FreeWheelin' Music Safari

New Folk – Scrimshaw from Nels Andrews

So the other day I put several albums on the IPod to listen to, one I’ve already written about Tiger Maple String Band’s Coming Home and last night on the way to Target and back home I had a chance to listen to part of Nels Andrews latest Scrimshaw. The thing about listening to an album like this in the car is that you need to pay attention more to the road than to the music, when in fact the music demands more attention!! From the not real great listen that I gave the album, I could tell that it’s special. So special, that Jim Blum at NPR’s Folk Alley picked ‘Scrimshaw‘ in his top records of 2012 and Dutch popmagazine Heaven put Scrimshaw in its top 10 for 2012. writer Pieter Wijnstekers places it in fine company, with Iris DeMent, Phantom Limb, Rose Cousins, Glen Hansard, Husky, Gretchen Peters, Anais Mitchell and Kathy Mattea.

Here’s some a Nels’ accomplishments as report at Wikipedia:

Nels Andrews is a folk singer based in Brooklyn, New York. Known primarily as a folk singer, few know of his apprenticeship with cult blues icon Washboard Williams.

In 2002, Andrews was selected as a winner in the prestigious New Folk Competition at the annual Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, Texas. Past winners of this coveted award include, Eric Taylor, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett and Slaid Cleaves.

In 2006, Nels was selected as the winner of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Troubadour Competition

In August 2006, Nels was selected as a winner of the Mountain Stage New Song Competition.

Not a bad resume, eh? Here’s some more press about Nels Andrews and 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”. -Folk Radio UK


‘When Nels Andrews tells a story, he sings it with the wisdom of a sea captain and the exuberance of a deck hand. When he’s through, you inevitably wish you could hear it all over again. Lucky for us, he’s made an album called Scrimshaw, and we have devices for playing recorded music’. Robbie Hecht

You can read more press – here. As for me, I think I’ll just listen to the album many more times!

On the way tonight from dinner with my wife’s Uncle and his wife, I was able to listen to the rest of the album. Here’s one of the songs I heard and one of my favorites “Wisteria”. Complete with so pretty cool banjo!