VH1's Behind the Music-Type Fodder
The Welterweights were founded by Nathaniel Williams and Corey Heider, who met in the small college town of Kirksville, Missouri, where they played in the band the Petting Zoo. When they both ended up relocating to Kansas City, they decided (against their better interests) to write more songs.
They started off playing duo acoustic shows in local record stores. The average set would include quieter versions of Natešs twang-rock originals and covers of everyone from John Prine to Guided by Voices. They soon added drummer Dave Orvis and bassist Elizabeth Schoch.
After a year of playing together, the group went to record in Springfield, Missouri with Lou Whitney (of the Morells) at the helm. As fans of Loušs work with Robbie Fulks and Jonathan Richman, they followed his lead and did their best. The results were released as The Dress Rehearsal EP, which received airplay in the Midwest and (oddly enough) in the country of Belgium as well.
A later single, "Hardly Used Car", made frequent appearances on college and commercial radio in Lawrence, Kansas. That song included an "almost true" story of Natešs aborted job search in New Mexico and (in music geek fashion) featured sonic tributes to both the Modern Lovers and Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.
Here Goes Nothing, the Welterweights self-released full-length CD was completed in late 2001. The CD gained critical acclaim, making a few "10 Best" lists and garnering positive press in the Americana bible, No Depression magazine.
After losing two different drummers to high-paying, out-of-state day jobs, the band recorded four new songs. The results, now known as the "Blocksucker Cues EP," was released to fans over the Internet. Two songs from that EP - "A Bastard on Fatheršs Day" and "Girls of the NW" - have received some national airplay on shows that specialize in roots rock. With a new line-up, the band plans to resume touring in support of both records this summer.
Update: The band did resume touring in the Summer of 2003, making it as far as Wheeling, West Virginia. On August 9th, 2003, Nate and Corey played their last show at Prospero's bookstore in Kansas City, MO, ending the Welterweights in much the same fashion as they began.