Best Of The Batch: Nad Neslo
Back From Gone
Artist: Nad Neslo
Title: Back From Gone
Finding an artist like Nad Neslo is a real discovery for this listener. The Internet affords so many opportunities for the performer and listeners now, the choices are endless, and at times, it can be confusing. I found Nad on CD Baby, listened to some samples and that was all she wrote. I needed to hear the entire CD.
Back From Gone is a good album. At first blush, I felt that Nad’s voice sounded familiar. After a while, it hit me, he sounds like Nils Lofgren (Grin, Springsteen). That is from my own perspective; someone else may hear something else entirely. That is a good thing, having a connection to the music you are hearing, in any way, is a good start to your listening experience. It always works for me.
Nad is another one of those amazing DIY artists that plays all the instruments and writes all of his own material (he does one cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer”). He plays guitar with passion, purpose, and above all a feeling and touch that compliments his understated vocal style. The eight tracks that encompass the CD feature bluesy rock guitar licks that cry out to you, looking for an answer. The bed of bass lines and percussion sound very much right in place to support his six-string. They have just enough oomph to let the guitar do all the talking, along with his vocals of course, although at times he goes for long stretches of instrumental breaks.
The closing track “Lonely Linda” is Neslo’s tour de force, nearly 13 minutes of blues soaked guitar rock and a memorable vocal treatment. Another favorite is “Wandering John,” which has a catchy hook running through it. I liked the track more with each listen. Annette Olsen adds a nice touch to the overall mix of the album with some sweet background vocals, giving it all a touch of class.
I liked this recording right out of the gate, but as I listened more frequently, I could appreciate the complete artistry of Nad Neslo. From top to bottom, this man does a great job of presenting his musicianship and song constructing. He does it all in a very relaxed fashion, gradually easing you into his world. This was a refreshing listen that I will look forward to hearing again-and I do not have to be in a particular mood to give it a spin.
1. Wandering John (6:15)
2. Peace of Mind (10:06)
3. Cortez the Killer (8:06)
4. The Distance (8:38)
5. D. B. Cooper (9:53)
6. Garnet Mountain (9:01)
7. September Wind (8:34)
8. Lonely Linda (Waiting for Love) (12:24)
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