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Ross Neilsen has plenty of tunes to choose from for solo show

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You never know what New Brunswick bluesman Ross Neilsen will do next on a CD, though he has his year planned out on the Ross Neilsen returns to Lethbridge, Feb. 7 to play a solo show. Photo by Richard Ameryroad.
“ I do the solo tour from January through April and the trio from April through December. It’s been that way since 2009,” said Neilsen, from just east of Montreal in the middle of a Canadian tour which brings him to The Owl Acoustic Lounge, Feb. 7.

“That’s the way I prefer it. I prefer to shake it up before I get sick of  it,” he said.
“And people like it.”

 He released two CDs on top of each other — “The Shack Up Sessions, ” which he recorded in Mississippi in January 2012 and released it that December, and an upbeat blues/ rock country album “Resurrection” which he recorded in January 2013 and released in May.

“I would hate to write a song and not record it because it doesn’t fit into a style that people expect me to be,” Neilsen said adding he records what he feels, like Colin James and Alvin Youngblood Hart, who record a variety of musical styles, especially the former who will record a pop album followed by a jazz/ swing album, followed by a blues album followed by a rock and roll album.

“The Shack Up Sessions” has done well, spending most of last year  in CBC's top 50 list and won best blues recording in the New Brunswick Music Awards. His recent album “Resurrection” received five nominations from Music New Brunswick including album of the year, best group and best rock recording.

“The Shack Up Sessions” was nominated for best male solo recording and  won the best  blues recording.

He expected it to do well.
 “I submitted it, and not to be a dick about it, but it didn’t surprise me that it got nominated. It’s pretty sweet for an album I recorded on a whim for 1,000 bucks in about eight hours,” he said.
 He is also impressed with how well “Resurrection” has done, though it is a little different than his previous more straight ahead rock and roll recordings.
 This one even has a lot of country influence.
“Well, I listen to all kinds of music,” he said.

“ But I was worried about the response it would receive from the quote, unquote blues community. But it has been pretty positive,” he said.

“It’s definitely different than my previous rock and roll records,” he said.
He decided to record the albums down south, around where the blues is widely considered to have started. He recorded  “The Shack up Sessions” in Clarksdale, Mississippi live off the floor.

“It’s where the blues is widely considered to have started with Robert  Johnson at the crossroads,” he said.
 “ I like to record in different studios. It is so inspirational down there, so the band is already inspired and ready to go,” he said.

 He recorded “Resurrection” in a week  with his touring band and producer Anders Osborne who also plays on a couple of tracks.

“I prefer to do it that way. I’m not really one to go with professionals (hiring studio musicians) My rhythm section (drummer Karl Gans and bassist Jamie ‘Jim the Temp’ Guitar works really hard out there on the road. It would be an insult to ditch them for other people. Plus, they know the songs better than anyone,” he said.

 He is already working on his next project.

“ Not to spoil anything, but it is definitely different than anything we have done. If you think you have figured us out,  well it will surprise you,” he said.

But as usual, he plans on spending most of  the year touring.

He is excited to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
“ It’s not  acoustic. I play electric guitar. But it will be my solo show. So it will be an old school blues show. I’ll be playing most of  “The Shack Up Sessions” and several songs from “Resurrection” that I do and a few covers as well,” he said.

“I’ve never played the Owl Acoustic Lounge before, but I have several friends who speak highly of it,” he said.
“ I missed playing there last year, but I’ll be back with the trio in April,” he promised.
There is no cover for the Feb. 7 show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, which will begin at approximately 9 p.m.

— By Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 February 2014 13:25 )  
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