Update: Due to ticket sales, another show ahs been added for August 17th.
Nathan Mongol Wells presents the Dark Corner Cabaret, an evening showcasing the diversity, eclecticism, and talent of the DFW music scene. To celebrate the release of his debut album, From A Dark Corner, Wells is joined by a rotating cast of musicians onstage. Eight different acts take the stage over the course of the evening, harkening back to the vaudeville variety shows of early Americana.
Ottoman Turks frontman and songwriter Nathan Mongol Wells’ solo debut, From A Dark Corner, releases Aug. 18 on State Fair Records. With two unique studio albums and 12 years of live performances numbering in the thousands, Ottoman Turks birthed solo careers for the band’s guitarist Joshua Ray Walker and bassist Billy Law. The Turks are the brainchild of Wells, and while Walker went deeper into his country influences and Law put out a series of poignantly literal ballads, From A Dark Corner showcases the artist behind the Turks’ cinematic universe. Less raucous, but still packing the internal chaos of the characters he previously created, From A Dark Corner is more autobiographical than Wells’ previous work.
Nathan Mongol Wells Solo Debut
“This is more traditional, more honest,” says Wells, who adopted the moniker “Mongol” out of a high school obsession with the intercontinental auto-race the Mongol Rally. “I think of it as me when I’m singing.”
Still, there seems to be an unintentional aversion to the ordinary in everything that Wells creates, preventing even his solo work from fitting perfectly into the Americana genre. Never shedding a hint of menace in his voice, he adds whimsy to the darker themes he writes about in a style reminiscent of Roger Miller. After spending his high school years living on the outskirts of Deep Ellum, Wells admits he might be too “antsy” to write songs designed to be played from a stool in a quiet room. The album’s opener, “Beulah Land,” is a slinking, sinister song about loss.
“Rather than about a romantic relationship, it’s about a friendship falling apart, which I think in many ways is more devastating,” Wells says. Darkness engulfs the song “Taken For A Ride,” as well, in which the narrator unconvincingly suggests the best intentions. Wells describes the song as being about “the turmoil of making promises you can’t keep and figuring out what you want.”
Like Walker, Law, and other Dallas-Fort Worth self-starters, Nathan Mongol Wells’ music is defined by a decade-plus of live performance. “Performing is still the greatest thing in the world,” Wells says.
Dark Corner Cabaret Artists
Other artists performing on Aug. 18 include Davey, an Odessa TX native whose poignant songs are gaining an audience for his Americana music. Ceci Ceci, a Nicaraguan-Ecuadorian-Texan singer-songwriter performs modern Latin tunes. Billy Law-Ottoman Turks bassist Billy Law performs moody, introspective indie folk.
Frankie Leonie-a songstress with a golden voice has the unique ability to hush a room with a single note. John Pedigo-After performing with multiple lauded acts over the course of his career, he finds himself as producer to the stars while still penning songs that are instant favorites.
Baba Yaga Orkestar-An incredible eight-piece balkan brass band from Texas, that brings audiences to their feet. Ottoman Turks-Loud and fun is the name of the game for the outlaw country-garage rock group.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the Aug. 18th cabaret and record release. Tickets are $10 for the show, starting at 8 p.m. Friday night at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave. in Dallas. Visit RevelersHall.com for more information.