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Jazz Drummer Nate Smith: A Postcard from Virginia

Laura Hanifin

Josh Jackson spoke to drummer Nate Smith about his recording Postcards from Everywhere.

Tell me who you are and what you had for breakfast today.

Okay. I'm Nate Smith and I had two eggs scrambled with sausage and wheat toast, and it was delicious. It was delicious. It was everything I dreamed it would be. 

What does one dream it to be? What were you expecting?

Listen, when I’m in Roanoke man, it feels like home. My grandmother lived in Salem. So I think of Grandma's breakfast when I'm here. I think of like the country and that feeling, when you wake up, and you're like, “Oh okay”. You know, my grandmother was old school, man. Up at 5:30 baking biscuits from scratch. She was that one.

I didn't know that you were from Salem.

My mother is from Salem. I'm from Chesapeake, but we would come to visit Salem often. We'd be here for a couple of weeks every summer and we’d come up for Thanksgiving, you know, every year. So I got to know Salem pretty well.

Tell me a little bit about grandma then.      

Irene Helm, my mother's mother. She was a beautiful woman, very funny. She was the type of person that as soon as you walked into her home she wanted to feed you something and she was known to, out of the blue, order my mom to go in the kitchen and whip up something for people to eat, just out of the blue. We'd be sitting around and there'd be a lull in conversation, she would say, “Why don't you go in the kitchen and fry up about three eggs for everybody.” And that was sort of her thing. It was like everything was about her welcoming you into the house and making you feel at home. She was great. She worked as a domestic for most of her life and she had five kids with her husband, my grandfather, Booker T Helm. Seems like every black family has a Booker T.


Yeah. Every black family has a Booker T somewhere in the lineage

And Booker T. Washington was born literally on a plantation not too far away from where you and I are right now in Virginia

Wow. I did not know that.

In Franklin County just past Rocky Mount there is a national monument to Booker T. Washington.

Nate Smith joins us here on Last Quarter. I'm Josh Jackson. The recording is Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere. And congratulations by the way. I've been following you for a while, and I listened to Waterbaby when it came out. And then I think when you were 40 you made a little mixtape or something.

I did. Kinfolk is actually my fourth record.  All my records before that had been R&B, kind of produced R&B records, so a lot of programming and I was playing all the instruments. But I did a record called Workday in 2008 and then a record called Scrapbook in 2011. And then when I turned 40 I did this little eight track beat tape that I put out. And it's all just been like something to just put music out. But this was the first bandleader effort, and this is certainly the biggest project I've ever done, because there are a lot of people on this record, a lot of folks.

It is from everywhere, and also everywhere in your own development as an artist. I mean Adam Rogers the guitarist is on this, and you play with him in a group called Dice. Dave Holland is on this recording.


I wanted to back up for just a moment. Since you were talking about your grandmother, it sort of reminded me of one of the first people that you worked with in the jazz canon, and that is Betty Carter.

Yeah, of course.

And I recall also from Waterbaby that you did something for her. There's like this sound bite of her where she's basically saying, “You have to be an individual and somebody that people will remember.”

Absolutely. You know there were a lot of lessons learned from the brief time I worked with her. I met her in 1996. She passed away in ‘98. So I didn't have that much time with her, but you know she was a natural teacher, so you couldn't be around her without learning something. Especially if you’re a musician and an impressionable musician of that age, you're going to soak up everything she has to say.

But she was that too. She was an individual. You know I really believe, and she said it once too, that in a way she was the last jazz singer. Because she's the link I think, in the chain that ties together a singer like Sarah Vaughan or Ella to a singer like Cassandra Wilson or even Gretchen Parlato. I think Betty is that link. And what she did with form, what she did with melody, the liberty she took, the way she was able to stretch - she was just so musical and so unique, really unique. So I took that to heart. That snippet is from a CBS Sunday Morning profile they did on her and I'm featured in that profile. In 1996 I was, I guess, 21 years old and they did that. And yeah, it was a trip just to be around her and witness her. It was incredible.

Tell me a little bit about that Jazz Ahead program, because she sort of plucked you out of, I guess, Chesapeake Virginia.

Yeah. In the summer of 1995 I did the Disney Grammy band in Epcot, and in that band was a young trombonist named Andre Hayward from Houston. Great trombonist, played with Lincoln Center. I think he lives in Dallas now. But just an amazing musician, and a really great guy. And he heard me and said, “Listen, Betty should hear you. So you know I'm going to tell her about you”. And I said, “Yeah great”. And he did. And the following January, (this was July of ’95, so January of ’96), now I guess it doesn't exist anymore – the IAJE - there was this conference they used to do every year.

