“a melting pot of gnarly, spicy tunes…a remarkable album.” Hans Werksman, Here Comes The Flood
..full of a raw, angry beauty. ..one fierce, cathartic song after another….“Keys To The Kingdom” opens with tribal thunder as Harrell executes a big, galloping drum riff before the guitar comes in on top with a sort of menacing rockabilly feel, and Singleton begins to speak-sing the vocals like he’s been possessed by the ghost of Lou Reed. It’s another edgy socio-political commentary that primes the engine for the frenetic “The Winning Side,” where Singleton discovers a fresh bloom of desperation in his vocals. ..Zeppelin-esque…Capital could just as easily have been titled American Apocalypse; it’s that ferocious, that grandiose, that intense.” Jason Warburg, The Daily Vault
Please read an excellent in-depth feature article in Pollstar about The Sideshow Tragedy here.
“Capital is addictive and explosive, ranging from gritty southern rock to punky blues… fiery tunes [with] lyrics evoking strong images of the lives of the 99% and the imbalanced scales of justice and wealth… The intensity and urgency of Singleton’s vocals are in yin-yang harmony to Jeremy Harrell’s energized joy.” Lisa Knight, No Depression
interview with Nathan in Wright Gear Music here
“The Sideshow Tragedy Bring Their Visionary Apocalyptic Blues to the Rockwood Music Hall May 22 at 11:00 pm. This usually sedate space is in for a serious jolt of adrenaline, tempered slightly by the fact that the new album is somewhat more spare and haunting than the band’s previous, often unhinged gutter blues attack. It’s a concept album, a sinister, brilliantly metaphorical portrait of a nation gone off the rails in an orgy of greed and mass desperation….Powerful…Best album of the year? One of the top handful, no question.” Delarue, New York Music Daily
“[an] exhilarating collection that grabs you by the collar and demands to be heard…reminds me of fiery ’60s Dylan, right down to the lyrical put-downs that seem dismissive and literary at the same time. “Capital” is actually most successful and when Singleton and drummer Jeremy Harrell are at their most unhinged: “Two Guns” is a definitive highlight, a sweeping blues-punk raver with shades of both the Black Crowes and the Black Keys (hell, maybe even Black Flag if you squint). Things slow down a bit on “Animal Song,” a matter-of-fact chronicle of “life on the edge” that feels like INXS filtered through a Springsteen-esque resignation toward life among the 99 percent. That track — like the album-opening “Number One,” a spoken-sung churner that recalls Lou Reed at his most disgusted — falls on the rock end of the the spectrum, while others like “Let the Love Go Down” are pure down-home blues. They handle both styles with aplomb, and merge them beautifully.” Pete Chianca, Wicked Local
Singer-songwriter Nathan Singleton brings a raw and often cynical world view to the bruising new release from this Austin, Texas-based duo. Singleton, along with drummer Jeremy Harrell, brought their raw and feisty sound to upstate New York to record Capital. The setting apparently suited them well – the album erupts with a gritty guitar and ferocious percussion. I guess the Texas blues fits well in the Northeastern mountains.” Mayer Danzig, Twangville
“a strong display of thinkers’ rock and roll.” Jonathan Frahm, PopMatters
“Throw The Stooges and Hell’s Kitchen, The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, in the blues blender, then pour that mixture in your CD player and you have The Sideshow Tragedy…The Sideshow Tragedy are at their best when they growl, burn, rage but then…the country flavoured and calmish Plow Song is very enjoyable too. A very strong album to be played loud!” Patrick Struijker Boudier, BluesMagazine
“The adventurous nature of these songs really sets the Sideshow Tragedy apart from most duos… The first track “Number One” is a balls-out bluesy asskicker. I’m more partial to things like “Keys to the Kingdom,” which falls somewhere between Otis Taylor and Slint–though much more kinetic than both…. This is not a quiet album, though Singleton and Harrell aren’t afraid to go straight acoustic if the vibe calls for it. It is, though, one of the most driven and energetic sets I’ve heard in some time. When the pedal is released even just slightly, I realize just how much adrenaline has been flowing.” Jon Worley, Aiding and Abetting
4 out of 5 stars! “under the inspiring leadership of Kenny Siegal..The Sideshow Tragedy masterfully delivers an album that fascinates from head to tail.” Bert Vethaak, Written in Music (The Netherlands)
“powerful… intense…A duo that makes sparks!” Michele Manzotti, Il Popolodelblues
“Sideshow Tragedy [‘s] brand of garage-blues is about as close to slash-and-burn primitive as it gets, with all knobs turned to 11. Their fifth album, Capital, finds Singleton stretching his writing chops, with the band turning in its most sophisticated disc to date.” William Michael Smith, Houston Press
