Native’s First Album – Remastered!!

Native's self-titled first album as it appeared in 1994, with everyone's sigs!!

Native’s self-titled first album as it appeared in 1994, with everyone’s sigs!

This is how the world first experienced Native – Karl Ottersberg‘s art displayed in all its beautiful sepia-toned wonderfulness.

Now we can say why there has been a dearth of Native posting activity recently. We’ve been working on this!

Karl spent a week on a completely new version of the cover – and we love it!!


I, Dave Thomas – troubadour and linguist, along with Jonathan Vergara – who has handled a lot of Dave’s Beatitudes releases, as well as my country band – The Blue Lick Victory Club – have rescued a project that is perhaps the most important one we ever embarked upon! Working diligently at Jonathan’s Pancake Studios.

So check it out at our Bandcamp site, which is now the exclusive place to get our music. We love Bandcamp because it allows you to download our music in almost any format you wish (mp3, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, or Ogg Vorbis), perfect for audiophiles and those who like to keep a big playlist on their phones alike.

Exclusively with a purchase of this release you will also have the option to download all of the accompanying cd packaging images you would get if you bought a physical copy in print quality, as well as some bonus images and artwork from both editions, lovingly collated by by our stalwart, long-time friend and associate – CraftLass (who has her own fine catalogue of music)!

With that, we are taking a few weeks off for an early summer vacation. But, we’ll be back with more Nativology posts, some general irreverence, and a word or three on where we go from here as we excavate our archive ever further.

But, for now, let’s take this moment to exult in the sweet afterglow of finally getting this one right!! As the great Stan Lee would say – Excelsior!!

Until then, enjoy our first album as it was always meant to be heard! And, by the way, we like the title…


Cornbread Wednesday


We Will Soon Have Our Day, Hey Hey!

As we revived older songs for the And Then What project, this tune – perhaps the oldest in the Native canon – was dusted off and given a new coat of paint.

This is a warts & all version which we unashamedly share here – hey, we were learning it, and you are a fly on the wall!

Very soon afterwards, we recorded the track as heard on the album here.

I’ve always loved this tune, maybe because we so seldom dealt with issues as big as the one Mat Hutt addresses with enviable passion – the environment, and what we’re doing to it!

On a purely musical level – It’s great hearing how tight we were as a live unit. The only real ticks are slight. And if the tempo is gonna rush, it might as well really rush! 

But, listen and smile as Chris Wyckoff and Mike Jaimes nail the solos! Marvel at Mat & John Wood’s equally nailified vocals. In my judgement, you’d be quite justified to say the whole thing is nailienated! 

It’s immodest to say, but F it!

Native was awesome!

I Am (2001 Demo)

Cornbread Wednesday

St. Stephen with a rose…

Hey, hey! We’re back, and look – it’s 2015!

We’ve been working on this Nativology project for over two years, now. Hard to believe that when Dave Thomas cued up the four-track demo he and Mike Jaimes made in November 1992 that we’d have come through four volumes of rarities from our vaults!

But, hey, we’ve always been very productive, as evidenced by today’s offering.

When John Fitzwater undertook the production of the album that would come to be known as And Then What, his first act was to get our studio, Marmfington Farm, into the twenty-first century. Gone were the easily-mangled eight track cassettes that had been our mainstay for years. Computer-based recording was the wave, and we were going to ride that wave like raving ninja surfers!

Sadly, we were not ninjas or surfers, and our relationship with technology was pretty much the same one the Frankenstein monster had with fire.

Fire bad!!

To ease the sitch, Fitz wisely led us through some sessions that were not meant for release, but were aimed at allaying our primitive fears, and getting the ninja-thing happening.

So, the new ProTools set-up’s maiden voyage culminated in today’s tune – a classic Grateful Dead song playfully reworked by Mat Hutt. (Note: Version 1, performed by Mike at the same session, appeared on Nativology Vol. 2)

In and waaaaaay out of the garden he goes —

St. Stephen 2

Cornbread Wednesday

Native Deals With It

After 8 years of pretty much glorious escapades, the first year of the new century had ended rather acrimoniously for Native. There were problems between Mat & myself, and looking back after all this time, I can see it objectively, and say that:

1) Mat’s beefs with me were completely legitimate.
2) My beefs with Mat were completely legitimate.
3) The two sets of beef had nothing to do with each other.
4) We were both a couple of big babies, and it damaged morale in the band.

But, we soldiered on into 2001, and somehow Mat & I worked through our differences, and our collaborations started clicking, the band breathed a sigh of relief, and there was great rejoicing.

