Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats perform in The Current studio

A 360/VR video of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats performing "S.O.B." in The Current Studio. (Chuck Olsen / Visual)
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Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 17:22
  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats - Look It Here (Live on 89.3 The Current) 02:57
  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats - I've Been Failing (Live on 89.3 The Current) 03:21
  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats - S.O.B. (Live on 89.3 The Current) 03:49

Nathaniel Rateliff makes it clear the band's name is not a reference to menopause. "It's actually a reference to when you have alcohol withdrawal, you have night sweats," he explains, "or heart attack symptoms, too."

Whiplash may be a symptom Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats are actually experiencing, given they've been catapulted into a national and global spotlight on the appeal of their hit single, "S.O.B.", particularly after it made waves during the band's appearance on NBC's The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. As evidence of the their appeal, Rateliff and the band came to St. Paul, Minn., to play a sold-out show at the Turf Club, but not before they stopped at The Current for an in-studio session hosted by Mark Wheat.

In the face of the meteoric rise, the affable Rateliff finds it easy to choose a highlight. "The highlight is that we're all getting along and having a good time," he says.

The band's self-titled album is out on the Stax Records label, a choice Rateliff says just seemed a natural fit. "We worked [with Stax] through Concord, and when I first heard it was even a possibility, I thought, 'Why aren't we doing this?' Because that seems like that would make a lot of sense. It makes a lot of sense to me."

Releasing the album on the Stax label also reflects Rateliff's own life experience. "For me, the music we're playing on this record we made, I was drawing on a lot of that from my childhood and teens and 20s," he says, "and I wanted to make something that was sweaty and hard-working and kind of a mix of Sam & Dave and The Band."

Although "S.O.B." has been widely embraced, it was not a song Rateliff expected to be a hit. "I was surprised that people played it, really," he says. "It was actually the last song we recorded in the studio because we were like, (meekly) 'It's OK, but there's better ones.' We worked really hard in the studio from what its original form was to try to make it into something we thought was cooler."

And Rateliff acknowledges the choice The Current made to limit its play to the evening and nighttime hours. "I know there's been some controversy," Rateliff says. "In the context of how we're using the word, I definitely don't want it to come across as derogatory towards women. I don't want to seem like a bigot or a womanizer."

Listen to the complete session and studio tracks by clicking the audio player above.

Songs Performed


"Look It Here"
"I've Been Failing"
"S.O.B."
All songs from Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats' self-titled album, available on Stax Records. It's also our Album of the Week for Oct. 26 to Nov. 1, 2015.

Hosted by Mark Wheat
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Corey Schreppel, Michael Osborne and Dan Mariska
Web feature by Luke Taylor

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  • Why and when The Current will play the song, 'S.O.B.' For the past few weeks, the song 'S.O.B.' by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats has generated endless conversation around the offices of The Current without ever being played on the radio. Program Director Jim McGuinn shares the reasoning behind the station's decision to add the song to the playlist, and the careful approach to when the song will air.
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17 Photos

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    Nathaniel Rateliff performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff in The Current's studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Bassist Joseph Pope III of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Bassist Joseph Pope III of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Trumpet player Wesley Watkins of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Saxophonist Andy Wild of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Bassist Joseph Pope III is at right. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    The Night Sweats' Wesley Watkins on trumpet and Andy Wild on sax. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff and Luke Mossman in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats performing in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff; portrait by Nate Ryan. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff portraiture by Nate Ryan. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    Nathaniel Rateliff portraits by Nate Ryan. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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    A 360 camera captures the in-studio session by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

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