Nate Cozzolino has a way of singing and writing songs that separates him from his local contemporaries.
The Providence-based musician exudes lyrical depth and a poetic flow as he strums his guitar. He’s an excellent example of an artist who possesses the rare ability to take over a room with just himself and a six string.
He’ll be showing folks how he does it at Ted’s Stadium Pub, located at 1145 Park Ave. in Cranston, on Nov. 9. Ahead of the show, we had a talk about his performances across the area, a new record he has out and making music with a rotating cast.
ROB DUGUAY: You’ve been performing all over New England over the past couple of years at various bars, restaurants and venues. Do you handle all the booking yourself by reaching out to perform at these places, or do these places reach out to you?
NATE COZZOLINO: Like a lot of musicians, I often do the lion’s share of my own booking. That being said, year by year the amount of venues or bookers that reach out to me grows steadily, which is a really encouraging sign that I’m getting my music out there.
RD: This past July, you and your backing band, The Lost Arts, put out a new EP titled “I Built The Shadow,” which is also the name of one of the song staples of your live set. What was the experience like making the record and what does the song mean to you on either an existential or a spiritual level?
NC: The experience of recording the EP was in some ways the culmination of a lifelong dream to produce a recording that I 100 percent believed in. It was super rewarding in that sense. On the other hand, the sheer amount of time and energy it took has made me think twice about rushing back into the studio, at least for a little while. As for the title track, the song is a sort of dramatization of the anxiety, excitement and sheer wonder of being a performer stepping out onto the stage to bare one’s soul, so to speak.
RD: The Lost Arts usually has you performing with a rotating cast of musicians. Does it get difficult incorporating various people into the fold or is it easy because of the vast music community in Rhode Island?
NC: A little bit of both, but the longer I spend playing out here, the larger my circle of peers expands. It can only be a good thing for any working musician. I’m definitely fortunate to have such a rich pool of talent to draw upon for my collaborations.
RD: You’ve been a bit of a troubadour due to being born in Kentucky, spending time in Boston and Providence, living in Japan for a few years, then coming back to Rhode Island initially in East Greenwich and now in Providence again. What makes Providence a special place for you as a musician and as a creative person in general?
NC: I say all the time that, to me, Providence has all the makings of a city creatively primed to explode into the national, even international limelight. All the ingredients are here, just waiting to be assembled into historical greatness, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
RD: Along with performing all the time, you also run the weekly Madcap Monday open mic at Dusk at 301 Harris Ave. in Providence. For anyone who is looking to go for the first time, what can they expect?
NC: Madcap has friendly faces, artists of all levels of experience, from the ranks of beginner to consummate professional, and an amazing variety of performers & performances and good vibes galore.
To learn more about Nate Cozzolino at The Lost Arts, like them on Facebook.