Nate Augustus is a prolific musician in Southwest Florida who is well on his way to becoming a modern day Swampabilly star. Growing up in the swamp, Marco Island, Florida, he has lived a unique life filled with backwater fishing, riding his motorcycle along the shores of Florida, and filling his time recording today’s local music stars, and covering all his bases by also having his own unique band.
The Gladezmen, Nate’s primary band is rapidly growing in popularity, putting on frequent shows, and releasing albums yearly. The history of The Gladezmen is matchless, and it fits the swampy backwater style and attitude that this band is so admirably behind.
Six years ago, Chainsaw, a man whose rapid fire drumming proclaims his faux name, met with Nate to talk about starting a band. At first, Nate was hesitant to start a band, because he hadn’t played with a live band yet, though he has been recording music for many years. After a change of heart, Nate decided to go along with his friend’s idea, but couldn’t find him or get in touch with him.
One day, while Nate was traveling along the docks on shore in Goodland, he unexpectedly met up with Chainsaw and they were both very excited to build their previous idea into something big. At first, the band consisted of Chainsaw on Drums, Nate on Guitar and Harmonica, and Scott Dorris on Stand-up Base. Nate wanted Scott to play bass, and told him he could do it because it is “bloody easy”!
Nate is a huge advocate of motorcycles, and his love of riding them, building them, and collecting vintage motorcycles actually got his band some of their first gigs. While he was doing a large ride with a lot of his buddies, they stopped over at the Iron Rhino, and were intrigued to see what was going on. Before that night, the Rhino had been closed for years, and while they were riding through, they noticed the lights were on inside, and that there were many cars in the parking lot.
With their business faces on, Nate and his buddies talked to the new owner of the bar and were told that the bar was going to be turned into a family friendly biker bar/restaurant. So, they convinced the new owner to let their band play there, and they’ve been playing the Iron Rhino every Friday for over a year. Nate had said that they were not a professional band yet, though they came off that way, because of their uniquely complex music, layered with backwater slide guitar and a bleeding swamp of a bass line.
Even though Nate had proclaimed that his band was not a professional one, it was obvious by their sound and their live shows that this band could play good music, and their music was all in all very professional. Also, when Scott moved to Orlando, they were in need of a new bassist. That’s when Anthony “Ant Killer” came along. He is now their official stand-up bassist.
Whether or not they open for a band, or are the main feature, Nate and his group of rag-tag musicians play from a 45-minute set to a four-hour set. They cover musicians such as Johnny Cash, Tony Joe White, Jerry Reid, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Muddy Waters, while adding their own unique spin to the music, and taking their audience on a scenic trip to the sound-inducing fervor of the Everglades.
Nate explained to me that the band’s musical influences originate in many areas: Outlaw Country, Bluegrass, Johnny Cash, Mississippi Mickdow, Orelle Bernsight, Fat Possum Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf, to name a few, are just some of the influences of this eclectic band. Like the artists that inspire the music, the name of the band, The Gladezmen, comes from an inspiring book that Nate personally loves, called The Gladesmen. The book was written by Glenn Simmons, which is about the people who hunted alligators in the everglades before it became a national park and before it was illegal to hunt them. All the members of the band enjoy this book, citing its many influences in their music and in naming their band.
All of the band members have lived in Florida their entire lives. Nate is a Marco Island native; Chainsaw and Anthony are also Southwest Florida natives.
The band is currently working on their third LP right now in Nate’s own state-of-the-art recording studio. Their first album was a six-song EP. They went on to record a full-length album. There music can be found at myspace, Itunes, and CDbaby.com. Check out The Gladezmen; they’re a prolific band with a one-of-a-kind sound that should not be missed!