noted Strat man, Nathon now brings forth his own sound and is packing a stellar veteran rhythm section on the debut studio CD "Reverend Nathon Volume 1" (2021). Reverend Nathon Dees' debut album, blurs the lines between blues and rock & roll. He calls it 'Texas Outlaw Blues,' and no one's challenged him on that description yet. "We're a southern rock band with a blues base," he notes, "but we always try to stay true to our Texas roots." Dees' guitar work channels Lone Star icons like Freddie King and Billy Gibbons, but he puts his own distinct spin on the proceedings contorting the vibe of those touchstones into something completely new. Imagine a musical streetfight between Larry Wallis-era Motorhead and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, in the back alley behind Stubb's BBQ, and you'll be getting close."                (Photo: Reverend Nathon, Texas)

I always wanted to be a lead guitar player but, from my very first band, when I was 17, I found it to be a necessity to be a front man because it's hard to find a singer who'll show up!" A few decades and tens of thousands of miles later, Dees was approached by drummer/longtime collaborator Gary Delz about starting a new project. "When 2020 started I had just gotten off a European tour with Thunderrosa, and Gary called asking me if I wanted to do a tour and record a blues record. We worked up a live set and were set to go out, and then Covid hit and it took us all the way to November 2020 to get it recorded. He might be licensed to marry you and bury you, but Rev. Nathon Dees' music is proof that good music is real religion.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues and Rock Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

The journeys I have taken are the stories of my life. When I express my personal struggles through my blues music, I communicate to the depths of the souls of humanity and share in the suffering of the world. When I play a story song or rocking number, I lift the spirits of those same listeners and offer them a distraction for just a bit. It is an honor to be a part of the Black Sheep of society.

How do you describe your sound, music philosophy and songbook? Where does your creative drive come from?

I was raised on Classic Rock and Blues and my sound comes from Texas. Texas has a rich history of legendary musicians with their own unique sounds. There is a certain genuine swampy and southern feel to my music and a purity of tone that isn’t very common today. I try to avoid using any guitar processors or onboard effects so that you can hear the natural tone of the guitar through a real tube amp. Some songs are pop, some are disturbingly deep, there is a good balance in the song writing and I try not to limit myself too much by genre while not straying too far from what’s working. My drive is a manic need to have substance in my existence and make a difference with my presence in this world of illusion.

"I’m literally recreating the things I miss from the past. My song catalog reflects the music that I love and the sounds I want to hear. New Modern Classic Rock and Blues. It is my hope that people that loved CCR and ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and Johnny Winter, will love and appreciate the Modern Classic rock and Blues that we are putting out for another generation to enjoy." (Photo: Rev. Nathon Dees, Texas)

Why do you think that the Texas Blues Rock scene continues to generate such a devoted following?

Because of it’s foundation starting with the likes of T-Bone Walker, Lighnin Hopkins, and Freddie King raising up a generation of guitar slingers like Johnny Winter and Billy Gibbons who then inspired guitar heroes like Stevie Ray and Doyle Bramhall 2 etc. We have a legacy, and we honor our fathers of the blues and our state with our music and our lives. We aren’t a band from Texas that play Blues, we are Texas Outlaw Blues and that is a genre with its own identity. Texas blues is a cultural exchange.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What´s been the highlights in your career so far?

These meetings right here! Getting a chance to share what my music is about to a larger audience through the efforts of journalist, promotors and organizers like yourself and my promotions team and management. Seeing interviews and music reviews in media print knowing that others will see it and be drawn to my music is a powerful reality.

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

Strangely enough, just being on stage on a good night with a good crowd is the most epic experience that I can share with anyone. Studio sessions, before and after shows, long drives to get to gigs and make it back home safe is work. Most of that time I spend very focused so that when I do make it back on the stage again, I have 110% to offer to our fans in stage presence and performance. The best times I have to share are the ones when I’m on a stage.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I’m literally recreating the things I miss from the past. My song catalog reflects the music that I love and the sounds I want to hear. New Modern Classic Rock and Blues. It is my hope that people that loved CCR and ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and Johnny Winter, will love and appreciate the Modern Classic rock and Blues that we are putting out for another generation to enjoy.

"Always be true to yourself and your brand! If I would have followed the bad advice of others, I would be in another Blues/Rock cover band hoping someday to get a chance to play my own music. I played my own songs with all of my heart and earned the right to be on that stage as an original artist. When I do cover another artist, it’s songs I like and want to play. Doing this I have forged my own identity and I have something to offer that is truly unique and individual." (Photo: Nathon Dees, Texas)

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would like to see greater royalties for artist on streaming platforms or alternate distribution of tracks that more accurately reflects the value of the product. .99 cents a song for a download or unlimited streaming seams quite reasonable understanding that the entire market needs to be restructured. I’m just happy that my music is getting a good reception worldwide and I’ll be on the road touring again soon. That’s the reality I am projecting for the future.

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want the music to affect people?

I feel like we have a ministry of distraction. If I can provide people a few moments of joy or move folks out on the dance floor, then I have performed a great service as a worship minister. People go out to see live music performance to forget about their troubles and enjoy life and I am pleased to be a part of that.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

Always be true to yourself and your brand! If I would have followed the bad advice of others, I would be in another Blues/Rock cover band hoping someday to get a chance to play my own music. I played my own songs with all of my heart and earned the right to be on that stage as an original artist. When I do cover another artist, it’s songs I like and want to play. Doing this I have forged my own identity and I have something to offer that is truly unique and individual.

Reverend Nathon - Home

(Photo: Reverend Nathon, a three piece Blues/Rock Band from Texas)

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