The International Association for Jazz Education.

Right. And so they would bring different student groups. So my band from JMU got selected to go to IAJE, and Betty was there, and she heard maybe 10 or 15 minutes of our set. And then she came up to me afterwards and said, “You know I like the way you play. I want to talk to you about Jazz Ahead.” And I was like, “Okay.” And a few months later I got the call. She was like, “I want you to come to New York and play.” And the first year I did it, there were three drummers – myself, Byron Landham from Philly, and a young drummer from Houston named Eric Harland. And I can tell you Eric sounded every bit as clear, and his ideas were just as beautiful then as they are now.

Were yours?

I don't know. I don't know. Great question!  You know I'd like to hope that I've gotten better. Eric has always been great, he's just gotten more great. I certainly hope that there's a core of my playing, like a personality in my playing, that's been there since then, that's still there. And I think it has. And I do think that I've certainly learned how to play in different situations much better now, since Jazz Ahead. But sort of wrapping it up, doing that - being in Jazz Ahead - kind of really changed my trajectory, because it exposed me for the first time to musicians my age who were playing at that level. And it just inspired me to work harder and it really made me think seriously about New York. I flirted and dreamed about the idea of moving to New York and flirted with the idea, but it was being in that situation made me know eventually I'm going to have to make this move from Virginia to New York.

And yet here you and I are in Virginia and having this conversation.

Nate Smith Kinfolk is performing at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke.

And you've also been conducting a workshop or teaching students. Tell me a little bit about what you're doing.

So you know the Jefferson Center has this really cool music lab that they are using to teach kids about songwriting and production and recording, and it's just a really great resource. It's something I wish I’d had when I was a teenager. You know, to be surrounded by people who are encouraging you to just kind of examine your curiosity in different parts of the music business. So I've been there. Last night I was there and we have three songs that we're working on while I'm here. So there was a singer songwriter I worked with last night, who's working on our pop record. And then there's this four-piece rock band that I'm working with tonight, and then tomorrow there's a gospel group that we're going to work with. We're trying to put together a record for each one of them. And I'm going to sort of be producing the record and kind of coaching the kids on how to perform it, and it's really cool. A nod to Cyrus and Jessica and Jordan, and everybody who runs that place. They're really doing something very cool over there, and something that I think these kids can take with them. Whatever they choose career wise, they can take this stuff with them, these experiences, and say, “Okay, I learned something from this.”

And you just never know what kind of impact you make when you meet a kid at that age. Having been that age, and thinking back to when I was, there were, even before Betty, a number of impressions that were made on me by musicians, that I think I've always taken with me. And I hope I can kind of make some of those impressions on them, that they take with them, forward.

Nate Smith joins us. Kinfolk is the band, and Postcards from Everywhere is the recording.

Speaking of reflections, I kind of feel like this entire recording is based on some kind of reflection about who you are, how you've gotten to this point in your 40s, and kind of just looking over your shoulder and figuring out how did I get here, and why.

Yeah it is, and I feel like I released this record at 42, and by the time most cats are my age, bandleaders, they've released several records. So this is my first bandleader record and it's happening kind of late in my career. So I felt a need to sort of give a little back-story. Not only just for my own expression, but also to give the audience an idea of who I am and where I'm from. And there was something, like around 2012/2013, I just started thinking about it like, “Okay. Here I am. How did I get here? What were the choices I made along the way? Who were the people that helped me?” And it started to kind of form something. But the music was always kind of the guiding thing. If the music had been about something different, than maybe the record would have had a different tone. But there's a lot of that feeling of nostalgia and narrative in the music, so I wanted it to feel that way throughout the entire project. Not only just the way the record sounds, but also the interludes with my parents and the artwork itself. I mean everything about it is about storytelling.

Let's talk a little bit about “Home Free”.

The reason why I want to talk about it more than anything is because I think it was right around Father's Day, if not on Father's Day, there was a video that you released. And at first I looked at it and in my sort of skepticism, I thought, “Well it's an EPK - an electronic press kit - about this record.” And then by the end of it, I had goose bumps. And I thought, “No, actually I think this might be a remarkable piece of citizen journalism.” And it just so happens to be that you have a recording. And it's about the men in your life.