We kicked off the year with a fresh round of rehearsals to work on all the new material we had, with Fitz at the studio controls – located clear across on the other side of the loft from the live room!

He was still working out the fine points of using the digital recording software – ProTools, and was loving every moment of it, except for the lack of ventilation or oxygen in my room, where the recording console was set up.

Amidst a general air of friviolity in the occasion, Mike suddenly goes bang into the wonderful Grateful Dead song that is this week’s submission for your approval. And, damn if we didn’t jump in and hang on for a perfectly splendid rendition!

As I listen to it, I marvel at how good we were, and *gosh-a-mighty* Mike was just the most talented guy in the world!

Added bonus – It’s kinda good to see how things can go if you work through your struggles.

Surely, we had grown stronger for having learned how to —


Cornbread Wednesday

Utterly, crazily, sick!

That’s the way to describe this week’s offerings from our vaults, O good peoples of humankind.

As we wend our way woozily to the end of the trail, tapewise, for the John Watts era, let us remind ourselves with humility – in 1996, Native was one of the best bands in the world. There, we said it, because somebody had to.

Our lead vocal humanoid – Mat Hutt, herein delivers a three-song summation of everything that made him a great fronthuman. Equally comfortable with raunchy rock & funk, or a sweet ballad – Mat rocks it!

Our harmonies, sometimes four-part, were never richer. Woody, John, and Mike had developed a wonderful blend, with Woody getting special mention for his rack & pinion parallel matching of Mat’s lead vocal.

Our guitarist, Michael Jaimes, was always splendiferous in the breadth and scope of his solos, but here he displays a stunning array of improvisational skips and runs – and, O that rotovibe pedal gets a workout here! There’s no such thing as too much rotovibe pedal!

Our keyboardist, John Watts, was absolutely at the top of his game in the waning months of ’96, and here he goes head to head with Mike in the great soloing department.

Our rhythm section was never tighter. Matt Lyons, John ‘Woody the Toastman’ Wood, and Dave Thomas had developed into a multi-armed behemoth, with special mention going to Matt for his blockbusting bass workout found herein.

Our sound was never more balanced. John Fitzwater, at this point, was helming the board with Captain Phillips-like steely determinedness.

Our Manager, Paul Ducharme, was never more stoned & loquatious!

These tunes hail from the wee hours of the morning, and it’s hard to imagine anything better happening at that moment, anywhere in the world.

Hey, somebody has to say it!

Barefoot Girls (McGoverns 10-27-96)
Sweet Intensity (McGoverns 10-27-96)
Wild Horses (McGoverns 10-27-96)

Cornbread Wednesday

A Tale From Long Ago

Editor’s Note: We are absolutely thrilled to put the frontman back at the front today with the first Nativology post by Mat Hutt. Please give him a warm welcome, and if you enjoy this post, make sure to give his blog a gander as well.


Hutt2Let’s just jump right in shall we? We can say hello in a bit.

Rover is a story about abandonment and confronting demons of the past and future.

It became a song that always felt to me like it wielded tangible power. Here’s the story of James MacKinlay…

Rover was one of those songs that kind of wrote itself. It just happened.

Now, there are quite a few elements that led up to writing it, so Iʼll do my best to keep things moving.

This is how I remember it –

I was visiting my Dad and family in London whilst on a quick Native break.

My Scottish Granny told me this weirdly sweet little story.

My Granny: My grandfather was a wee little man, very sweet you know Pet, but he liked to have quite a few nips of whiskey. I would say to my Nana ʻWhy is Granpa walking like that?’ and my Nana would say ʻOch Pet, he’s just got sore feet.ʼ His name was James MacKinlay, but everyone called him Rover. Rover MacKinlay.

On this trip, I had two really cool/intense/cool conversations with my Dad.

My Dad is an accomplished songwriter and musician, and he told me to “write a story song.”

“Songs can’t always be about feelings, Mathew. People want to hear a good story from time to time.” I logged that advice away, because he was right.

The second conversation was a bit heavier.  We talked about my Mum and Dad’s divorce, and about why he wasn’t around for a while when I was a kid.  Big stuff, ya know?  Tears, hugs, laughter and a long time coming.  It was a milestone in our relationship.

This is where it gets a bit, well… cosmic. Stay with me.

The conversation took place at the top of an Iron Age earth works fort. It was a powerful place. Full on Celt action.

