Nels Andrews
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Nels Andrews

Santa Cruz, California, United States | INDIE

Santa Cruz, California, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos




“These nine songs report from the edge of heartbreak on a world of fevered intensity….. Moody, intense, thoughtful and very good!”

- Irish Times 2/29/08

""****" Album(s) of the week"

“The sound of dusty southern tracks, observation, love, loss and discovery.. The anti-Jack Johnson, if that serves as any encouragement.” - Virgin media (UK) 2/28/08


“Seamless smoke rings of atmospheric campfire reflection, tempered with heady, tumbling slow-roots melodies and a restless wisdom. . At the moment, there are few others in Americana who carry his rugged presence. For Nels Andrews is that much sought-after treasure in music. He’s the real deal.” - MAVERICK (UK) 05/08

"Excellent follow up to Feted debut"

’Sunday Shoes’ was always going to be a hard act to follow, but Nels Andrews handles this new set of nine self-penned songs on ’Off Track Betting’ with intelligent assurance. For all intents and purposes, ’Off Track Betting’ has temporarily replaced the bebop of Charlie Parker for the soundtrack to Kerouac’s bestseller, if only for a while. If this is the evolving route for all things Americana, then it’s fine by me. - FROOTS (UK)

"praise for "Sunday Shoes""

“One of The Best Albums of the year”
- Bob Harris, BBC radio2

"Rants and raves"

Nels Andrews has obviously spent a fair amount of time absorbing the arid, wind-kissed poetry of his New Mexico environs. The modest aural quilts that his band, the El Paso Eyepatch, weaves on "Sunday Shoes" bear the region's sonic stamp ... (and) likewise convey a sense of weathered grace
- Harp Magazine

"Spotlight Album"

On "Sunday Shoes" , Nels Andrews proves that he deserves a spot in the ranks of today's Americana heroes. His rootsy brand of mellow folk-rock conjures up memories of Jay Farrar and his story as an Albuquerque carpenter turned inspired musician sounds like a Western version o Ray LaMontagne. With help of backing band The El Paso Eyepatch, Andrews itch for storytelling reaches new musical heights. On “Jesse's Mom” Andrews writes “Jesse's mom thought she was born with gypsy in her blood/when she layed down ith a black man in the West Arkansas mud/back before those things were done.” This stuff of Larry Mcmurtry novels has flooded Andrews' imagination and captivated this particular writer. With the perfect accompaniment of guitar, banjo and the Emmylou Harris-esque backup vocals of Michelle Collins, in songs like “Milk and Honey” and “Meadowlake”, Andrews shows he's at the top of his craft.
- American Songwriter

"live review The Maze @ Cabaret, Nottingham - 9th May 2005"

For his second visit to the UK to promote the acclaimed “Sunday Shoes”, Nels Andrews is in electric mode, with the bulk of his band to back him. An enigmatic figure, six foot of brooding intensity with a flower on his guitar head, he is plagued by tuning problems throughout, but nevertheless delivers an awesome set. His music, while excellent in the semi-acoustic duo mode he toured last year, moves up a level with the band. Guitarist Jeffrey Richards, loose of limb and lithe of note, relishes the opportunity to show his chops, switching between banjo and guitar, while the sound is filled out by bass and drums. Pretty much all of “Sunday Shoes” makes an appearance, with Nels filling in some background on most of the songs gestation. So we get the prostitute fancier at the bus stop of “Central Ave. Romance”, his Devon ex on “Broken Conversation” and many more. The audience is transfixed, no one leaves, no one goes to the bar, they just listen, to a lyricist whose words have a power and intensity that is rarely matched, and remind you of the glory days of Morrison and Dylan, whether it’s the “long women in short dresses” of “Petal To A Bee” or “Denim Scarecrow”’s narrator who “wear’s his sex like a shirt that’s two sizes small”. His intensity is both exhilarating and enervating, and however long he played for, it was probably enough, though at the time I thought he could have gone on forever, otherwise I would have been so engrossed that I’d have forgotten to breathe. Sometimes going to see someone for a second time can be a disappointment. You don’t have the “shock of the new” to sustain you, and your inevitably high expectations are often not lived up to. Not with Nels Andrews though. Great as his last time out was, this is simply superlative. He’s over here for a while longer, get out there and catch him now.
Jeremy Searle
- Americana UK

"Bonny Holder Editor"

”I'd be surprised if "Sunday Shoes" isn't the sleeper Americana CD of the year for me,
and for a lot of other listeners too, especially those who love a good story, superbly sung,
a strong melody, a lovely taste of melancholy, and a true sense of musical and intellectual integrity.”
- Bonny Holder, - Rockzilla


Sparsly arranged, slyly intelligent country-folk stuffed with juniper winds, Juarez jails and long women in short dresses, delivered with all the gruff urgency of Tom Waits over lap steel and ruptured guitar.



Some Pig 2001 (self)
Sunday Shoes
2004 Little Kiss Records, Lucky Dice Netherlands
2005 Catamount Records, Shellsock, Fish, UK
All 10 tracks recieved heavy airplay folk/americana radio
2006 Duct tape and Whisky split single w/ aj roach
2007 American Meth Soundtrack (Val Kilmer)
2008 'Off Track Betting' Reveal Records (UK), Lucky Dice (NL), self (US)
2008 "The New Twang" Universal Records Australia
featured song -'Milk And Honey'
2008 "Before The Goldrush" Contemporary Songwriters cover their musical forbearers in the spirit of mentorship, proceeds benefitting Teach for America.
"I Hope I don't Fall in Love With You" by Tom Waits, also featuring tracks by Neko Case, Okkervil River, Pieta Brown, The Swell Season, William Fitzimmons, Tracy Bonham, and others.

