Lila Nelson
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Lila Nelson

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Amelia White says:"

“Whether you listen to her disc or watch her live, Lila Nelson will knock you off guard and captivate you with her incisive charm. Her slightly off-kilter melodies and rhythms are fresh and her voice has the quality of a willful child with secrets to share. She's got a clever unapologetic way with words that will steal your heart and make you come back for more. In my travels I meet a lot of talent: Lila Nelson is sitting right on the top shelf with intoxicating potential.”
- Singer/Songwriter (Funzalo Records)

"Mark Erelli says:"

“Freewheelin' lyrics, melodies that darted and dove like sparrows, some fine harmonica playing to boot! You'll have to shake off her spell… She's fantastic!” - Singer/Songwriter

""Still Got The Farm" - Review"

Still Got the Farm was self-produced with Nelson’s husband and partner Ian Caliendo. With fresh imagery and lyrics that go from pastoral poems ("Up North") to seasonal laments (the opener "Poolfilling" and “Michigan Spring”), this California native captivates the listener with simple, folk songs that convey messages through metaphors without preaching. To illustrate, "Fresh Paint" is a gorgeous song that shelters its politics behind the image of a new paint job, which stands for the quick fixes that today's society is prone to taking: from wars to poverty, these band-aid solutions will never heal the problem. Through lyrics that hint at big money and big oil, Nelson captures the state of the union, closing this powerful and poetic song with this refrain:

"But who am I to really talk
all I know is that the price went up
some will be dead before it heads back down ..."

Nelson's storied songs are sure to bring you pick for repeated listens.
-,, by David McPherson

""Still Got The Farm" - Review"

"Lila Nelson's definitely got what it takes. Her lyrics are framed by one of the most haltingly beautiful voices I've ever heard. When you think about what great music is supposed to have, it's all on this record: sincerity, melody, insight, and inspiration. We started playing "Still Got The Farm" the same day we got it. All the DJ's love it, and we get regular requests for several cuts on it."
-Michael Dronkers,
Music and Program Director,
KHUM Radio - KHUM Radio, by Michael Dronkers

"Loudon Wainwright III says:"

"Great songs with poetic tendrils that cling...her environment as a writer is environment itself...she's talented..."

- Singer/Songwriter/Actor


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):; 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)



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