Matt Nathanson Discusses Working With Sugarland, Performing At CMA Awards

(Joe Cingrana for CBS Radio / Fresh 102.7)

(Joe Cingrana for CBS Radio / Fresh 102.7)

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Matt Nathanson describes his collaboration with Sugarland as being very organic. The country duo covered Nathanson’s hit “Come On Get Higher” on the deluxe fan edition of their record, Love On the Inside. A fan of his music, afterward they called him up and invited him out on tour.

“We just became friends that way and then I started touring with them and I became really close with them both,” he said.

Afterward, they decided to write a song together.

“It all unfolded really naturally,” he said of their single, “Run.”

Nathanson says everybody was involved.

“It was hanging out and bouncing ideas around. Jennifer, Kristian and I would come up with chords and melodies and then the chorus would show up,” he said. “The next thing you know I’m onstage at the country music awards surrounded by people that are very famous country people. My mind was blown. It was wild.”

Nathanson and Sugarland performed the track at the 2011 CMA Awards. With no change in the arrangement besides adding a pedal steel player onstage, Nathanson says it’s the same song they wrote together.

“It’s a nice moment of togetherness to play it live. It was fun to do it in front of that many people,” he said. “It’s the first time that I’ve done television of that magnitude where I wasn’t at all nervous. I just felt like I was hanging out with my friends.”

While he admits he wasn’t nervous, Nathanson said he thinks the audience was surprised at the song’s lyrics.

“It’s a lot about naked time. I don’t know that country music is super into that. But they were cool. They clapped. Miranda Lambert looked shocked.”

Regardless, his fans embraced it as did Sugarland’s.

“Sugarland’s fans are just fans of music. That’s what’s so great about country fans.”