2010 "Best of Studio 6 Sessions" Rounder Europe VPRO presents live tracks sam baker, Danya Kurtz, Chris Smither, Kelly Joe Phelps, Joe Henry,Tim Easton, Bruce Cockburn, Eliza Gilkyson, Darrel scott Mary Gautier, Eillen Jewell, Chuck Prophet

2012 "tribute to jack Hardy' Smithsonian/ Folkways

2012 "Scrimshaw" Lucky Dice Benelux , self UK / US



new album "scrimshaw" available in 2012

april 10 Netherlands, germany, sweden
June 10 UK
Nov 15 US

preview here:

Early praise for Scrimshaw:

"Strikingly intimate album that combines deft storytelling with a warmth of tone and gentleness of pace..awash with layers, metaphors and echoes woven into subtle, contemplative contemporary song. Like finding a seashell at the back of a dusty cupboard, putting it to your ear and hearing the ocean". Rachel Divine Folk Radio UK

'The nine songs are a delight. Scrimshaw is full of good music, deft singing and clever, original lyrics' (4/5) - The London Telegraph, UK

"Literate, melancholic songs of life passing" (4/5) The Irish Times

“The scrimshaw songs are so carefully made, like the stuff of the title itself, fine etchings on bone. Nels is a master carver, an artist patient and obsessed enough to turn a whale of an idea into something delicate and beautiful from any angle.” Anais Mitchell American Songwriter/Poet

"A true wellspring of 21st century music." album of the week, Iain Anderson, BBC Scotland

Once this record went in the cd player, it did not come out for literally months. We dove into the world of Scrimshaw and swum around in the dark lush tones and haunting poetry. This is a true poet's masterpiece. Every word is a jewel, placed purposefully with skilled hands. A flowery way of saying that Nels Andrews' Scrimshaw is undoubtedly one of my favorite records of the last ten years. " Raina Rose Indie songstress

"Scrimshaw glows magic - at once a love letter to the world as we know it and an elegy." Nuala Kennedy, IE

"Scrimshaw is a collection of songs of flickering characters and places, like an early Vitascope projection on a peeling wall." Steven Rapid Lonesome Highway, IE

"(Some) of the most beautiful and touching songs I've heard at this end of 2012, a voice that comes for my heart, chills run along the back, one can not resist such magic." Ricardo Martillos Distorsioni, IT

"With Scrimshaw Nels Andrews delivers another masterpiece" Eric Van Damburg Scipio Heaven , NL

"More soul, more intrigue, ****/ ***** " Menno Pot, de Volkskrant, NL

"There's those albums you grow to love over time, and then there's those albums which, you're so in smitten with everything that artist has ever done, that you're completely in love with their newest work almost from pure anticipation.  And then there's those albums, like Nels Andrews' Scrimshaw, that exceed even those lofty anticipations and expectations.  He has such an effortless singing voice, and a timeless writing voice. These tunes are all deep with symbolism, and vivid with imagery.  And they sit together elegantly as a single unit.  It's a truly beautiful album."
-Danny Schmidt last of the hardcore troubadours

“The rhythm of the ocean... and light and shade dynamics reminiscent of Astral Weeks. As great singers do, Andrews has the gift of making the ‘La-La-La’ coda sound as profound as ancient philosophy” (4/5 stars) Rock’n Reel Magazine, UK

Nels Andrews has spent the last decade wandering, gathering songs, and singing them all over the globe, sharing them around campfires, coffeeshops, clubs , festivals, and living room floors. Modern Folk.

Critically, he’s struck a nerve, earning songwriting awards from prestigious US festivals such as Kerrville, Telluride, and Mountain Stage. BBC 2's legendary DJ Bob Harris (The Old Grey Whistle Test) recognized his work as an album of the year. He has been in the top 5 of the year Americana UK charts, as well as KRO Dutch National Radio, Alt-country NL, Ctrl Alt Country (Belgium), and the European Radio Americana Chart . Nels’ premiere album Sunday Shoes continued to find itself in Top Ten albums of the year lists, almost always as the only independent release. His second album, Off Track Betting, received similar critical acclaim, leading to headlining shows at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, and national television broadcast from the legendary Bim Huis in Amsterdam.

Nels will release his third studio album in 2012 entitled ‘Scrimshaw’ and joining up once again with acclaimed producer Todd Sickafoose (Tiny Resistors,Anais Mitchell, Ani Difranco, Andrew Bird, Yoko Ono) and , features his touring band Jonathan Goldberger (Tiny resistors) and Brandon Seabrook (Peter Evans, Mark Ribot, Trevor Dunn) and wildly talented friends from all over the country. The record was recorded overlooking the Naval Yards in Red Hook Brooklyn, and tells stories culled from a time off the road, working as a chauffer in Manhattan and watching his infant son grow into a toddler in his Brooklyn apartment. The record debut in Europe in May at #1 in the Euro-Americana charts.

Nels has shared stages across the US and Europe with the likes of Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Dick Gaughan, Slaid Cleaves, and The Tallest Man on Earth , and twice on the main stage at