“The Sideshow Tragedy, a two piece blues garage rock outfit out of Austin Texas, are about to drop their fifth album, Capital, on May 5th. Apart from the devastatingly deep grooves that resonator guitarist / frontman Nathan Singleton and drummer Jeremy Harrell cut in this record it may be the stories that draw the most blood. Singleton has vocal pipes a plenty filled with scarred desperation…Capital has an emotional gravitas forged out of historic injustices. Within it’s bad ass and big garage rock framework it contains 9 tracks full of morality plays, of scarred poetry inspired by real events.” American Pancake
“a remarkable album…raw, dark, sinister and energetic…” Eric Schuurmans, Rootstime, Belgium
“Singleton channels a little Lou Reed as the record thumps its way along its dark journey…serious ass kicking swagger…a rich driving punk energy fueled by defiance… Capital is a blue collar record….a place peopled by the heroes of tracks by Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Murder By Death, where the strong survive simply by surviving with a vitriol-fueled disgust. It’s loaded with dark and solid storytelling, and truly one of those records that leaves you feeling tougher for having heard it.” Ryan Cooper/Punk Music/About.com
“The Sideshow Tragedy come into their own with fifth album “Capital.”.. mesmerizing… Rock on, fellas.” Jeffrey Sisk, Pittsburgh In Tune
“Did The Black Keys ever sound sinister? The Sideshow Tragedy has honed the blues-rock guitar/drums duo to a fine point here, packing in energy, melodies, dynamics, and (yes) even some sinister vocal vibes.” Stephen Carradini, Independent Clauses
“Steve Earle tones with a dose of punk sweat in for the ride as well. They are an indie blues roots rock jewel… “ Mike Ritchie on Sunday, Celtic Music Radio
Nice mention for Wildflower Festival show:
“Austin two-piece Sideshow Tragedy took a bluesier, Black-Keys-like approach.” Hunter Hauk, GuideLive
Please read and listen to the Exclusive Song Premiere on PopMatters for “Number One” here:http://www.popmatters.com/post/191565-the-sideshow-tragedy-number-one-audio-premiere/
Watch an excellent LIVE VIDEO for “Two Guns” another tune on the new album, Capital:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faxObguOTQg
Capital is available to purchase on iTunes, cdbaby, bandcamp etc. and CRS (Continental Record Services) is releasing/distributing the album across Europe.
Watch a silent film teaser for new album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbBk4kghWAU
Stream and/or buy in Europe here:https://continentalrecordservices.bandcamp.com/album/capital
For anybody who likes the idea of the Black Keys but finds them impossibly tame, the Sideshow Tragedy will not disappoint: they are the real deal. If dark twisted surreal country blues is your thing, this will hook you up for the duration. Frontman/guitarist Nathan Singleton took the entire blues dictionary, distilled it, lined it up down the bar and then did shots of it until he had the whole thing in his system. And then recorded this album, for the most part just with drummer Jeremy Harrell. It’s like the Gun Club, but more raw, or like Dylan at his most haphazard and interesting – and funny. Singleton’s wry sense of humor is a welcome change from all dese wotbo blueschillun who done take da blues so serious, uh huh – there’s none of that blackface BS here. (Singleton is)a one-man blues army, sometimes wailing with a slide, sometimes fingerpicking, sometimes slashing and roaring as he builds a doomed, menacing ambience.–New York Music Daily
Only having two members in the band, it’s hard to believe how much noise comes forth from the blues-rock duo, Sideshow Tragedy. Frontman Nathan 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.–Austin Live Weekly
The immediacy of their sound hits you straight in the face, and they fearlessly kept last year’s full-length release, Persona, all rough around the edges. This is exactly why that album rocks so damn hard…The self-described “blues-damaged garage rock ‘n’ roll” duo, featuring guitarist and vocalist Nathan Singleton and drummer Jeremy Harrell, recorded Persona at Big Orange Studio in East Austin, the very same spot they made their 2011 EP Gasoline. But instead of focusing on perfecting tracks and obsessing over cleaning up rough spots, the band dedicated themselves to going with the flow, opting to follow their artistic impulses by unleashing a very raw, unpolished, no-nonsense R&B kind of rock kept all down, dark and dirty. Yet, this approach is very much in keeping with their signature style – unadulterated energy, uninhibited attitude.–Laurie Gallardo, KUT.org, Austin Public Radio
