Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats 

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Music revivals always come around in waves, from the big band swing resurgence of '90s groups like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to the contemporary garage rock push in the early 2000s by bands like The White Stripes. If there's one reemergence that might never get old for me, it's bonafide soul. Missouri-born singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff must agree, because somewhere in the past couple years he strayed from his orchestral folk path to reinvent himself as a gritty, bellowing soul man. Backed by his crack shot band, the Night Sweats, Rateliff's eponymous record sounds like a vintage party that's more backwoods juke joint than inner-city dancehall.

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The cover of this record—a Chuck Norris-worthy chest shot featuring the tip of a beard, chest hair, a denim jacket and a heaping helping of turquoise jewelry—sets up its contents nicely. There's plenty of brawn and attitude to go along with the sex and heartbreak in these songs. There's also a Red Dirt rootsiness to this batch of tunes, and on some, particularly the ballad "Wasting Time," Rateliff almost channels the country spirit of CMA award-winning wonderboy Chris Stapleton. The frontman's husky howl is the key ingredient (though credit must be given to keys player Mark Shusterman for providing nearly continuous, crucial vocal harmonies for a rich, warm sound), but the rest of the recipe showcases the Night Sweats' nonstop grooves, which seem concocted specifically to shake the plaster from the ceiling all night long.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats play the Wilma Fri., May 27, at 8 PM. Sold out.

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