Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Label: Red House Records.
Sounds Like: Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar Melloncamp, Bruce Cockburn, Greg Brown
Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.
He first met John Gorka in 2006, when Drew performed as part of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s prestigious songwriting contest. John found him backstage after his performance and told him how much his songs moved him. Since then, Drew has shared the stage with John several times, including at such big events as the Kerrville Folk Festival. “Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists,” John Gorka says. “His songs sound like the rest of us feel....dazed, angry, amazed and climbing.”
Drew garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House Records, which just signed him.
“I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads,” Red House president Eric Peltoniemi says. “I admire his down-to-earth songwriting which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity. He has worked hard in life and hasn’t been afraid to get his hands dirty. He has 100%
credibility in the subject matter he writes about, and I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”
Drew's Red House debut Tilt-A-Whirl comes out in early 2012. He can also be heard on the new album Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era, along with Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry and new label-mate Eliza Gilkyson.
In support of his new album, Drew Nelson will be showcasing at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and will be touring across North America and Europe. For his full schedule, please visit www.drewnelson.net or www.redhouserecords.com.
When Drew is not on the road, he enjoys reading, rooting for the Detroit Tigers, doing hot yoga and working as an amateur luthier, building guitars and octave mandolins. He is also working on putting together a photography show.
"Power and Poetic Storytelling" - "Highly Recommended!"
sing out magazine
“Dusty Road is easily the best folk/Americana/country to cross my desk in ages, likely years to be honest.”
CALVIN DANIELS - This Week
"...Drew's characters are anything but defeated. They are dazed,
angry, amazed and climbing." -
John Gorka - Red House Records recording artist
“Dusty Road is easily the best folk/Americana/country to cross my desk in ages”
CALVIN DANIELS - Yorkton This Week
"Drew Nelson powerfully evokes the ghosts of America's recent and distant
past ... his lyrical story telling and virtuoso guitar picking keeps the
audience under his spell 'til long after the show has ended...."
Paul Spencer/Promoter - The Maverick Festival, UK
“If Americana was a person, it would probably look and sound like Nelson”
Leith Folk Club - Scotland
“it doesn't happen often that I put in a cd the first day I receive it, much less that I absolutely love it on first listen. This cd will be a regular in the upcoming Acoustic Harmony playlists for the foreseeable future”
Mark Michaelis Host; Acoustic Harmony - WGDR Folk Music Director
“I am such a fan of Drew he's the best I've heard since James McMurtry, perfect writing, great songs and a voice thats stops the pain
Barry Marshall-Everitt - House Of Mercy
“What a fantastic album this is! I was expecting something enjoyable after Immigrant Son, but I was really blown away by the consistent strength of this record.”
Shaun Whitehouse - Gilded Palace Radio Show (UK)
“Drew just can’t fail to engage your senses, and this really is a rather special record, a highly evocative yet admirably subtle mini-epic of modern-day Americana.”
David Kidman - Net Rythms
“‘The Dusty Road…’ is enjoyable & evocative of a timeless America, but with very modern concerns.”
Ian Fildes - Americana-uk
“He wasn't afraid to get dramatic, or poignant, or funny, or political, or loud, when necessary in a CD-release show that was as impressive as any I've seen for a West Michigan artist.
John Sinkevics - Sound Check | The Grand Rapids Press
"Drew is a Michigan Guy Clark for his generation".
John (Biscuits and Gravy) Davy - Flyin Shoes Review UK
“Move over Bob Seger, Michigan has a new voice, and it’s a little bit deeper. So is the material.”
Fran Snyder - Concerts in your home
“Intense but yet relaxed intimate style, he really connects, Ive fallen in love with Grand Mother Moon”
Frank Hennessy - BBC Radio Wales (Celtic Heart Beat)
“His Best Yet!”
Roel Stäbler MD/DJ - HAVENSTAD FM (Holland)
“When you hear Drew Nelson sing
and play you are hearing a real live
son of Michigan, sandy soil,
tough winters, good fishing, no BS."”
"Serious and thoughtful, and definitely cliche free"
-Wisperin' and Hollerin' UK
“Drew's songs have a dusty eloquence and a rural blue collar sensibility"
- Americana UK
"Dusty Road to Beulah Land"
Welcome to the first great Americana album of 2009.
John Sinkevics - The Grand Rapids Press
"One of the best of the newer performers I've seen... a natural as they say."
-Claudia Schmidt (Recording Artist)