Aaron Nathans’ mission is to write songs about things no one else has written about before. Like a song about male bonding between a guy and his barber. Or the onslaught of the outside world upon a new parent. Surely somebody's written that song, right? Ok, find it.
Aaron, who lives in the Philadelphia area, describes his songs as wild-mind, bittersweet acoustic music. He's one of a million guitar-slinging singer songwriters, but you've never heard anyone quite like Aaron, with his warped sense of humor and off-kilter view of the world.
His shows include humorous, meandering stories that will keep you every bit as captivated as the music itself -- beautiful guitar work, catchy melodies, and his sweet baritone voice and eye-popping vocal range.
Aaron’s songwriting was honored by the Kerrville Folk Festival, which named him a New Folk Finalist in 2018 and 2011.
Aaron plays solo, as well as one-half of the guitar-cello duo Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt. His duo shows with Michael are high-energy events, full of musical combustion as Aaron plays off Michael's brilliant cello work, as well as Michael's own mind-bending, wildly creative songs.
Their 2018 release, “Hang On for the Ride,” includes Aaron’s tribute to Jackie Robinson and the power of nonviolence, “The Strength to Not Fight Back.” John Platt of WFUV said, “You need to hear this song!’
Ian Zolitor, host of The Folk Show on WXPN (Philadelphia), said: “What a treat… This album, Hang On for the Ride, is really fantastic, a great collection of songs that’s really all over the map in a lot of ways. There’s serious songs, there’s political songs, there’s funny songs, choice cover songs… Wonderful album.”
Michael Tearson of SingOut! Magazine wrote of their previous album, “Crooked Fiddle”: “Throughout the songs are stirring and they leave you thinking. A thoroughly satisfying and stimulating effort."
Jill Knapp of the comedy duo Hot Breakfast! raved: “Said it before, but it bears repeating: Aaron Nathans & Michael Ronstadt’s Crooked Fiddle is PERFECT. Songwriting, playing, singing: Just, wow.” And Philly CityPaper called Nathans & Ronstadt one of the Best Bets for the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2015.
Aaron has opened for Lucy Kaplansky, Tracy Grammer, Vance Gilbert and other folk luminaries. He has written with Craig Bickhardt, Phil Henry and, of course, Michael Ronstadt. Aaron was born in the mill town of Paterson, New Jersey, and grew up in Bexley, Ohio.
"This is the songwriting creativity that I admire... Like many Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Tom Waits songs, these tunes can linger in your ears and follow you into bed where you will be looking up at the ceiling with your eyes closed in the dark, and the melodies still partying into your sleep."
"This new CD from Aaron Nathans and Michael G. Ronstadt, 'Crooked Fiddle,' deserves your attention. Michael and Aaron have teamed up to create a powerful work of art that I guarantee will move you."
"This is an engaging, warm and intimate collaboration between songwriter Aaron Nathans and songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Michael G. Ronstadt... The songs are often contemplative and thoughtfully constructed... Throughout the songs are stirring and they leave you thinking. A thoroughly satisfying and stimulating effort."
"The selections were varied and interesting, and the execution near flawless. Ronstadt and Nathans exemplify the folk music genre with their originality and clear cut talent..."
"Aaron's songs hit you in both the head and the heart."