Yeah it is, about particularly two of them - my father and grandfather. The song was written for my grandfather. And over the course of the recording of my record, my father passed away.  So it just felt like a befitting tribute that the song takes on a dual meaning. It's not just about Peter Joe, it's about dad too. And there's an interlude on the album just before the song that features my dad, talking about his dad. So there is, I just felt, a sort of convergence. The film was directed by this great director, Jim McGorman from Philly, and I worked with him. He did a documentary about Chris Potter a few years back called “Open Minds”. He's really great and he came down to New York and we did it in a day. He followed me around. You know, he's just capturing me. I didn't even know he was shooting half the time. He's really great. So then we went to the studio. We had Jaleel and Fima on the video.

Jaleel Shaw and Fima Ephron

...Who play alto sax and bass on the record respectively.

It was just a really heartfelt and sincere tribute to them. You know we hear a lot of stuff about the men in our lives.  Father's Day brings up a lot of conflicting emotions for people.  Some people have great relationships with their dad. I was lucky to have that. And some people might not have even known their fathers or had rocky relationships with them. So I just wanted to celebrate what was great about both of those men, and do it in a way that was just sincere. And hopefully the music pays a befitting tribute to them too.

It’s “Home Free” for Peter Joe. It's from the recording by drummer Nate Smith and his band Kinfolk. The recording is called Postcards from Everywhere.

You mentioned something to me recently that your father had a certain obsession with footstools.

He did. He did.  My dad, God bless him. He had a woodworking shop in our garage. And he had a lot of really nice gear he bought and he loved it.  And he had a sketchbook full of his ideas and I think that was his creative outlet. And he made a lot of stuff that's in the house, like a lot of stuff. Some of it turned out great, some of it not. You know it was a little rough around the edges, but he always just loved doing it and did it because he loved it. And he made a lot of footstools, and there are footstools all over the house.

Are they level?

I mean different heights. Varying, you know. But no, they turned out really good. He was really good at those. The legs are really beautiful and he put these really nice cushions on. Really cool. So he was good at that. He also did some really beautiful tables in our home. I think he was an artist. He worked as a high school principal most of his life. But he definitely had an artistic pursuit. I think it was through the woodworking he pursued that.

And in some sense he created a step up, if I should extend the metaphor, for you. Because I mean the artistic side of him was that he loved music. And so a lot of your early experience with jazz and the history of black music came from him, and finds its way in here.

Absolutely, yeah. That's part of what makes it feel so nostalgic for me and like such a narrative for me, because I absorbed those sounds you know, in the house.

He was playing Quincy Jones and Joe Sample and Bob James - that period of music in the late 70s, early 80s. Before it was commodified as smooth jazz, there was this period where it was just instrumental R&B played by great musicians, who were playing it very sincerely, and recorded beautifully. To the point that when hip hop artists had access to sampling capability, they reached right for these records and found all these perfect loops. So yeah, I absorbed all that music and it sort of comes out in tracks like “Bounce” or “Small Moves” or stuff on the record like that. But no, it really came from him. He loved Quincy Jones records. He always said, “You know I love the way they make my speakers sound. I love the way they make my stereo sound.” That was his benchmark for how a record should sound – a Quincy Jones record. So it starts with him playing records in the house.

Tell me a little bit about “Bounce”. There are two parts.

So “Bounce” is probably the oldest song on the record because I'd been playing that song with Chris Potter's Underground band for many years before I recorded it. But it is basically a song that has this one little instrumental riff that repeats a few times with some open jamming in between it, and then there's an open sort of solo section at the end, which features Chris Potter on the album.

And because we've been playing it so long, and because he's just Chris Potter and he's awesome, but because we've been playing it so long, he just eats it alive on the record. He just tears it up and that second section is sort of a soloist feature there.

And in my mind I was thinking about a record like Tutu by Miles Davis. You would have these tunes that were like just riffs that would repeat, with open improvised sections. Not really solo sections in between, but where the band would just groove in between these two sections. And I really liked that idea you know, and then maybe featuring one musician as a soloist in a second part. But I just love the idea of that environment, and treating the music like a piece of sculpture or something, where the parts are the parts and we kind of stick to playing the parts, and maybe we sprinkle a little bit of stuff.  But the actual piece is just what the bass is playing, what the guitar is playing, the melody. Those are the parts and they're fixed.

Like through composed?

