Originally from Milwaukee, Nato Coles is a journeyman of Midwest punk, getting his start in bands like Modern Machines and the Shrubbers. While he's now been away for longer than he lived there, Brew City still feels like home for Nato. "That's the city that taught me pretty much everything I know, " he elaborates, "learning how to tune a guitar, and learning how to avoid getting mugged." A few more years and a few hundred shows later, Nato moved back to the Midwest and landed in Minneapolis, where he formed the first group to exclusively feature his songwriting talents, The Blue Diamond Band, with a stable of local punkers to back him up. If the MoMacs were Nato's "basement band" then BDB is unquestionably his "bar band," with names like Bruce Springsteen and Thin Lizzy looming large in their list of influences. While he's quick to point out that their debut full-length Promises to Deliver "is not a Springsteen-clone album," Nato and the Boss do seem to share thematic interests. Like every good barstool philosopher, he's got a manifesto, and he's hell bent on sharing it with as many people as he can. "I say the road is what I love, but my favorite thing is just playing a kick ass show", he explains, "If the crowd outnumbers the band, I'm playing that show."
Fri., Feb. 21, 9 p.m., 2014