Nat Myers has shared ‘Ramble No More’, the latest preview of his upcoming Dan Auerbach-produced debut album, Yellow Peril, out June 23 on Easy Eye Sound. Pre-order here. Accompanying the track is a striking, new performance video of this blistering back-porch blues directed by Damien Bray and shot by Jason Momoa in Hawaii.
‘Ramble No More’ was recorded in Auerbach’s Nashville home and was co-written by Myers and Auerbach with Pat McLaughlin – a hero of Nat’s for his collaborations with John Prine, Taj Mahal and many more. The song has also been dedicated to another hero of Myers, the Depression-era Delta blues pioneer Tommy McClennan.
Listen to ‘Ramble No More’ and watch the Jason Momoa-shot visual here: https://youtu.be/nKt4K3qKzTk
Myers says: “Outta love and admiration for the late Tommy McClennan, his deep blue sea is the height of sound, bout them new days when I can’t sit still, and the love you thought was a beach starts going quick to mud. Them questions, them daring moments where you stand outside your true love’s sanctuary, and the door swing open no more.”
Yellow Peril – Myers’ ten-song debut album – is rooted in a passion for the blues that began while the Northern Kentucky musician was immersing himself in the world of American poetry, “it dawned on me that the real epics were being told by these itinerant musicians from the ’30s and ’40s, even before recorded sound. That’s when I did my deep dive into the blues, so I could write my own epic,” Nat recalls.
Calling on those nearly hundred-year-old sounds – of artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charley Patton – Myers draws on these masters to shine a light on the injustice he sees around him, and specifically the dark wave of Asian hate that accompanied the global pandemic. “I knew they were going to blame us yellow folks for the virus. I’d felt it already.” says Nat of the inspirations behind his debut album. “‘Yellow Peril’ is a very evocative term, and I liked the idea of putting that concept into a blues song. I want this record to raise my folks up.”
Myers was also the recent subject of a WNYC retrospective on the contemporary state of the blues, with host John Schaefer comparing the material on Yellow Peril to ‘the great Delta bluesmen’ and specifically Charley Patton’s ‘High Water Everywhere’. Patton used ‘High Water Everywhere’ to recount the great Mississippi River flood of 1927 and how African-Americans were left to fend for themselves – not unlike Myers shining a light on the injustice of the AAPI experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/newsounds/episodes/4732-contemporary-blues