Live Review: David Nance, Nathan Ma and the Guitars; busy week of shows…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 7:15 am June 20, 2022
David Nance at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.
David Nance at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.

by Tim McMahan,

T’was a busy weekend. If you’re looking for the review of the Whipkey/America concert, it was published yesterday, here.

The weekend kicked off with David Nance Band at Reverb Lounge… actually, Nance said he doesn’t want to use that name anymore. I’m not sure if he’s kidding or not, but (maybe) look out for a new band name sometime in the near future.

The gig celebrated the release of his new album, Pulverized & Slightly Peaced, which came out last Friday on Philly label Petty Bunco Records. That said, the performance went well beyond that album’s material, with Nance and Co. playing songs from a number of past records.

The set’s highlight was an amazing version of “Credit Line,” which appears in a more deconstructed, low-fi version on the new record. The version performed Friday night was absolutely killer, and is begging (or I’m begging) to be properly recorded and released. The heart of the sound was the band’s rhythm section, consisting of drummer Kevin Donahue and bassist Dereck Higgins, but the soul came from Nance trading punches with fellow guitarist Jim Schroeder.

Nathan Ma and the Guitars at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.
Nathan Ma and the Guitars at Reverb Lounge, June 17, 2022.

Among the night’s openers was Nathan Ma and the Guitars. I’m a fan of Ma’s music, especially his recent singles (here’s hoping he’s pulling them together for a proper album).

Backed by a stellar ensemble that included Tom May on guitar, Jon Cobb on bass, Billy Lieberman on percussion and Colin Duckworth on pedal steel, Ma writes and sings music that lies somewhere between country barroom and ’60s baroque, Flying Burrito Brothers meets The Byrds, with multiple guitar lines weaving in and out of dreamy, mid-tempo melodies sung in Ma’s soft, sweet mew (which, at times, got lost in the mix).

Lieberman’s minimal percussion (mostly bongos) and Duckworth’s warm, layered pedal steel really set the tone, but when all the guitars got into a meticulous groove, it was mesmerizing.

This was one of the largest crowds I’ve seen at Reverb since the pandemic, btw…

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It’s a busy week of touring shows, so get your Red Bull ready:

  • — it’s David Dondero and Craig Dee at Pageturners.
  • — Wednesday, Man Man at The Waiting Room.
  • — Thursday, Neko Case at The Waiting Room.
  • Friday, Helmet at The Waiting Room. This one has been postponed.

But then the weekend falls off a cliff….

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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