Natalie Tate is one of Denver's most promising songwriters and busiest guitarists

Categories: Profiles

Anna Morsett
Natalie Tate
Natalie Tate is well-known for her role as the lead guitarist in Ark Life. She was recruited into that band by Jesse Elliott when he saw her perform at Leon Gallery. At the time, Tate had recently returned to writing and performing music, and she quickly proved capable of writing gently moving yet vibrant songs to go with her luminous voice. Music has long been a part of her life, but she stopped playing after college. She was teaching fourth and fifth grade when she saw one of her favorite artists and felt something click.

"I went to a Brandi Carlile show with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra," says Tate. "There was sort of an epiphany moment, and I was really moved by her and thought, 'Damn, why can't I do something like that?'"

Tate plays tonight in Boulder with Liz Longley and Esme Patterson, and tomorrow in Denver with Longley. More information can be found at the end of this article.

Filmmaker and songwriter Laura Goldhamer is an old friend and connected Tate with Leon Gallery, where she made her first foray back into music.

"I wouldn't say it was new to me, but it was the first time performing for me in front of a lot of people in the music scene in Denver," says Tate about her first show at Leon. "I was so ready to feel that again and play stuff I was really proud of again. I was able to lose myself a bit and got really good feedback from people I really respect. \

"I remember Ian Cooke was there and I thought, 'You like that? Okay!' It was a nice boost. I kept playing house concerts and opening for people, and recently I got to open for Gregory Alan Isakov and Cave Singers. It was slow growth, so that was good."

A year or so into performing as a solo artist, Tate joined a very active band in Ark Life. Though more or less self-taught, Tate's ability to listen well and to play to the song ensured her central role in that band. Whereas many musicians play just a couple dozen shows in a year, Ark Life played over 120 times last year, many of them on the road.

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