Sort of, yeah. Like through composed. And then between those sections again, I'm thinking there's just a point at which we just use those bass line parts – bass, guitar, keys - we use those parts as a launching pad to just sprinkle with small improvisatory ideas. And then we go to the second section where it is more open, and a more extended solo for one player.

Nate Smith, do you find more recently that you're striving for simplicity in some sense? Versus, I mean there's a lot of music that we call jazz that is incredibly complex.


And always perfectly executed right, by great musicians like you. But I think sometimes, maybe more recently, fewer people are getting back to that simple element of a melody that someone can kind of connect to.

Yeah, yeah. I think that there's power in that. I think there's real power in giving people something they can latch on to and take with them, and they can sing in the car or they can sing in the shower, or they can sing, whistle while they're working or whatever. I do think that it becomes the sort of soundtrack of your life in a way. Not to be corny, but I do think that there are moments in your life where you'll think of a melody, and you'll think about where you were the first time you heard it or where you were the first time you sang it, or where you were the first time you heard it live. 

It’s not a singular sensory experience of just the ear.


The ear is sending a signal to your brain and there are a lot of other things that that brain remembers.

Absolutely. Your brain remembers every aspect of where you were. You know I can remember listening to some of those records that my dad used to play, and I can remember what mom was cooking in the kitchen, like it’s a full body experience. And I do respect and love what musicians are doing who are playing music that's much more complex, because it's a different type of listening experience, where it's almost like you have to invest your whole body into taking it in in that moment. But if I see people moving in their seats or even if people want to get up and two step while I'm playing, I have no problem with that, because I feel like that's what music is kind of meant to do.

And I really don't have any problem with people having the idea that the music is simple, or that it is designed to be used again and again, to be listened to again and again, and sung again and again. That’s okay with me, that's totally fine. And I don't think that there's anything about that, that makes it less of a jazz record.

Do you design songs to last? I mean some people just kind of say, “This is a snapshot of me right now. This is my recording and I’m going to move on to something else.”

Well whether you design them to last or not, they last forever. This record is going to be around hopefully for a long time and it will outlive me you know. And yeah, I do want it to, too.

I think that as musicians and especially as record producers, people who make records, we’re in the design business, in the same way as someone who creates a piece of art or a piece of whatever. You're creating something that will be used again, and again and played again and again and consumed again and again.  And you're like,  “Okay, what are the elements of this that I want people to discover after repeated listenings, repeated use?” That’s the thing.

As you design something, you have to consider the user experience.

You have to. I mean I think that's what makes the most successful designers successful, is that they're considering the user. And if you're designing it for musicians to use, that's one thing. So if you're designing it for musicians or journalists or critics or whatever to use it in that way, that's totally fine. And there's nothing wrong with that. But if you're designing it for people who aren't musicians to have access to a musical experience or to use it again and again, that's another thing entirely.  Maybe not entirely, but it is another thing, and it is something else that you would consider. I feel like I was lucky in that I was raised around people who weren't musicians, who just enjoyed music. So I have a sense of what people, who don't listen to music in a deconstructive way, expect from music and what they want from it. So I kind of think about that as I make records and make tracks. I'm always thinking about not only my experience, because I experience it as a fan too, but also think about when I listen to it again and again. I listened to Kinfolk for two years before I released it.

Were you a little nervous?

I was a little nervous man! No not at all. Yes I was very nervous.  I was definitely. Because it is my first bandleader record I felt the stakes were really high for me. But I also knew that I wanted it to be something different, that would kind of stick out in the landscape of the jazz records that are coming out. So yeah, I considered that as I listened to it again and again. But getting back to this point of creating music for the audience, considering the audience. I do not think that's a bad thing at all. And I don't think it makes anything less than any other type of music or any other type of expression.


Are you considering the audience when you create these drum loops for the Loop Loft? Or can you just only focus so much on that, and then just like, “I’m in this groove and I gotta stick it.”

Yeah. That's really more what it is. It's like I'm in the groove. I'm experiencing it as a drummer first. But I feel like drummers, we have a very interesting vantage point, because so often the drums on any record create the environment.

Oh yes. I have to tell you, just to interject for a moment. I love drummer records. I love Brian Blade and the Fellowship. I love Mark Guiliana's Beat Music. I love Antonio Sanchez's recording Bad Hombre. I always pay particular attention to what's going on with drummers.

