Hailing from Austin, Texas, The Sideshow Tragedy is an indie blues-roots-rock duo.
Frontman Nathan Singleton grew up playing in blues clubs in East Texas as a teenager, where his dad was (and is) an acoustic blues fanatic and collector of vintage National resonator guitars. Nathan devoured old blues music, while at the same time, gravitated toward listening to rock, punk rock, funk, new wave, and legendary songwriters and musicians too numerous to mention.
Named after references in a Rimbaud poem called “Parade”, The Sideshow Tragedy has been captivating audiences with their “unadulterated energy” (KUT) and “distinctive, dark, and ultimately uplifting” (Austin Chronicle) tunes across Texas and much of the U.S. for over a decade, sharing the stage with the likes of Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Black Joe Lewis, Bob Log III, King Khan and the Shrines, Conor Oberst, Joseph Arthur, Foghat and Afghan Whigs. They’ve earned raves for their past albums and comparisons to artists as fierce and powerful as Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Chris Whitley, Bob Dylan or The Waterboys, among others.
Singleton first met his songwriting partner and collaborator, drummer Jeremy Harrell in 2001 when he was looking to get a band together after years of playing solo. Singleton says, “Jeremy and I jammed a little bit, and he had a real funky thing going, and was hungry to play. We made a lot of different kinds of records (dabbling in alt country and narrative songwriting) and saw the band swell from its original duo configuration to a 3 and 4 piece band before trimming the fat and defining ourselves aesthetically as a duo with our last record, Persona, in 2012.”
Harrell cut his teeth in East Texas as well where he began his journey as a self-taught musician in his teenage years, buying his first (secondhand) drum kit with his last $100 at the end of his freshman year in high school. Jeremy says from the moment he and Nathan met, they had a “telepathic connection where we could just tell where the other guy was going and it felt great.”
Austin Live Weekly put it this way: “Only having two members in the band, it’s hard to believe how much noise comes forth from the blues-rock duo, Sideshow Tragedy. Singleton has the stage presence of Iggy Pop and Keith Richards combined, and he wields his steel guitar like a warlock, playing overdriven riffs with a feral intensity.”