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Meadow Vista man expresses soul purely through music

Esway lists Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis as influences
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Meadow Vista resident Nate Esway, 28, became a musician through the drums, but has since added several other instruments to his repertoire. Esway was born in San Jose but moved to Meadow Vista in 1989. He currently works at his father’s ceramics studio in Auburn and has his own window washing business. He has been a musician since before he was a teen and a songwriter since he was 18. He sat down with the Journal Thursday to answer some questions about his musical passion. Question: When did you start writing and playing music? Esway: I started playing drums when I was 12 years old, and I picked up the guitar when I was 15. And I have pretty much been playing guitar as my main instrument since I was 15. As far as writing songs, I have been writing original music seriously since 2001. (Writing music) is almost like therapy for me. I usually take ideas that are somewhat personal to me and try to make them more abstract. Q: What instruments do you play? E: I play guitar, drums, mandolin, banjo, harmonica and the kazoo. I can play piano as well. Q: What are some of your major influences and why? E: I would say my main influences – I will put the Beatles in there for sure. I would say that I have a slight Beatles obsession. I think the main thing for me is just their creativity with chord structures and melodies. My next influence would definitely be Bob Dylan. I would say he is the most gifted songwriter of our time as far as lyricists go. So I draw a lot from his story telling style of song writing. Elvis — I think just his originality and the way he mixed current art forms of his time and made them more mainstream. There was nothing like that at the time. That is what is intriguing to me. Q: What is one of the most memorable things you have done music wise? E: Recently I played in a music festival in Pullman, Wash., and that festival was called the Birds on a Wire Festival. I got to play in this old church that was this beautiful old brick building. I opened for some professional musicians. I would say that was the most exciting recent music experience. Q: What is a song you have written that you are most excited to play? E: The song that I’m most excited to play is called ‘The 27th Time.’ The reason it’s the most enjoyable to play is it’s a song about a down-on-his-luck character who is wandering through his home town looking for trouble, and the title of the song comes from the lyric ‘I’m just about to lose my mind for the 27th time.’ The song represents the feeling of being on the brink of insanity, and not in any crazy sense, but just kind of being pushed to your mental limit. Q: If you could meet and spend a day with one deceased musician, who would it be? E: Probably George Harrison. I think I can really relate to the way he thinks as far as his outlook on life and the way that he used music to speak about philosophy and deeper issues. Q: Do you play gigs and where? E: I’m playing Club Car Friday, Oct. 28. I post my upcoming shows on my website. Go to reverbnation.com/nateesway. Q: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? E: My advice to aspiring musicians would be to keep creating and try to keep the passion for music alive, and that passion will stand out to the audience or to others. And stay humble. Q: What do you think is the overall role of music? E: I believe that we have a soul, and I believe that music is one of the ways that the soul is expressed purely. Music is almost like a spiritual endeavor. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com