I feel like when you're behind the kit, and the kit is the closest thing to you, you have a very interesting perspective about how the band sounds. Because again I feel like this environment that drummers create with sound is unique to any other instrument, to all the instruments on the bandstand. I mean it's a very unique place to be. I think that's why you see so many drummers transitioning into becoming producers and making records, because we have this idea that the drum is kind of the center of the environment, the sonic environment, and the events kind of emerge from that. But so yes, I'm thinking, as a producer, “What kind of groove would I want to play? What kind of snare drum sound would I want to play? What kind of snare drum sound would I want to have access to?” And so the Loop Loft thing, a shout out to Ryan Gruss and everybody at Loop Loft, because he's put something together that's really unique. And a lot of producers have hit me up saying, “I really love these loops. I love the way it's built.” He makes it so easy for them to use it, but he uses real musicians, playing real parts. So yeah, it's a balance of those two things. I'm thinking about myself as a producer, “Would I like this?” You know what I mean? But also, as a drummer, I just want to execute the groove. So you're kind of on a tightrope. But first things first, I'm always thinking as a drummer.

But we know the answer to the question, “Will Nate Smith use Nate Smith on the session?”

Somebody came up to me the other day and said, “Man, I heard you did a loop Loft record. So I guess that means you're going to be on my next album!”

I was like, “Okay, well we’ll have to work out another deal for that, but that's fine.”

But you know I haven't actually done too much programming recently. I've been playing on my own record and demos and stuff, but maybe I'll download my own loop pack or maybe I'll download Mark Guiliana's, or Eric's or Karriem Riggins. I think he's done one, so there're plenty of guys. Yeah I'll use their beats. I’ll put Karriem on my record!

I remember talking to Karriem once and I was like, “When did you do this?” It was for the first one he did - Alone Together. And he said, “Oh I made all this stuff sitting in the bus with Diana Krall on tour.”

That's right. He’s that. Karriem was another drummer I met. He wasn't a part of Jazz Ahead that year, but I think he had done it the year before. So he was there hanging out. And he came in the first day and I saw this kid who had on this like, U.S. mail cap. And like he was so cool and swagged out and I was like, “Who is this kid?” And Karriem I think is maybe a year or so younger than me. But I remember him hanging out, and then finally I introduced myself and he said, “Yeah man, I'm Karriem, man.” And I remember he was staying at the same hotel. And even back then he had a stack of CDs and two speakers, and I don't know if he had his beat machine with him or not, but he was just playing me beat after beat after beat. And he was telling me about Jay Dee before he became Dilla - he was like his mentor. And he was amazing you know. And to see the trajectory he's been on since then. I respect the guy so much. He's really great.

Do you have a bit of a different perspective you think, coming from the South? Not coming from a place that's necessarily what someone would refer to as ‘the center of the jazz universe.’

Right. I do think you have to teach yourself a little more and be a little more curious about things. Which is not to suggest that people who are from musical cities or musical families aren't curious at all. But I do think that you have to kind of seek out what you want, and find musicians who can help you along the way. I think I'm the only musician in the history of my family – professional musician I think. We had some people who sang - my dad sang a little bit, my mom sings in the choir, and that kind of thing. But no one who had pursued it as a career. So I was kind of flying solo in that way. My brother is an artist too, and he is a visual artist. He works in TV now, but he was the only other artist in the family so I could kind of emulate what he was doing. I’d figure out, “Okay, so how do you work freelance? How do you not have a steady paycheck?” So you learn things like that by doing. But in terms of learning about the music, I think it is something that you have to be really intentional about and just study everything that you come into contact with. And my way in was just mimicking everything I saw that interested me. Just learning how to do it.

You have a couple of vocalists on this recording. Can you talk about who they are - they're on different songs, and why you chose them to be part of Kinfolk.

So Amma Whatt is the featured vocalist on two songs on the album. And she's also the lyricist for all the songs that have lyrics. I met Amma in 2011. I was producing an R&B record for my friend Gerard Anthony, who lives in Richmond, and Amma sang background vocals on a track. And I went to see her perform with another artist, and she just jumped off the stage. She was great you know. And I thought, “Okay, there's something about her voice and the way she delivers a lyric that I love.” And I got to know her and I listened to her own music. She had stuff out on Bandcamp and I listened to her own lyrics. I was like,” Man, I really love the way she writes.” She writes in a way that's very transparent, like there's not a lot of fluff in these lyrics. She can get right to the meat of an idea and that's rare. You don't meet somebody who can write sort of R&B music without getting into colloquial stuff. And she just writes it very plaintively and sings it very plaintively, and everybody understands what she's saying. I think she has the same thing in my mind, the same ‘it’ factor, that a singer like Jill Scott has, where as soon as you hear her, you feel like you know her.

