Nathan Jones is a singer-songwriter based in St. Louis, MO. I met Nathan at The Wolf in Ballwin, MO. Nathan is a solid performer and nice guy. Click the song’s play button and read about his song “Sugar Don’t Be Sweet.” The link with his name takes you to his Facebook page where you can find out about his music or show updates. Many thanks to Nathan for being the first person to let me share his music.
Nathan Jones “Sugar Don’t Be Sweet”
What’s the story behind the song?
I believe I wrote this song around 2009 and it is a song about a fictional “femme fatale” type character, a sweet talking lady that’s up to no good. Some of my songs have more biographical elements but this one is fictional. The narrator is expressing to her that he’s on to her game and that he’s standing his ground and won’t give in. With the bridge section “but Sugar, you’re an angel..” I try to humanize her a little more and show that she has her good side also, that she acts the way she does because she is hurting in some way. I haven’t given much analysis to it but the song for the most part is not intended to come across as too serious.
How did you write the song?
As it was written several years ago, I don’t remember too much of what my thought process was when writing it. But most of my songs are more melody driven rather than lyric driven, and this is one of these songs–it’s not one of my favorites lyrically but I think the music is fun. I knew that I wanted the song to be upbeat. I think lots of pop songs work well when, in addition to verses, they have elements like a pre chorus, chorus, and a bridge. I don’t necessarily stick with a set formula for all my songs, but having these elements can give some variance within a song, and at the same time can probably help the listener to know where the song is going.
What revisions have you made?
The song as I do it now when playing on my own is pretty much the same as I did it when first written (for better or worse). But I believe that I recently came up with the bass line (on the electric guitar version) after watching the Netflix documentary on the Muscle Shoals recording studio, actually. If I ever get a good quality recording done of it, I’d like to give the song a kind of old R&B/Motown kind of feel, with horns/saxophone throughout different parts of the song, a really full sound. So I do have hopes for future improvements for it. I also am trying to play it in a slightly lower key lately, to put less strain on my voice for some of the higher parts.
What were your experiences playing it out?
I haven’t played the song publicly much, not enough to really know what the reception is to it. I’m working currently on getting a band together to record and perform with, and I think it could work better with a group than doing it solo, to get a fuller sound with a strong bass line. Maybe once I get more experience playing out I will get more comfortable playing this song solo too.
Update 2016-01-15: updated song link and added Reverb Nation link