Imagine James Taylor 30 years younger, as a surfer and tennis pro; His name would be Nathan Welden, and he would be from San Diego. The first time we met Nate was at a showcase of 20 musicians and it was his voice that stayed in our head for days after the event. You just cannot teach what he was born with. Aside from being an amazing (and humble) talent, Nate is a loving father & husband who always manages to share a smile along with a kind word. When he is not traveling the world with his beautiful wife and daughter, we manage to coordinate a few performances with him each month at venues around town. Respected by his peers, Nathan Welden is easily recognized as a staple of the San Diego music community. This month, we are honored to introduce you to a modern gentleman who deserves it all.
Paul McCartney or John Lennon?
Garth Brooks or George Strait?
Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?
Amos Lee or Ryan Adams?
Cat Stevens or Jim Croce?
Name 3 musicians/groups that you will listen to for the rest of your life:
James Taylor, Amos Lee, Ray Lamontagne
Who were you listening to before sitting down to answer all these questions?
Zac Brown Band
What style would YOU call your music?
How old were you when you started playing music and who got you going?
I got my first guitar when I was 18 years old. I grew up around music. Our good family friend Pat Curo, was a singer and guitar player. He always played music for friends and family, and it created such a nice atmosphere in their home.
First song you ever wrote; what was it about? When is the last time you played it?!
The first song I wrote was “Living on Love.” It’s a song about playing music for a living. I wrote it after one of my first paid gigs in my early 20’s. It was the first time in my life that I realized that I could get paid to do what I loved, which was playing guitar and singing. I just sang it last weekend at a gig; it has followed me throughout the years.
What do you remember about your first public performance?
During my first performance at the “Purple Cafe” in Pacific Beach, I sang “Country Roads.” I was 20 years old, my hands shook uncontrollably, and I was sweating profusely.
Tell us about one of the best gigs you ever played
One of my best gigs was sharing the stage with David Wilcox, for a concert in San Diego. David Wilcox has been a songwriting idol of mine throughout my entire career.
Tell us about one of the weirdest gigs you ever played
I’ve had several odd gigs. The most awkward gig was at a private event. The client asked if I would play in the living room (without amplification), on the couch, with the door shut. All of the guests were at dinner in the dining room.
What are a couple of your most proud achievements as a musician?
My proudest achievements as a musician were when I was invited to play at a James Taylor tribute concert. Berkley Hart put on a wonderful concert with many artists that I hold to the highest esteem. I was also featured on KSON on Mother’s Day several years ago. I wrote a song called “The Dad I Never Had.” It was the first time I sang an original song on live radio. Another moment in my life that I’ll never forget was when I played a song that I wrote for my wife called “Courtney’s Song,”. I Sang it to my beautiful wife, Courtney, as she walked down the aisle on our wedding day.
Any local or up-and-coming musicians you love that more people need to know about? (We will give them a shout out).
My all time favorite local musicians are Berkley Hart, Lee Coulter, Jasmine Commerce, and Rheanna Downey.
Any advice to your younger self or other musicians starting out?
Here’s my advice to young musicians: if you love playing music, just do it. Don’t let others discredit your career path as a musician. Become confident with yourself and your craft. Don’t be too prideful to accept less than ideal gigs. There are endless opportunities as a musician, you just need to put time in, in front of the mic.