And Gretchen Parlato, who's featured on one of the songs, I’d never had a chance to work with her but I've been a fan of hers for a long time. And she's another singer who is not afraid to traverse into the R&B territory. You know her stuff with Robert - that collaboration


I know! She flipped that song

She nailed it man!

Really. It’s a beautiful arrangement and she sang it beautifully. And she sang it respectfully too.

It wasn't like she was, “Okay, let me just do this R&B thing and you know, whatever.” She sang it like she meant it. And I just really thought that was a very cool and courageous move for a jazz singer. So I’d always really admired her and wanted her on the record, and we found a way to work together on this one.  So I'm psyched to have both of them.

The recording is called Postcards from Everywhere. Kinfolk. Nate Smith the drummer and composer, and now bandleader, has this process. And now that you've been out in the world with the band a little bit, has this discouraged you? Do you want to run back to the drum chair and just say, “I'm going to just do this?”

Yeah I tell you, it's a whole other ball of wax. Louise Holland - Chris Potter's manager and Dave Holland's manager - told me, she said, “Leading a band is a whole other kettle of fish.” That was her thing, her metaphor.  And it's true, there are a lot of things you have to consider and a lot more money you spend. But you know I'm actually enjoying it. This will be our first tour that we're starting and we'll go out and we'll play these gigs, and some of the gigs are doing very well. They're selling very well and hopefully we'll have some enthusiastic audiences, and that will be rewarding I think.

What makes it worth it?

Oh man! Good question!  Hearing these musicians play this music. To me that's really what makes it worth it - hearing Jon Cowherd play this music, hearing Jaleel play so beautifully night after night - because I wrote the music with these guys in mind. I wrote it with Jaleel and Fima and Amma in mind. And Jeremy Most is on the record, but he’s not on the tour. He's also a big factor in the record. And Kris Bowers, who's on the record too. I mean I always write and conceive of these shows with the musicians in mind. So the most rewarding thing is casting the right people and having them show up and deliver. And as a sideman you realize the value of that too.  It just really makes you better - being a good sideman makes you a better leader. And I think being a good bandleader makes you a better sideman too, because I think you learn what it really means to occupy both of those spaces. So that's the most rewarding thing - having great musicians on stage who you feel like have got your back, and they're going to deliver the music beautifully.

Since you said the word beautifully, I have one final question for you. And it arises out of me seeing one of your posts on Facebook in July at some point, and I guess it was getting pretty thick. You had this really kind of beautiful, yet diffuse photograph, and you wrote at length. But then at the end you said, “I'm just here for the beauty.”

It's true man.

What is the beauty that you're here for?

Yeah that's a great question. You don't know always, until you see it.

For me, I think the beauty is a moment of truth. Or something that feels true. When you're onstage with musicians and there might be - even if it lasts for five or ten seconds - there might be this moment where everybody's playing and you really know that we're all vibrating on the same frequency. We're all in the same place. That's the beauty that you're there for. When you are on the road and it's a really tough day and you take a ten-minute walk, and you look up and you see this beautiful skyline, you're reminded, “I'm doing what I love to do.” You know, no matter how tough the day, no matter how delayed the flights were, what bags they lost or whatever, how rude the airline checking staff were.  No matter what that is, I'm still here for this beautiful sunset or this beautiful venue, or these beautiful people who came out with their hearts open to receive the music. That's really what you're there for. And I can say this, also having worked with Dave. There were moments, especially early in my tenure with Dave, when we'd have these really tough travel days, getting up at like 4:30 in the morning to go to the airport. Just tough. And we would get to the gig and we'd play that night, and Dave would take a bass solo in the middle of the thing. And I’d think to myself,  “Dave has been up just as long as I've been up. He's been awake just as long as I've been awake. He's done more. He's had more responsibility than me. And listen to how beautifully he's playing.“ He never let it deter him from the mission, which was to just tell the truth with the music. That's really what you're here for, man. That's really, I think, our job. There is a component of storytelling and truth telling, to being a musician, that we cannot lose sight of. Especially now. We need to tell the truth now in profound ways.

As you continue to go out into the world and find beauty, just do me one favour, promise me something.


You'll send a postcard

Certainly will. I certainly will.

Postcards from Everywhere is the recording from Kinfolk. Nate Smith joins us. Thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you Josh. I appreciate you brother. Thank you.

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