Band of the Day

2012.12.30

Kalen Nash

Ponderosa's frontman steps out for a compelling solo debut steeped in classic American influences
Oh Ramona, when you coming back home to the county? Oh Ramona, it's getting kinda hard when you're not around, you see.
lyrics from Ramona

Born and raised just outside of Athens, Georgia, in a town called Danielsville, singer-songwriter Kalen Nash was introduced to music at an early age. The musician, who is also the frontman of the Southern alt-rock band Ponderosa, was raised by a musical family, and grew up singing in church and being influenced by the sounds of rural Georgia.

On May 29th, 2012, Nash released his debut solo album entitled Ukred (via Normaltown Records). The album title comes from Nash’s great-grandfather, Euquid “Ukred” Lee Nash, who wrote the haunting country song “Don’t You Love Me Baby,” which appears on the album, nearly one hundred years ago.

It’s a stripped down number that features Nash gently picking an acoustic guitar, letting his raspy--with just a hint of Southern twang--vocals serve as a conduit for his ancestor’s timeless lyrics about falling out of love: “love birds have flown now/there’s no nest by the stream,” sings Nash. There’s an urgency to his vocals that builds up towards the end, as he begins to ask, “don’t you love me, baby/don’t you love me no more?”

While “Don’t You Love Me Baby” looks to the past, “White Oak” has more of a contemporary alt-folk feel, with a gently-rolling drumbeat underscoring gorgeous vocal harmonies.

“Ramona” showcases Nash’s intimate and reflective side, with slight touches of slide guitar (Nash constructed his own cigar box guitar, played with a bottle neck slide).

The rest of Ukred, which has ten tracks in total, is also predominantly acoustic, with sparse instrumentation that lets Nash’s Southern croon carry the songs along.

Whether carrying on his family’s legacy through timeless lyrics, or adding new branches to the family tree, Ukred shows that Nash is as much a storyteller as he is an accomplished musician.