The Nelson Brothers
Sat 9 May 2020
“We grew up in Stafford, in a house full of music. Our dad won a singing competition in Stafford Borough Hall when he was sixteen. He dabbled on the piano, banjo and clarinet and encouraged us to follow our dream. His record collection consisted mostly of American country music, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold along with other favourites like Al Jolson and Bing Crosby. All have had an influence on our musical styles.
In our late teens we were introduced to the folk world by our good friend Roger Peet: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen and the brit folk of Donovan, Martin Carthy and Fairport Convention.
We left Stafford, guitars on backs, to pursue a full time musical career in 1976, heading off to Amsterdam, busking in cafes and bars for six months before returning for a summer season in Cornwall. Our big break came in ’78 when we passed an audition to work in Bermuda on a twelve month contract. It was there, ironically, that we were introduced to traditional Irish music. Our great grandparents were Irish and we were of course familiar with the more commercial side of Irish folk, the Dubliners, Furey Brothers etc; but in Bermuda a whole new world opened up: Christy Moore, Paul Brady, Planxty.
All of these musical elements are fused together in our writing and delivery. Not country, not folk, not blues, not jazz, but a little of each. Some call it Americana but there is also an undeniable Britishness about our music.”