The first thing you notice is the voice. That voice belongs to Nathaniel Rateliff, a man who’s earned the twang and hard-knock weariness that shines through on his critically acclaimed Rounder debut, 2010′s In Memory Of Loss. Rateliff’s youth in rural Missouri was quiet and rambling. At age seven, he learned to play the drums. As a young teenager, he picked up the guitar and without a single lesson was soon penning his own songs. At eighteen, Rateliff relocated to Denver and learned to play the piano much as he had other instruments, by teaching himself. Rateliff eventually developed a dedicated following within the Denver music community and beyond. Spin praised his “massive, alluring” voice. Billboard dubbed the unsigned singer-songwriter a “must hear.” The New York Times praised Rateliff’s “stark, eloquent [Johnny] Cash echoes.” This wave of acclaim led to a solo tour opening for The Fray, which brought his work to the attention of national audiences. Rateliff has now shared the stage with artists such as Bon Iver, Mason Jennings, Iron & Wine, The Low Anthem, Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Roseanne Cash, among others.