Paula Nelson Band
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Paula Nelson Band

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Americana Blues


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"Jackson" released to radio June 7, 2011. Available for download on Lone Star Music (.com).

"Little City" CD, 2010
"Lucky 13" CD, 2008



When your dad is a founding father of outlaw country and a major musical legend, at some point, you realize resistance is futile: Even if you don’t seek a career in music, eventually, it’s gonna seek you.

Like the Cash and Jennings kids, Paula Nelson picked up “Papa Bear” Willie’s way with a song early on — along with her aunt Bobbie’s skill on piano, which Paula started playing at age 7. Although her dad once advised her, “Remember to watch everything I do and do the exact opposite,” she drew influences from his Highwaymen pals and contemporaries such as Kris Kristofferson’s then-wife, Rita Coolidge, whose bluesy, supple vocal style provided one of Paula’s earliest templates as she found her own voice. Texas Monthly has called that voice “torchy,” and the Los Angeles. Times praised, “There’s no missing the unforced power of Paula’s singing.”

But it was another dear friend, the late Clifford Antone, who truly helped her blossom into a confident musical talent. She credits her October 27 birthday twin with teaching her how to play the guitar, turning her on to all sorts of great blues tunes, and encouraging her to get out there and perform. “He made me get up and sing at Antone’s all of the time,” she says.

When Nelson returned from a short sojourn in Colorado to Austin, she corralled her band-mate buddies and jumped back in the game, appearing at her dad’s Fourth of July picnic at the Fort Worth Stockyards. She also appeared at Farm Aid 2007 in New York; Willie returned the favor by contributing to the album, along with her brother, Luke.

That tiny little blonde girl with the kid-sized guitar and the big grin pictured in the album art on "Lucky 13" definitely looks like she knew even back then where she was headed. "Little City" recorded in 2010 has done well for Paula and her band, with successful touring all of this year (2011) in the US and Europe.