Nat Frederick’s ode to West Virginia finds success on the iTunes charts
Nat Frederick did not want to become a country music star. He just wanted to be the guy who writes the songs for stars to sing. But for a long time, nothing much happened for his music career. He wrote songs for a few publishing companies and placed some of his tunes on independent recordings, but had no luck connecting with the kinds of artists that might land his tunes on the charts.
He was thinking about all this during a fall 2016 trip to Wyoming, where he works as a fishing guide. But he found no comfort in the Rocky Mountains. “I was just ready to come home,” he says.
Soon after he came back to his native Bridgeport, he looked out the window of his house toward his grandmother’s house. He began thinking about his childhood, about making music with his family and the smells of his grandmother’s kitchen. He began strumming some chords. “It just sounded like home. That’s what life sounded like to me growing up.” Frederick began putting lyrics to the melody he was creating:
Take a look around, tell me what you see—it’s almost heaven, but it’s home to me.
Not long after, Frederick was performing at the Bridgeport Farmers Market when he was approached by a production team making a commercial for the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition. They asked if Frederick would be interested in performing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” for the video. “I said, ‘No, but I’ve got my own version of ‘Country Roads.’”
Frederick played them “Home to Me.” They liked it so much, they paid Frederick to make it the official theme song of the FarmFreshWV campaign. That gave Frederick enough money to make a recording of the song at Blue Ridge Recording, a Bridgeport studio owned by his friend Zack McCord. Frederick also recorded four other originals, which he released in May 2018 on his debut EP Home to Me.
He didn’t release the record with much fanfare. He just posted a link on his Facebook page. But in a few days, Frederick learned that “Home to Me” had climbed into the iTunes country charts. A week later, it was in the top 10—alongside all the artists he once hoped would record his music. “It’s unreal,” he says.
Frederick is now working on writing songs for his forthcoming full-length album, which he hopes to release next year. In the meantime, you can hear Home to Me on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, and anywhere else music is streamed.
photo by Katie Hanlon
written by Zack Harold