Lila Nelson

Lila Nelson

 Oakland, California, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

"In a sea of throwaway pop idols it’s nice to see a few real musicians still around..." -Kirsty Evans, East Bay Express

Biography

Born in Ann Arbor, MI, Lila Nelson began her prolific musical life in the Santa Margarita River Valley of Southern CA with stints in WA, ID, and Santa Cruz, CA and years in beautiful and remote Arcata, CA where she honed her skills as a performer and worked between tour dates as a beloved DJ on the award winning station, KHUM.

What began as knack for lyricism and harmony blossomed into enviable song crafts-womanship, stage savvy and musicianship. With her guitar and piano based songs somewhere between the stark, often wry first person of Loudon Wainwright III and the rich elliptical song-scapes of his son Rufus, Nelson's sound is both seasoned and fresh. Loudon remarks on her 2004 debut: "Great songs...poetic tendrils that cling..." In 2005 she was featured on the front page of Neil Young's website with her song "Fresh Paint." She was also named semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for "Hold it in Your Hand" and she played with the celebrated Richie Havens.

Her work has been featured in numerous stage productions including Arts United of Washington D.C.'s "The Scenic Route." She has sung and acted with the internationally acclaimed Dell' Arte School of Physical Theater.

Her recent recording endeavors found her working in Santa Monica, CA with Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan, k.d. lang, Carla Bruni) and touring with Kenny Edwards (Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris). "Letter Home" features Koella, Edwards, Don Heffington (Jayhawks) and Stewart Cole (Sara McLachlan, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros). Upon moving to Oakland, CA in 2009 Nelson opened for Ben Folds at the premiere Bay Area venue, The Fox Theater and toured east playing shows with Russell Chudnofsky (Lori Mckenna, Sara Borges) and John Sands (Aimee Mann, Liz Phair). Her 5 independent releases receive airplay all over the world.

In a razor sharp world that favors the soundbite, Nelson maintains a rich inner life, an irrepressible sense of humor, and a profound facility for poetry--all delivered in a sizzlingly charismatic package.

“Fans of the soul-searching poetry of Leonard Cohen or Kate Wolf will love Lila Nelson.” -Performing Songwriter Magazine

“Lila’s heartfelt emotion delivers. We are hers, we are here, we listen and smile; her comfort is contagious.” - Times-Standard

Nelson's latest release is a three song audio postcard titled "We Never Came" featuring the production work of Mike Dronkers and mastered by Gavin Lurssen.

Praise for "Letter Home":

"Fans of the soul searching poetry of Leonard Cohen and Kate Wolf will love Lila Nelson's 'Letter Home.'" - Performing Songwriter Magazine

"Lila has a great, symphonious voice & she’s a skilled guitar player. Every song is beautiful & sparsely arranged (thank Freddy Koella for that) with layers built upon layers like cinematic landscapes. Add in lyrics that infuse the music with something rare: the ability to live passionately in the world while at the same time sharply observing it, then transforming those experiences & observations into something the rest of us can recognize. She’s a poet." -KOOP Radio


Lyrics

Hold it in Your Hand

Written By: Lila Nelson

Some things are better off clipped
Some things should never be snipped
Like the shoe string that I'm living on
Like the melody of a simple song

Serve it up, what you've been fed
Racket racket in my head
Racket racket in my head
Racket racket in my head

If it ain't broke
Don't break it
If it don't feel right
Don't fake it
If it comes crashing
Give it a place to land
Then hold it in your hand

The sweet, hot feeling of despair
Is like the smell of your lover's hair
In the morning before it's time to go
What the day brings we'll never know

The only thing that can compete
With the racket, racket in my head
Is the feel of you before we fall asleep
And the melody of a simple song

If it ain't broke
Don't break it
If it don't feel right
Don't fake it
If it comes crashing
Give it a place to land
Then hold it in your hand

The Bodhi Tree

Written By: Lila Nelson

Sometimes I read the bible
God's little diary
Sometimes I find a line brilliant
Sometimes a line is just a line

Maybe I need the right bench
The bodhi tree
Maybe I'll sit forever
Before I really see
Maybe I'll sit forever
Under the bodhi tree
Maybe I'll never sit forever
Under the bodhi tree

Sometimes I write my own stuff
Read my little diary
Some of those lines are just brilliant
Some of that brilliance -
It's just a line

Maybe I need the right bench
The bodhi tree
Maybe I'll sit forever
Before I really see
Maybe I'll sit forever
Under the bodhi tree
Maybe I'll never sit forever
Under the bodhi tree

I've got a lot of questions
I'm not afraid to ask
But when it comes to answers...
I am afraid of that

Maybe I need the right bench
The bodhi tree
Maybe I'll sit forever
Before I really see
Maybe I'll sit forever
Under the bodhi tree
Maybe I'll never sit forever
Under the bodhi tree

Love Comes Easily

Written By: Lila Nelson

When love comes easily
We say it's right
When it's hard we say
It's time to let love come easily
Or it's time to let love go

Love has happened to me before
And I know that I've happened to love
Love comes easily so
I've happened to let love go

What's this love I hold to the mirror?
What's this love I hold to the light?
What's this love, I hold you you all night long
When I'm trying to make love right
I'm just trying to make love right

Dirty Magazines

Written By: Lila Nelson

Those dirty, dirty magazines
They’ll leave you quite forlorn
You won’t find true love in a photograph
Or in your stacks of porn

If I was a dirty magazine girl
I’d want royalties
For every time some poor old stranger
Had his fun with me

Those dirty, dirty magazines
Come one, come all
You look at all the pictures
Save me the articles

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with nakedness
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with lust
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with the
dirty, flirty,
Squirty parts of us

But those dirty, dirty magazine makers
Don’t they know they make it hard…
For the girl next door not to be hard core
When she’s in her own back yard

Those dirty, dirty magazines
High gloss, low sheen
And the only thing he ever learned
Was from a magazine

Those dirty, dirty magazines
I hate to be so blunt
But the way they make a fuss about it
It’s like they never seen a … girl

Discography

Letter Home (2008)
National airplay: Maine Public Broadcasting, KDNK, KBCS, KHUM, KRCB, OPB, MPBN, WRRW, KOPN and WETS, NHPR among many others...

Radio Promotion: Brad Hunt, The WNS Group, Ph: 845-358-3003
Distribution: Burnside Distribution Corporation, Ph: 503-231-0876

High Gloss, Low Sheen, EP, (2005):
All songs by Lila Nelson (Madeline Music, SESAC):
streaming and national airlplay

Still Got the Farm (2004)
All songs by Lila Nelson (Madeline Music, SESAC): www.cdbaby.com/lilanelson; streaming and international airlplay

Live from Arcata (2000)
All songs by Lila Nelson (Madeline Music, SESAC) except "Silvie," traditional, and Listerine, L. Nelson and Joseph Sirotnak:
Out of print
(still receiving airplay)

http://lilanelson.org/music.htm