Nathaniel Rateliff will be performing next month at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday, Mar. 8 for an evening that will celebrate 50 years of Harry Nilsson’s album A Little Touch Of Schmilsson in the Night. After performing the album in its entirety, the Denver singer/songwriter will continue to play a number of his Nilsson favorites for an evening of tribute to one of the 1970s great musical minds. Tickets for the show are on sale from $49-109.
Be sure to check out the Grimy Goods Instagram for a ticket giveaway!
Please note: This post may contain affiliate links.
Recorded in 1973, A Little Touch Of Schmilsson in the Night might not have been a huge commercial success at the time, but decades later the album is a much-beloved piece of the singer/songwriter’s catalog. Arranged by the man who arranged all of Frank Sinatra’s music Gordon Jenkins and produced by the Beatles’ press officer Derek Taylor, the album was a collection of standards of the early 20th century known as the so-called Great American Songbook. Which included such iconic classics as “It Had to Be You,” “As Time Goes By,” and “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.” Long before these songs would become popularized revivals undertaken by such singers as Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, and Bob Dylan — Nilsson pioneered them on this album.
For Rateliff, the opportunity to play the songs of a legend like Nilsson and from such a seminal album to boot is a surreal experience even for the folk and Americana artist. Best known for the soulful collections of music created in tandem with his band The Night Sweats (with which he released a new album The Future in 2021), he’s also maintained a budding solo career that’s been characterized by his love of acoustically-minded folk that has since culminated into three albums. The most recent of which was the somberly led And It’s Still Alright which saw Rateliff penning poignant songs about immeasurable grief and loss. Given his ability to transcend the boundaries between staple Americana genres and his warblingly touching echo of musicians like Nilsson himself — there are few people better equipped to perform such music that’ll do justice to the affecting heft it wields.
“I’ve always felt that music does have the potential to take your breath away,” Rateliff said. “I experienced that feeling when listening to Harry Nilsson’s A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night for the first time, and that exhilaration has been with me throughout every subsequent listen. The courage of Nilsson to release an album of standards like ‘It Had To Be You,’ ‘Thanks For The Memory,’ and ‘Over The Rainbow’ at the height of his fame is wild to contemplate. And to create something so beautiful that takes listeners on an emotional journey through love and loss is what I’m excited for audiences to experience.”
Don’t miss out on seeing Nathaniel Rateliff at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Mar. 8 when he performs in its entirety Nilsson’s album A Little Touch Of Schmilsson in the Night. Tickets are on sale right now from $49-109. And don’t forget to check out the other events going on this season like Herbie Hancock on Apr. 2, Rufus Wainwright on Jun. 2, and many more!
Head to the LA Phil website to see all the other events taking place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Words by Steven Ward