We Want Our Native!

Greetings, O minion of the greatest unknown band of the Rock era – Native!

Firstly, let us utter unto thy eyes our wishes, e’er so sincere, that thou hath observed a wonderful holiday season, with many blessings and thithings. May you, and your children, and their children’s children, and all of your long line find peace, love, drinkiness, and smokiness in this new year of our lord and taskmaster, Mat Hutt, who was born on December 25, 1237 b.c.

We are tardy in these betidings because of that recalcitrant knave, Dave, who lives in a cave, and will not behave, or make time between lashings to fulfill his quota of blogs. Scurrilous cur that he is, the feeble phrases of excusitude he offered gave us no recourse but to increase his torture. His words were anathema to our covenant — he’d been busying himself not on our behalf, but plying his efforts to the pursuit of making something called, “New music.” In shock, horror, and inertia, we digressed!

How, sayeth we, canst thy talents be cast so, in the vain quest for that which is not the true Native agenda? How canst thy already abhorrent countenance grow e’er more vile?

Sayeth his tongue with a smirk, “O reader of blogs, O members of the greatest band that no one but a chosen few hath witnessed – forgive my pleadings with more turns from your merciful whip, for I have strayed!

While the flock were still, I sallied forth and made music with shepherds from the nearby hills of Brooklyn, Bronx, and Hastings-On-Hudson. My co-conspirators also beg a lenient thirty lashings for laying down tracks in Satan’s Protools. My mixing and mastering cohort in evil has dethroned to the fallow basements of the New Hope Church, near Gowanus — working unto my songs a sound so pleasing, the angels will weep with antipathy.

Pray, my masters, you will forswear against reprisal upon our mistress of the internets, the crafty lass who has suffered to create a veritable portal to the stars — a website for my own domain in which I lurk and debauche with impunity and justice.

Click not this link, lest thy eyes behold the wonder of these labours:


The music, literature, art, and comic books found there will dazzle the soul of e’en the most tireless miscreant.

Do so in the faith and scepticism I have earned in my weekly vault-raiding, bloviating, humble servitude, and reverence to your memory. Hallowed be thy name – Native.

Knowest thou in thy hearts, O readers, that ‘pon the morn of Wednesday next, ye shall see revealed another piece of the puzzle – make that two pieces – in the enigmatic wonder, and conclusion, of the John Watts era as found in Nativology Vol. 3.

And we looked upon this work, and intoned in our least silly voice, “It is good.”


Nativology: Digging through the Native Vault

Hippie Urban Funk is how Native’s sound is oft described.

But Native was so much more than that — everything they were listening to at the time became a part of their sound. The big ticket influences: The Beatles, The Meters, and The Grateful Dead, could easily switch tracks into realms as diverse as Sun Ra at his most out-there, to Buck Owens’ Buckaroos at their Buckarooniest.

For nigh on ten years, Native toured the northeast relentlessly, wrote, rehearsed and recorded constantly, and lived furiously… with fun being the better part of the equation. That translated directly to their demo tapes, which will be the subject of this examination of their vault.

Formed by Mat Hutt, Mike Jaimes, Matt Lyons, Dave Thomas, and Anthony Balsley in the Spring of 1992, when they convened with a series of late-night jams in a deep underground studio on Mott Street, near Chinatown NYC they shared with The Spin Doctors & others.

A testing-of-the-waters gig was arranged in Mat’s home town of Bar Harbor, Maine, and followed with a steady stream of shows at New York nightspots, mainly Nightengale Bar in the Village, Ruby’s on the upper east side, the newly-opened Wetlands in Tribeca, and the place we would call home-base for several years, McGovern’s Bar on Spring Street.

Anthony departed after six months, but John Wood showed up and played, and never stopped playing. Native quickly developed from sounding like a disparate collection of individuals into a unified whole. Paul Ducharme soon came aboard as Manager.

Over the years, Native was joined by a succession of fine keyboardists: John McGann, John Epstein, John Watts, and the ever-gregarious Chris Wyckoff., all will be featured in this excursion.

Now, guided by Dave Thomas, we’ll delve into that journey, when Native became an ‘it’, a band, as we listen to the multi-track demo’s they made during their heyday. Think of these as bonus tracks to the official albums (all available on the Bandcamp link, as well as iTunes and most other mp3 sites).

This will all lead up to the release of Native’s last studio recordings, December Roses, to commemorate the anniversary of Woody joining and thus creating the core-quintet – the heart of Native for the next decade.

Native’s sound men: Robert Smith, and John Fitzwater engineered them on primitive 20th Century equipment, variable sound quality is to be expected.
This should be a lot of fun! So stay tuned as we travel through the history of Native, and don’t forget…

Drinky, Drinky, Smokey, Smokey!!