The Sideshow Tragedy’s self-titled 2010 album harkened back to more melodic tendencies, a counter to charges that the locals’ first two discs erred toward overblown. Persona finds the band hitting its stride, with production and backing from members of Austin funk outfit T-Bird & the Breaks. “The Bet” balances Nathan Singleton’s rumbling vocal tremble with guitar licks fitting for both a dark club or a back porch. “Vasseline” and “I’m Gonna Be Your Man” lighten up on guitar, making some of the blues-tinged pop songs faintly evoke the Black Keys…the duo takes unabashed cues from its favorite acts (Stooges and Stones) and fuses them into a newly spit-shined performance.(3 and 1/2 stars)–The Austin Chronicle
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Austin’s The Sideshow Tragedy. Well, the duo are back and pick up right where they left off, making a glorious racket of bluesy and boozy garage rock. Singer-guitarist Nathan Singleton wails on vocals and guitar, especially when he applies a slide to his guitar, while drummer Jeremy Harrell lands his own punches with a bruising beat.–Twangville.com
“Whiskey-soaked” gets thrown around willy-nilly by music reviewers, but in The Sideshow Tragedy’s case, few other cliches better describe the heavy, juke-joint shakin’ rock’n’blues on the band’s new CD. Subtle it ain’t, and it’ll get your blood pumping.–Paul Carruba, Austin Monthly
With equal parts poetry, grit, and screech, The Sideshow Tragedy sounds a bit like a punk band resurrected at some dusty crossroads. Listen closely and a train chugs and whistles along in the background, a lonely measure of distance.–Taos News
The band brings to mind Led Zeppelin on opener “A.M. in Chicago,” “I’m Gonna Be Your Man” evokes the rockabilly and punk of The Stray Cats and The Clash…there are patches of raw rock and roll, with the band sounding like Jack White and his White Stripes on “Something to Do” and title track “Persona.”–www.rootstime.be, Belgian Americana Radio
“The Sideshow Tragedy” album review
The Sideshow Tragedy’s first two discs found them traveling from explosive to overblown. Their latest is a return to frontman Nathan Singleton’s more melodic tendencies, combining Chris Whitley’s blues and the Waterboys’ anthems into something that’s distinctive, dark, and ultimately uplifting. For the first time, the group accurately captures their live show frenzy, and tunes such as “Metaphors of Madness” and “No Explanations” finally display the maturity and verve the bandmates have always had in them.(3 and 1/2 stars)–The Austin Chronicle
“One of the Top 10 Texas Records of 2010”–The Austin Chronicle
“The Sideshow Tragedy churn out gritty, blues inspired barroom stompers that showcase spearhead Nathan Singleton’s vocal prowess, steel guitar wizardry, and penchant for telling a good tale.”–The Austinist
“The music is tight and creative — and the vocals are perfect.”–DFW.com
“(The Sideshow Tragedy) have created an album full of gutsy glory with energy to boot. Standouts include a slow almost-ballad “Cards,” deeply rooted in the sorrow of lost love, and “Ain’t No Woman,” a song possessed with attitude and rock n’ roll. It pieces an electrifying barrage of guitar together with husky vocals and twists and turns the listener around with a force that
“Imagine Nirvana’s virility, rawness, and power…but not Nirvana’s music…holy fuck. even if you are a guy, you will get pregnant just being in the room. The songs are lyrically well crafted and delivered with bona fide vocal gravel. these guys are rock and roll personified–do not miss them. and fasten your seat belt.”–Kimberly Catarino, Live Music Capital Radio
“If you like rock and roll you’re in for a treat.”–The Bay Bridged–San Francisco Bay Area Indie Music
“The Sideshow Tragedy perform with so much verve and energy that words will not fairly describe it.”–littlerocklivemusic.net
“(Nathan Singleton’s)talent is undeniable, if you have ears, but his style is harsh as well as beautiful, like the Clash and Lead Belly at the same time. Nothing like it on the radio today, when even the rock bands are polished with a computer till all evidence of a human hand is erased. Give me my music with all the scars, sweat and sweet fuckups that mean more than all the perfect ones and zeros ever will.”–Guy Forsyth
“Listen to the CD after catching a Sideshow Tragedy live show and they sound nearly indistinguishable, though live the band builds an even more raucous affair through the set…they definitely know how to stir the crowd and get folks moving…a young band to keep an eye (and your ears) on.”–Texarkana Gazette
Interview with Rapt Magazine
Itinerant Youth Reviews
Nathan and his band are hardly “sideshow” entertainers — they belong front and center on the big stage. With the release of “Itinerant Youth,” we have even more evidence to demonstrate our confidence that these guys have the goods…passion comes through in spades from the very first groans to the final notes of this new recording — which builds on the foundation laid earlier in “Borrowed Guitars, Unwound Hearts and Broken Strings.”
(Itinerant Youth)is an inspired set of rugged, country-tinged rockers.
