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Drew Nelson to perform Friday in Nisswa

Folk musician Drew Nelson will make his Grassroots Concerts debut at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, at the Live Well Night Club and Coffee Bar, Nisswa.

Nelson, a Michigan-born Navy vet and multi-instrumentalist, writes songs as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he’s met along the way, mixing Americana and roots rock with traditional folk styles.

“I admire his down-to-earth songwriting, which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity,” said Eric Peltoniemi, president of Red House Records in St. Paul, which has signed Nelson.

“I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads,” Peltoniemi said. “I admire his down-to-earth songwriting which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity. He has worked hard in life and hasn’t been afraid to get his hands dirty. He has 100 percent credibility in the subject matter he writes about, and I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”

Nelson has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka, who calls Nelson “one of my favorite new artists.”

Nelson garnered further attention in 2009, when he released “Dusty Road to Beulah Land” (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts.

Nelson’s Red House debut, “Tilt-A-Whirl,” was released this year. He can also be heard on the new album, “Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era,” along with Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry and new label-mate Eliza Gilkyson.

In support of his new album, Nelson showcased at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and is touring North America and Europe.

The final artist to perform in the spring concert season: May 3, evocative songwriter Greg Trooper.

Admission is $10 at the door for adults and $5 for children under 12 with listening attention, when accompanied by an adult. At all shows, seating is first-come, first-served. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Live Well Nightclub and Coffee Bar, 5459 County Road 18, is next to Nisswa School.

Grassroots Concerts are made possible in part by a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council through the Minnesota State Legislature. The series is a 501c(3) non-profit under the Internal Revenue Code.

At each concert volunteers welcome donations of non-perishable food or cash, which they deliver to the local food shelf. For more information, go to, call 218-839-4092 or email

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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