Nat Keefe is known for bringing both joy and solace to the many thousands of people in his audience. In 1999 he co-founded the bluegrass band Hot Buttered Rum with Erik Yates, a friend he’d met three years prior when they were sophomores in college. Over the last twenty years they’ve lit up some of the best festival stages in the world, including Telluride Bluegrass, Newport Folk, Bonnaroo, Strawberry, Hardly Strictly, and High Sierra, though Nat will admit a personal highlight was performing the National Anthem before a SF Giants playoff game. To the delight of their fans, Hot Buttered Rum continues to write, record, and tour. Their latest album, “Something Beautiful,” was released in April of 2020.
In February 2020 Nat traveled with Hot Buttered Rum to Rwanda and Zambia. Nat’s community rallied behind him and raised $7000 for a new recording studio rig. He recorded several musicians in both countries, and these sounds comprise much of Nat’s DJ dance music project, BeatMower.
A BeatMower set is a mix of original sounds recorded in California, Rwanda, Zambia & Ghana, mixer- and laptop-controlled samples and loops, and vinyl turntable tracks, along with occasional musical guests who weave their own collaborative improvisations. Some like to call this original and provocative upbeat dance mix “Afrograss.”
BeatMower is receiving a lot of attention right now, as every Saturday night during the early days of Covid Nat livestreamed BeatMower sets for home dance parties around the world. BeatMower now pops up in Golden Gate Park for spontaneous dance parties, with the help of a minimal, bike-mounted sound system and has opened for such acts as The Mother Hips.
Two long-standing annual Nat Keefe traditions are Camp Deep End and The Nat Keefe Concert Carnival. Camp Deep End happens every September at Camp Navarro, co-hosted by ALO & Hot Buttered Rum. The Nat Keefe Concert Carnival variety show is a fifteen-year-old December tradition at The Independent in San Francisco.
Nat has produced two-dozen records for other artists, including Kyle Ledson, Fruition, The She’s, and many others. For Nat, producing – helping people refine and create their vision – is equally as important as performing.
When not touring, rehearsing, and recording, Nat lives in the Mission District of San Francisco with his hot wife and two young sons. Outside of music, Nat enjoys the same things he’s liked since he was a boy: flyfishing, backpacking, backcountry skiing, urban-adventure bike-riding, and, of course, SF Giants baseball.