Resophonic guitar colors a band that adds electric guitar, drums, and
an occasional piano or banjo. A sharp sound backing solid songwriting.
This Austin trio pours it on with a potent mix of Chris Whitley and
Axl Rose (pre-Chinese Democracy). Singer/guitarist Nathan Singleton is a wizard on the slide and steel guitars while bandmates Jeremy Harrell (drums) and Justin Wade Thompson (bass) pound out the beats. Live they are even more impressive, as I found out when I stumbled across their gig on my way home a few weeks ago.
Do you remember the MTV ad back in 1983 or 1984 of the kid sitting in a big chair with sunglasses on? He’s looking at the TV, his hair is blowing back in a wind that is coming from the TV and he looks like he’s going to be blown away. You want to feel that? You want that sudden sensation of being overwhelmed in a musical experience? Nathan Singleton & His Sideshow Tragedy have just the medicine you need. Itinerant Youth, the band’s second album came out in the summer of 2008. Are you ready?
Itinerant Youth has the urgency and lyrical smarts of a Bob Dylan or Ron Hawkins record, and vacillates from folky blues rock to urgent, breakneck story songs. Singleton has a talent for sharp, witty lyrics that are literate and poetic. Musically speaking Itinerant Youth is full of vibrant songs that take on lives of their own. Singleton & band have managed to capture a live-feeling sound on CD to top off well-crafted songs and outstanding musicianship.
My favorite track here is Pascal’s Wager, a condemnation of the sort of false salvation and narrow-minded understanding that humanity sometimes imposes on religion. The song is intelligently written, incredibly musical and performed with an edge that is compelling. Singleton uses his raspy rocker voice to perfect lengths in a song that should be a concert favorite for years to come. A Pint Of Whiskey And A Pound Of Grace is a frantic acoustic-rock tune that is reminiscent of the sort of energy Bon Jovi captured on songs like Runaway before they went all corporate.
Leaving Texas is a quiet and introspective tune about crossing new horizons. The Ballad Of Stagolee And The Preacher Man is a retelling of one of the earliest stories about American gang violence. The song has an urgent quality that lends to credibility and vitality of this violent tale. The writing here is exquisite in both the storytelling and the musical expression. Other highlights include The Fog In The City, Please Forget Me and Thief In The Night.
Nathan Singleton & His Sideshow Tragedy have managed to capture the zest of a live show on CD, along with top notch songwriting and first class musicianship. Itinerant Youth is a musical force majeure that will overtake you if given the chance. In the old days of LP Records and needles you’d wear this record out. In the modern era the parallel would be getting Carpel Tunnel Syndrome from continuously hitting the back button on your mp3 player. Itinerant Youth is not an album you can afford to miss. It’s a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc, and an absolute must for your shopping list.
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
Live Show Review
Nathan Singleton and his Sideshow Tragedy delivered a performance with so much verve and energy that words will not fairly describe it. The Austin-based band rocked the place with what might be called their own brand of punk-laced Texas rock, but don’t try and pigeonhole this band – their musical tastes are quite diverse. Singleton is an incredible guitar player, whose Dobro looked like it had logged a lot of Texas highway miles. Even the broken string (“luckily it was the high E, so it didn’t affect me much”) couldn’t slow the virtuoso, whose youthful appearance belies his road-warrior years. And the inappropriately named Sideshow Tragedy was anything but — bassist Justin Thompson, active and rambunctious, was just as much an integral part of the show, and it was all held together by the strong, rhythmic beat of Singleton’s long-time musical accompanist, drummer Jeremy Harrell. In this set, the audience appeared almost stunned, as though they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Only the fact that the band was returning to Austin after 2 weeks of touring prevented a trip to see them again the following night. And once more, homage was paid to Matt White and White Water, as Singleton seemed very sincere in his praise of the venue as his favorite place to play, anywhere.
“Borrowed Guitars” review
Like the unwieldy title of this debut, Nathan Singleton’s music is a
hodgepodge of ideas and sounds. Borrowing from a broad range of other artists can only work if you’re either extraordinarily talented and/or possess the cojones not to care while spilling blood all over the place. While Borrowed Guitars owes most of its success to Singleton’s attitude, his mix of Chris Whitley, the Waterboys, Dylan, and the Old 97’s is unparalleled, at times joyous, otherwise hoary and dark. With producer Gabriel Gonzalez (ex-Sparta), the young Austin
singer-songwriter has crafted a true album. Songs like the chugging
“Prisoner” and the stifling gloom of “Cannibal Choir” are well at home
in their surly blues and forlorn country. “After Love” meanders a bit,
and closer “Prayer for a Woman” seems precious after what precedes it, but Singleton and company have created something that pegs him as a talent to watch. –Austin Chronicle