The Upshot: Like Bruce Springsteen if he still remembered his bar band roots, Coles and his band embody the spirit of rock & roll.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Genres, innovation, development, blah blah blah – all of it’s right and good and necessary. But there’s nothing like a rock & roll true believer. Erstwhile punk rocker Nato Coles is definitely fits the bill. With his Blue Diamond Band, the Minneapolis singer and songwriter bangs out basic, four-chord populism with a twinkle in his eye, his heart on his sleeve and the energy of a teenager after his first kiss. Smartly recorded live, which is where this music lives, the songs – only a couple of which come from Coles’ excellent studio album Promises to Deliver – revel in major chord progressions and singalong melodies.
Coles and his quartet aren’t being simplistic here – they just understand that sometimes you don’t need to be complicated to get across. “Standing On the Corner Alone,” “An Honorable Man” and “You Can Count On Me Tonight” – the song Coles will be playing at shows until the day he dies – rock in just the right kind of way, leaving pretentiousness and artifice at the door.
Like Bruce Springsteen if he still remembered his bar band roots, Coles and the Blue Diamond Band, even if only for an hour onstage every night, embody the spirit of rock & roll.
DOWNLOAD: “You Can Count On Me Tonight,” “An Honorable Man” “Standing On the Corner Alone”