PORT TOWNSEND — Organic farmer-singer-guitarist-songwriter Nathaniel Talbot is returning to Port Townsend this Friday night for a rare in-person concert, with fellow Whidbey Islander and upright bassist Keegan Harshman by his side.
The Palindrome at Eaglemount Wine & Cider, 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road, is the venue, and Talbot is eager to play a set of original songs he’s been working on over the months since the pandemic began.
Talbot, whose latest record is “The Fabric and the Weave,” has done some outdoor gigs in what he called “mitten weather.” Friday’s show is indoors, so patrons must show proof of vaccination with photo ID. Only 50 percent of the Palindrome’s seating capacity will be sold, with $20 tickets available via www.nathaniel.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.
The Rainshadow Recording studio at Fort Worden and KPTZ are presenting Talbot’s show. Rainshadow promoter Matthew Miner, who’s known Talbot for at least a decade, said he has a sound unlike any singer-guitarist he’s heard.
“He’s a really interesting performer to watch. He doesn’t stand still,” Miner added.
“It’s been amazing to be able to play” in a few concerts around the region, Talbot said in an interview Wednesday. “Everybody’s just kind of yearning for live music,” he said, adding Friday’s show will be a stripped-down acoustic affair.
Raised in the wooded foothills southeast of Portland, Ore., Talbot began learning piano at age 7, started a punk rock band at 13, and soon after began steeping himself in the guitar-driven sounds of Kelly Joe Phelps, Elliott Smith, Bill Frisell and other Pacific Northwest artists.
During the next 15 years, Talbot mixed songwriting and storytelling with his fingerstyle guitar playing, to find a spot on the Northwest folk scene.
“The Fabric and the Weave” is Talbot’s sixth solo album, made in piecemeal sessions at a studio in Anacortes. At 38, he’s made an introspective record about how it feels, on the inside and outside, to move through this world.
“I feel like I’m just hitting my stride,” he said.
In winter, Talbot has a little time apart from farming to work on his music.
“I have all these ideas and experiences I want to integrate into songwriting,” he said.
Following the Talbot show, Rainshadow Recording has a full slate of 11 concerts planned this spring, summer and fall. They include the Scott Cook Duo on April 28, Claude Bourbon on May 10, Abby Posner on June 3, Ordinary Elephant on June 29, Peppino D’Agostino on Aug. 7, Tony McManus and Julia Toaspern on Sept. 8, Iona Fyfe on Sept. 22 and the Tannahill Weavers on Oct. 13. The various Port Townsend-area venues are to be announced, Miner said.
“We’re just itching to get people back in front of live music,” he said, “to hear the best kind of music there is, which is somebody playing in front of you.”
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]