Aaron Nathans is a Philadelphia-based alternative folk music singer, songwriter and recording artist with a distinct sound, due in large part to a combination of rhythmic acoustic guitar, wide-ranging baritone vocals and beautiful melodies that you won’t soon forget. When pairing that with talented songwriting that touches on everyday life and easily connects with audiences, you’ll see why Aaron is someone you won’t want to miss.
Aaron has a unique brand of storytelling. He writes 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 describes his songs as, “wild-mind, bittersweet acoustic music.” This doesn’t mean somber. It means you’re in for a treat whether you’re watching Aaron at a live show or tuning in to his extensive Spotify and YouTube playlists. He creates an unforgettable listening experience that keeps audiences on the edge of their seat.
If you’re lucky enough to catch Aaron performing during one of his many live shows throughout the U.S., you’ll notice he unabashedly opens up to his audience, sharing stories that will keep you every bit as captivated as the music itself.
Aaron is a prolific presence in the Philadelphia folk music scene, with both solo and collaborative performances and recordings. He also is co-creator of the Philly Songwriters In-the-Round Series with Avi Wisnia. The series highlights emerging local talent with multiple performances throughout the year at the Philadelphia Folksong Society.
Aaron also performs and records as one-half of the guitar-cello duo Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt. His 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 wildly creative songs.
Their album, “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 radio in New York City 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 CityPaper of Philadelphia 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’s songwriting was honored by the Kerrville Folk Festival, which named him a New Folk Finalist in 2018 and 2011.
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."