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Folk rocker Drew Nelson playing in New York Mills

Folk-rock musician Drew Nelson will perform a concert at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. 

A Michigan-born Navy veteran, Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.

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.

"Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists," John Gorka has said. "His songs sound like the rest of us feel... dazed, angry, amazed and climbing."

Nelson garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records) and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House Records, which just signed him.

"I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads," Red House president Eric 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." 

Nelson's Red House debut, Tilt-A-Whirl, comes out in early 2012. 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 will be showcasing at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and will be touring across North America and Europe.

When Nelson is not on the road, he enjoys reading, rooting for the Detroit Tigers, doing hot yoga and working as an amateur luthier, building guitars and octave mandolins. He is also working on putting together a photography show.

Admission is $12 advance sale ($10 for Cultural Center members) and $15 at the door. Student admission is $5. Call 218-385-3339 to reserve tickets.