Blues-Rock-Pop-Balladeer Mark Nelson Caught Up With Rock ‘N’ Load For A Chat
So for anyone unfamiliar with yourself, tell us a little bit about your backstory and how you ended up here.
Having been born with one arm I perversely chose the guitar as my weapon in life. First, however, came the songs. From an early age I listened to, and absorbed, music so much so that I began hearing my own songs in my head long before I could play an instrument.
It wasn’t until my teens that I found a way of playing the guitar with one arm using my thumb to strum and fretting with any other willing digit. Having spent the rest of my teenage years recording my songs at home for my own amusement, I eventually formed a rock band in my early 20s, and over a period of 20 years, with different line ups, I wrote and played heavy rock and pop songs almost getting signed several times. At one point, Gus Dudgeon, the legendary producer, managed and produced a band that I was in, ‘Slinki Malinki’, and we were obviously destined for success until his sad & untimely death, which ultimately broke the band and we were forced to move on.
Eventually, I decided to jump off the bandwagon (so to speak) and went solo and acoustic – playing ballads and blues songs locally where I met the guys who now make up my blues band. I’ve been playing local gigs and festivals, as well as internationally, ever since, both solo and with my band. It’s always been about the songs – writing them then performing and realizing them.
What’s Happening Now:Tell us about what you are currently up to, Here you can put in a press release to plug your latest offering.
I have just released a solo single “Lost Love in a Day” through Animal Farm Music. It is a song about remorse and taking love for granted. Losing the trust, love, and years of devotion from someone in just one day – through one reckless action. There is a chance, possibly, of redemption, but first, there is a stack load of guilt to go through. For someone who is known for composing blues songs and love ballads normally this soul, almost R&B, a pop song is a bit of an unusual, but welcome, avenue for me.
Currently, I still play acoustic local gigs with my acoustic guitar performing both solo and with my blues boys Mark Nelson Blues Band. This means that I get to write original blues songs for the band and also ballads and pop songs for myself. Ever since I heard the Beatles’ White Album, at the beginning of my song writing journey, I’ve always like to write songs of different flavours. My musical history is testament to this, having written pop & heavy rock songs with bands and lately blues songs and ballads. Last year, I produced my own pseudo’60s Psychedelic album which was great fun. I played all the instruments myself and produced the whole album including the artwork it was great to work on a project that was quite different to the norm. I love the fact that one minute I can write a blues song and the next a love ballad from the heart; it’s wonderful to be able to do that.
I hope to keep doing more of the same really, blues, ballads and pop. I have another single scheduled for release with Animal Farm Music later this year. This song will be more of a soul – gospel flavour. I am also currently producing my Blues Band’s second album of original blues. Also, lately, I’ve had some very ‘70s funk/punk ideas, which is most unusual for me, but I may make that into my next solo album project. We will have to wait and see.
Give us a hint of your Influences // Inspiration
For this section can any band members give me an example of an artist’s track that influenced or inspired them to chase a career in music.
What inspired me to get into music and become a songwriter was the Beatles. I first remember hearing them singing ‘Hey Jude’ on Top of the Pops back in 1968. The music and their story were always behind me, pushing me on through my musical journey. When I was struggling to find a way of playing guitar with one arm, I tried playing the bass notes to Paul’s bass on ‘Lucy in the Sky’ off ‘Sgt Pepper’ and made a breakthrough in my technique. The Beatles have always been with me. The first album I heard of theirs, because it was the only Beatles album in my parent’s collection, was ‘A Hard Days Night‘. So, I have chosen “I Should’ve Known Better” from the album, as it is such a great, light pop song and unusual because it has such an upbeat feel to it and yet the lyrics are quite downbeat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68cqDJvzJao