Home Read Classic Album Review: Nathan Wiley | Bottom Dollar

Classic Album Review: Nathan Wiley | Bottom Dollar

The P.E.I. troubadour has a lot more in common with Tom Waits than Stompin’ Tom.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


When I hear the words “P.E.I. singer-songwriter,” I can’t help but fear I’m about to be tormented by some guy in gumboots twanging away about Confederation or the red, red mud.

Imagine my shock and joy to discover that Summerside’s Nathan Wiley has a lot more in common with the likes of Tom Waits than the likes of Stompin’ Tom. A graphic artist by day, he recorded this album on his free time — and something tells me he could in for a career change soon. Bottom Dollar Baby is an impressively confident and competent debut disc, showing off both Wiley’s lazy, dusty voice and his considerable songwriting talents. The title cut clanks and lurches like Waits circa Heartattack and Vine, Black Bones flirts with the lightly swinging groove of Dire StraitsSultans of Swing and more than a couple of these rootsy numbers could be Wilco B-sides. Of course, that’s also the main problem with this disc — Wiley wears his influences too obviously on his sleeve. But I’m still eager to hear what he does next. As long as it’s not about Confederation.