In addition to the Starday book and various musical projects, here are a few of Nate's other artistic endeavors.
The Jaminator is a toy guitar produced in the early 1990s by Worlds of Wonder. It has 12 frets, with a combination of 4 different sounds in each fret depending on which string buttons are pushed. This means that the Jaminator can play a total of 48 guitar riffs, as well as 10 keyboard riffs and 3 drum effects per song. Nate owns six cartridges and each cartridge has 5 songs. He therefore has 1,440 guitar riffs, 300 keyboard riffs, and 90 drum effects at his disposal. In Nate's latest creative endeavor, he has pieced together these riffs, which are actually 8-bit recreations of famous guitar licks by Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and others, to recreate Django Reinhardt's greatest hot jazz recordings. Hear now as Jammin' Nater, the Django of the Jaminator, reinvents your favorite hot club jams. His first E.P. as Jammin' Nater can be downloaded for free at jamminnater.bandcamp.com.Top
Back in 2011 Nate teamed up with local Bloomington honky-tonk legends Leon Chance and Davy Jay Sparrow to record a set of rockin' honky-tonk mayhem at Rich Morpurgo's Midwest Audio Recording studio. Joining in the fun were Bobby Burns (upright bass), Mike Lee (drums), Michael Lindeau (fiddle), and Rick Nagy (guitar). One of their tracks—'Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms,' affectionately re-done as 'Milk Train'— was featured on a WFHB Local Live CD with other great Bloomington acts such as Murder By Death, the Hollows, Andy Aronis, Carptenter & Clerk, Hoagy's Hulabaloos, and many more. I'm not certain how you can buy one, but I bet if you donate to their annual fund drive, they might just send one along for free. www.wfhb.orgTop
When Nate came to Indiana University to pursue a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, he met several likeminded musicians. One was into reggae, another into old-time and bluegrass, another into jazz and bop, and Nate was into rockabilly and country. Together they formed the Hoagy Rollers (a clever play on the name of Bloomington's own Hoagy Carmichael) and they drew inspiration from the glorious dawn of American popular music, a time when jug bands and freight trains roamed the landscape and early jazz ate breakfast with honky-tonk. A few recordings were made, some YouTube videos too, and slowly but surely Nate learned how to play the upright bass.Top
In 2011, Nate wrote multiple dictionary entries about country music and rockabilly performers for The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press), an eight volume comprehensive reference publication on American music. If you would like a copy for your own reference library, the cover price is a mere $1,195.00 which includes all 5,472 pages.Top
Nate was recently featured, as were Emerson comedians Jay Leno and Steven Wright, recounting his favorite Rex Trailer memories in the full-length documentary of Rex Trailer's Boomtown television show! Directed by Michael Bavaro, this is one of the most amazing DVDs anyone could own. Stunning footage of New England's favorite Cowboy doing bullwhip tricks and other rodeo stunts, some seriously dangerous trick-riding, a 1952 min-feature on how he got his Bowie Knife and more! DVDs can be purchased and a short movie trailer can be seen by clicking on the artwork.Top
In April 2009 Bluegrass Unlimited published, "Al Hawkes: Bluegrass Music's Maine Attraction," Nate's five page story chronicling the life and times of the first generation bluegrass music pioneer and Event Records founder. Magazine back issues are available from Bluegrass Unlimited and more information about Al Hawkes can be found at his website.Top
Long ago there was a group of poets. They weren't street poets. They weren't beat poets. Some weren't even poets at all. But when united, they formed the Guerilla Poets. Lovers of the spoken word and the art of poetry. Nate was among them. A book resulted, Speak These Words: A Guerilla Poets Anthology, and was published by W.P.C. Minimal Press in 2001. There are three offerings by Nate and some stellar writing from the others. Books can purchased through Amazon. Click the artwork.
As an undergraduate, Nate's second writing seminar was taught by New York Times best-selling author Steve Almond. Inspired by Almond and the other faculty in the writing department, Nate changed his major to writing, literature and publishing and began a stint with Gangsters In Concrete as a poetry reviewer. Gangsters In Concrete, the name excerpted from William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, is a semiannual anthology of undergraduate literary and visual arts at Emerson College. After serving two semesters as the prose editor, Nate served one year as president and Editor-In-Chief. Bradley Smith, of pirate joke book illustration fame, did the cover art.
Nate played trumpet on 'Down the Drain' and 'Between the Stones' for Dave
Aaronoff's stellar album, 'The Devil's In The Details.' Released in 2002 on
Topless Records. CDs can be sampled and purchased through CD Baby by
clicking on the artwork and can also be downloaded on iTunes.
Nate has also enjoyed the pleasure of adding horns to 'Eric Left Riverton' by the multi-talented Steven James Lawrence. Released on Mr. Records in 2004.Top
The Wal-Mart Three was the brainchild of Travis 'Daddy-O' Quam and Nate 'Gator' Gibson. In the year 2000, in the town of Manhattan, KS, our heroes were challenged by a rival K-Mart band, The Blue Light Specials, and a Retail Rock'n'Roll Rumble! resulted. With the help of songs such as "Viva La Wal-Mart," "My Wal-Mart Baby," "Ode to the New 35," and the beautiful "Beautiful," the Wal-Mart Three sang victorious and secured their spot in Manhattan, Kansas musical lore. All that remains from this infamous group is their first and only "studio" album and a few bootlegged live recordings. Click on the artwork and you will magically be transported into a world of Wal-Mart bliss.
As a precursor to the pirate joke book, Gibson, along with Wal-Mart Three founder Travis Quam, set out to write 101 jokes about their beloved state of Kansas. They fell miserably short. Only 34 jokes were produced, but even that claim is open to debatable. Nate's favorite joke:
Nate's versatile prose first appeared in print in September 1991, via the Letters to the Editor column in Baseball Digest. The published letter was an eloquent request for the career statistics of Ray Sanders, a former member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves, and Nate's church. As it turns out, Sanders spent seven years in the majors and had a .274 lifetime batting average.Top
This is all you get for now. More to follow soon