Nathan is a young blues guitarist from the heart of North Carolina. He received his first guitar at the age of 2 and was teaching himself to play by the age of 7. He gives credit to his Grandmother, Doris Powell, for her inspiration and love of music.
Nathan spent years going to blues jams where he honed his craft under the mentoring of some of the area's finest musicians. Now at 18, Nathan has been performing at festivals and venues across the state with a band of his own and has even been featured in NC's renowned Our State Magazine as a blues guitar prodigy. For several summers Nathan ventured to Clarksdale, Mississippi for the Pinetop Perkins Foundation Workshop where he studied under the likes of Bob Margolin, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Victor Wainwright, and rising star Christone "Kingfish" Ingram.
In 2016 he represented the Triangle Blues Society in the Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2018 the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society honored him with their Mike Carr Junior Bluesman of the Year Award. He also released his first CD, I'm Not Alone, in 2018 which showcases his blues-rock roots. Now in 2021, he has received a great honor by being chosen as one of the top 10 guitarists under age 20 by the Dallas International Festival.
Nathan currently tours with two extremely gifted, veteran musicians - Bruce Wassel on drums and Jim Pruitt on bass. Both have spent many years holding down the backline for a variety of bands and have now dedicated themselves to the Nathan Pope Band because of their strong belief in the future of its lead guitarist.
The band's notable performances include Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Centerfest, Sparkcon, Rowan Jazz and Blues Festival, The Rabbit Hole in Charlotte, Hippie Fest, Sunrise Theater's Blues Crawl, Fat Frogg in Elon, Blind Tiger in Greensboro, and Motorco in Durham. Nathan has also performed at The Carolina Blues Festival in Greensboro, King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, AR, and Ground Zero Blues Club in MS.
Nathan has developed a very supportive fan base that enjoys his unique twist on the classics as well as his own original tunes. He has proven that he can capture audiences in shows from modest indoor corners to large outdoor stages, from local markets to sharing stages with national touring professionals. Nathan never fails to entertain the crowd and leave them wanting more.
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Sometimes you just "feel" it.
You know what I mean: those chill-bumps that move up and down your arms when your hear the blues played so sweetly it hurts?
Yup, that feeling.
It happened to a whole room of blues fans when we all experienced the talent of young Nathan Pope on a December night at our Christmas Party. It happened when we knew the person playing was connecting emotionally and mentally to the music. That is Nathan Pople. Armed with a Goldtop and talent to match, Nathan brought a maturity to his interpretation of blues classics and his originals.
Personally, I'm looking forward to watching this young (14-*gasp* year-old) continue to grow and develop. Blues has a new bright star on the horizon. His name is Nathan Pope.
-Mary London Szpara, President Charlotte Blues Society