Reed City to rock the blues

REED CITY – Fusing genres of music into a work of rock ‘n blues love, The Paul Nelson Band is on the road entertaining a new generation of blues and rock fans.

Performing Friday, Aug. 5, at Rambadt Park in Reed City, The Paul Nelson Band is tracing back through the old route Paul Nelson used to play when he was performing with the late blues artist Johnny Winter.

“I’ve been up that way many times with Johnny and it’s on the route we’d take to scoot over to Canada,” said Nelson.

The Paul Nelson Band has come together in the last year, recorded and produced their most recent album, “Badass Generation.” Influenced by his own experience with Johnny Winter and by personal favorites such as Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Boston and Queen, Nelson wants to keep the sound fresh by fusing blues and rock ‘n’ roll.

“People are open to variety and audiences crave this stuff,” said Nelson. “Listeners want music they won’t get bored with easily.”

“Paul is really a master of the craft and of making a song,” said Morten Fredheim, fellow songwriter and singer in the Paul Nelson Band. “Even when he’s making a solo for a song, he’s all about writing something great for the song, not just trying to impress people.”

Nelson, who has built an impressive career for himself in the guitar world, studied under Steve Vai at Berklee College of Music and attributes his rise to hard work and doing what he loves day in and day out.

His musical career hasn’t only been highlighted by his beginnings with Vai or his time with Johnny Winter. He’s performed with Slash, Gov’t Mule, Sonny Landreth and Vince Gill, to name a few.

“I studied hard and paid my dues,” said Nelson. “I’ve got to record with guys like Eric Clapton, and last year I received a Grammy, along with Johnny Winter for the album ‘Step Back.’ I accepted the Grammy on his behalf.

“I’ve performed with a lot great musicians. Some of them have passed, but I’ve been fortunate to play with them.”

When Nelson called him to come back to the United States from his home in Norway to sing for the band, Fredheim said the call caught him by surprise. This tour isn’t the first time they’ve worked together, but it is a new experience being in the same band, said Fredheim.

“I’ve been playing blues-rock since I was 18 or 19,” said Fredheim. “I’ve done a lot of different music, from classical to jazz and hard rock. I’m a curious person and I’m always on the lookout for new music.

“The blues rock scene is an American tradition. Being European, I devoured this stuff.”

Nelson and Fredheim said they’re already working on new music while they’re on the road.

“We’ve been sitting in a hotel room writing and jamming when we get the chance,” said Nelson.

More information about Paul Nelson and The Paul Nelson Band can be found on Facebook by searching for the Paul Nelson Band, and on his website