Way back in 2007, singer-guitarist Nathan Hedges signed to a small Virginia label and released a solo album. When he needed to put a backing band together, he met Welshly Arms' Michael Gould who helped him recruit Jimmy Weaver. The resulting group, Cities & Coasts, has become a favorite on the local circuit.
As much as Hedges remains committed to Cities & Coasts, he also continues to play and record as a solo artist.
“I’ve been doing acoustic dates to stay busy and keep active,” says Hedges. “I’ve been writing a bunch of songs and playing out a lot. Some of the songs that didn’t have a Cities & Coasts vibe, I would play out under my name. I like the soulful, bluesy vibe of them. And they're really stripped down. It’s not overly complicated. It’s not a huge production.”
For his forthcoming EP, he recruited local producer Jim Stewart, who cut the tracks at his Crushtone Studios. He recorded the songs live in the studio with a little help from his friends: Jon and Bri of the local soul group Jabtune and the aforementioned Gould, who played percussion.
A song such as “BE” features soulful vocals and handclaps; it comes off sounding like it could be a Jack Johnson track.
While Hedges only recorded four tunes for the EP, he says he has a stockpile of songs.
“I write so much," he says. "I’m a compulsive writer. I throw them in bins, depending on if they’re a Cities & Coasts band or a solo song. If I only to tried to write Cities & Coasts songs, it would sound forced. I just let them flow out. Whatever happens happens.”
To celebrate the release of the EP, which will initially only be available digitally, Hedges performs at 9 p.m. on June 17 as part of the Live and Local series that takes place at the House of Blues