The Current's Guitar Collection: Nathaniel Rateliff, 1967 Gibson B-25 12-string

Nathaniel Rateliff, Gibson B-25 12 string 5
Nathaniel Rateliff's 1967 Gibson B-25 12-string guitar. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
Play/Pause
Listen:
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats - I've Been Failing (Live on 89.3 The Current)
Download MP3
| 03:21

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats stopped in St. Paul to play a sold-out show at the Turf Club and to record an in-studio session at The Current, hosted by Mark Wheat.

At the end of the session, Rateliff took some time to talk about the guitar that's 48 years old — but quite new to him.

Is that a vintage Gibson?

It is, it's a 1967 B-25 12-string.

How long have you had it?

I got it just before we went to Europe. We'd been doing some acoustic stuff when we do performances on the radio, and we just had been travelling with two Gibson LG-0s.

It was in Denver, I actually was just going in to Guitar Center to buy strings, and then this guitar happened to be there. Somebody had come in and brought in a bunch of different Gibson pieces from several different eras, and so I found it. I saw it, it was cheap, and it was close to my birthday, so I just thought I'd treat myself!

But I think it's gorgeous looking. It's very Jimmy Page with the headstock — that's a lot of headstock!

Had you been specifically looking for a 12-string?

I was wanting to get one of these, actually. I had, for a while, a 12-string Dobro that was made by Mosrite. I ended up selling that, because I needed the money. And then I inherited my mom's Martin 12-string. But the neck on this Gibson is a little easier for me to play.

How do you approach songwriting?

In the past, I had a Yamaha 12-string, but I wrote a bunch of songs actually on a gypsy jazz guitar that I had, which is kind of goofy. But it sounds really nice and is kind of loud. But I write a lot of stuff on acoustic. I wrote some of the songs for the Night Sweats on an electric guitar in my room, too.

When I'm writing, I'll just be jamming on something and then I'll be like, "Ah, I really like that."

And now that you have this Gibson 12-string, has it become your workhorse?

Yeah, this is what I've been using. This is its second tour — moving into week six with this guy!

And I'll play it in the green room, just try to play every day. I just feel like it's good to not forget that we all like playing music because we like playing music.

And then we just kind of goof around and learn songs that we want to cover someday. This guitar gets passed around because Luke Mossman, the other guitar player, can play a bunch of pretty funny '70s stuff on 12-string!

Related Stories

  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats perform in The Current studio In the face of their meteoric rise, Nathaniel Rateliff finds it easy to choose a highlight for himself and his band, the Night Sweats. 'The highlight is that we're all getting along and having a good time,' he says. Rateliff and company visited The Current's studio for a live session hosted by Mark Wheat. Check out the complete session featuring songs and an interview with Rateliff and the band.
  • Album of the Week: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats Seeking to expand his horizons and his reach, Nathaniel Rateliff connected with full-blown horn section the Night Sweats. The result is a rousing, energetic and catchy new record that fits firmly in the Stax Records catalogue.
  • 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.

4 Photos

  • Nathaniel Rateliff, Gibson B-25 12 string 4
    Nathaniel Rateliff's 1967 Gibson B-25 12-string guitar. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Nathaniel Rateliff, Gibson B-25 12 string 3
    Headstock of Nathaniel Rateliff's 1967 Gibson B-25 12-string guitar. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Nathaniel Rateliff, Gibson B-25 12 string 2
    Nathaniel Rateliff's 1967 Gibson B-25 12-string guitar. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Nathaniel Rateliff, Gibson B-25 12 string 1
    Nathaniel Rateliff's 1967 Gibson B-25 12-string guitar. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

comments powered by Disqus