Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I met Nathan on Sunday night 10/16 when he was playing at Bertha’s in Fell’s Point. By the way, he was phenomenal. More people should have been there to see him play, but that is another story. After he finished playing, we go to talking and he told me no one ever reviewed Alpine Way. Well, how can that be? So I took that as a challenge. Nathan through the gauntlet down and I picked it up. I think this was a win-win, because Alpine Way is an awesome album. How it totally went under the radar is beyond me.
Highway (Track 7) seems to be an autobiographical composition which explains Kalish’s troubadour spirit. He plays over 200 live shows a year all over the country. This song opens up with the line, “I was born to die on the highway”. Spoken like a truebadour. A man who plays from town to town like Woody Guthrie and others. It is a catchy number with good lyrics and vocals. Very nice guitar parts are inner dispersed that add a nice bluesy country feel to this ditty.
Alpine Way (Track 1) is another autobiographical song that seems to be reminiscing about the high school years. Very good production value and strong lyrics. Driving down Alpine way reminds me of driving down the road in high school when we all first got our licenses and sre dreaming about the future and talking about nothing at all. Just spending time with your buddies and trying to navigate your way through this world. He also recalls the loss of a good friend in a tragic car accident. Conjures up a lot of memories for me, both bitter and sweet.
A lot of the songs seem to be about recalling prior events in Kalish’s life, the good and the bad. That is the sign of a great songwriter, someone not afraid to write the memories that are painful. Kalish appears to have no fear as he is very objective and even handed in his writing. He puts everything out there for us to interpret and internalize. There are two tragedies here. One is the sad events that happened in Kalish’s life and the other is the fact that album has gone overlooked. It isn’t too late. We can make up for lost time. This album definitely will stand the test of time.