We were staying with some old school hippie friends. At the inevitable after dinner jam session one of the old hippies showed me this incredible chord that oozed Celtic goodness.

Old Hippie: You can move that form up and down the neck, it’s one of my favorites.  Pass the spliff.

The next day, I sat down with a guitar and everything clicked – the story, the name, the lyrics, and the music. Like it was supposed to happen. I know, I know. But I was raised by hippies.

When I got back to New York, I showed it to the band. And again it just clicked.  Everyone played the part that the song called for. It was really cool.

From Dave, Woody and Mattʼs driving, hypnotic rhythm, the wonderful pads of organ from whomever was gracing the ivories for us at the time, and finally to Mike’s raw, powerful, and other-worldly guitar work, Rover just… rocked.

There were times when we played live that Mike would grab the song with both hands, and wield it like a mighty Celtic battle club, his slide work literally bludgeoning the audience- and his band mates – with itʼs power and beauty. He brought tears to my eyes on many a night.

Rover was about the fear of being left alone, of having the one you love leave you. It was about the fear of becoming “that” person who leaves and causes the pain – we often become what we know. These are fairly universal feelings, we’ve all felt this way before.

Maybe that’s why Rover carried so much weight. Maybe that’s why it was a band and fan favorite. It sure is one of mine.

Here’s a tale from long ago

Of a man who lived to roam

He liked his drink he liked his song

He always left to be alone

He had a wife so young and fine

He didn’t only drink her wine

Story of James MacKinlay

And Roverʼs blood is pumping in me

Man, it’s really cool to be back on another Cornbread Wednesday! Big props to Dave Thomas for bringing us all this vaulty goodness!

Hey, come check out my blog at – life, kids, wife, sex, kids. Yeah, that pretty much covers it.

Drinky Drinky, Smoky Smoky!

Rover v.1

Cornbread Wednesday

Nativology Part 2: Fall Away

By the time Native rolled into the studio to begin work on its first album, Mat Hutt had become the chief songwriter of the group. From day one he’d been bringing in strong material and he’d collaborated with the rest of the band when they had song-related ideas but now he’d consolidated that position to become the primary channel through which all new songs were directed.

Mat Hutt at Wetlands

And that, for the most part, is a good thing. A band needs someone to be the ultimate arbiter of what is and isn’t right and proper for the band’s oeuvre — is it Native enough? That’s a very good question to ask.

The reason this is a good thing is that there was a lot of new songs being written (particularly by a certain drummer) that were stylistically all over the map. Mat became the siphon that every song went through for the rest of Native’s most fertile period and he made sure that the focus was not just on the strongest material but on songs that really conveyed the unique traits the band had developed, and would continue to develop.

And, of course, he had to sing them, so in hindsight, well, finding that your latest masterpiece has a lot in common with a Cobb Salad (it’s chopped) is a bit easier to understand.

Having said that, this week’s Nativology offering is pure Mat Hutt.

I remember listening to him playing the song at the breakfast table, and wondering what a Native reggae would sound like. I didn’t have to wait long, nor did anyone el
se. It landed on our first record after only a few public airings and remained in our setlists for years.

Fall Away

Nativology: A lost classic – Heavy Hearted

Native’s May 1993 demo-recording foray at Todd Turkisher’s studio on 18th Street in Manhattan produced two tracks we’ve shared in week’s past. And, now here’s a third.

Heavy Hearted should probably have been a single. It had everything — great Mat Hutt lyrics, an arresting melody, the harmonies of Mat & John Wood, the gorgeous chiming guitars… and speaking of guitars, Mike Jaimes laid down a pithy little solo worthy of the axe-wielding gods on Mount Olympus.

Karl's Bear LogoWe were all growing so fast that by the time the song was mixed on June 13, we had already moved on. New songs in the offing, an album in the planning stages, gigs galore, a new Bear logo by our artist-in-residence Karl Ottersberg… and poor, wonderful Heavy Hearted was cast adrift, never to be the staple of our live show it should have been, orphaned before its time, never to be what it now sounds like, the great, lost, first Native single.

Part of the problem might have been the length. At nine minutes plus, it was going to require a severe editing job. That was the opposite direction from we were going, with long explorative jams being the order of the day.

But, today it sounds to me like one of our greatest achievements.

Someday, I reserve the right to release the full-length version of it, with a second solo, as it was intended. But, for now, weighing in at six minutes; floating like a butterfly; stinging like the hippiest of bees — here’s one of Native’s greatest songs — Heavy Hearted.

Cornbread Wednesday