The Paul Nelson Band
The Paul Nelson band has just released its debut album titled "Badass Generation". The point the band is making is they believe the classic rock, blues and jam bands of the early 70's were the most hard driving, badass music of a generation, and it should continue on in this new millennium. As Paul Nelson states " This album is an appreciation of the style of blues and rock from the 70's - with a current vibe. The Paul Nelson Band consists of: Paul on Guitar, Morten Fredheim on Vocals, Christopher Alexander on Bass, Chris Reddan on Drums and Danny Lewis on Keyboards. That's a solid combination of talented musicians to achieve the "Badass Generation" goal. Paul knows a lot about high quality 70's musicians as he was the guitarist for Blues/Rock legend Johnny Winter. In this role, Paul has obtained a Grammy award and numerous nominations. I interviewed Paul about his debut album from The Paul Nelson Band.
R.V.B. - Congratulations on your new album release "Badass Generation". What is behind the name? Is today's generation badass because of yesterdays badass generation?
P.N. - The name came about because it's a phrase that our generation uses to describe things, and this album is an appreciation of the style of blues and rock from the 70's - with a current vibe.
P.N. - The band and myself, are big fans of bands like Queen, Aerosmith, Bad Company, as well as southern rock and jam music. I wanted to create a classic album.
R.V.B. - Who were some of the people that helped out on this album and how did you get this gathering of musicians together?
P.N. - The musicians on this album are: Morten Fredheim on vocals, whom I produced several years ago. He was also on the voice in Europe. Christopher Alexander who is currently on tour with Samantha Fish. Also Chris Reddan, - who has toured with Poppa Chubby, and is now touring with Nikki Hill. Last but not least is Danny Louis. - Keyboardist for Warren Haynes Gov't Mule Band.
R.V.B. - What is your guitar (or guitars) and amps of choice for recording and playing live?
P.N. - I use everything - Fender and Gibson guitars, Taylor and Martin acoustics, G&L guitars... Marshall, Fender and Quilter amplification, and I am very excited about playing my new Delaney guitar coming out next month.
R.V.B. - How did you get involved in music in the first place? What was the catalyst?
P.N. - The catalyst was my love for music. I listened to many artists growing up and I was drawn to the sound of the guitar. I was hooked instantly and knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
R.V.B. - What did you learn during your years at Berklee that may have seeped into your music of today?
P.N. - A knowledge of the "workings" of music. I realize if I was going to pursue music as career. I would have to know everything about it. It is also where I met and studied under Steve Vai.
R.V.B. - What were some of your early gigs and how did they go?
P.N. - I started off by joining as many bands as possible. I knew I had to play all styles, so I joined funk bands, rock bands, blues bands, jazz bands - to learn everything I could to continue working as a musician.
R.V.B. - How did you meet Johnny Winter and how did he change your musical life?
P.N. - I met him in the studio on the east coast, where I was doing session work for a National TV show. He heard me and loved the way I played, and asked me if I would be interested in writing songs for his new album. I agreed. Then he asked me to play on the album, and then his tour, and the rest is history. (Laughs)
P.N. - All of our Japan, Brazil, and China tours were very memorable as well as performing on the David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel TV shows together... oh yes... and Brazilian TV.
R.V.B. - Was it a challenge managing Johnny's career as well as being his touring musician?
P.N. - Not really... We were close friends. He was like a father to me and he asked me to take on the task and we went to work. I knew what had to be done a lot of which is documented in the new film "Johnny Winter - Down and Dirty".
R.V.B. - Does playing live on TV have any different preparation than playing a club or theater gig?
No... you rehearse just one song and you go on a few hours later... it's the sitting around that gets to you. Most of the shows have big audiences which makes it more fun.
R.V.B. - What are you most proud of about your accomplishments in music up to this point?
P.N. - Being able to play with and help my idol and mentor Johnny Winter. My Grammy win is high up there and being nominated this year as well... and my new album.
R.V.B. - Thanks for considering answering these questions.
Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz
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