In the past decade, Maritimer and now Prairietimer, Ross Neilsen, has released ten recordings, performed over 2000 concerts, driven more than a million kilometers and has toured Canada 18 times. Neilsen has been honoured with multiple nominations at The Maple Blues Awards including Songwriter of the Year in 2017, two Rising Star nominations from CBC, back to back Blues Album of the Year nominations from the East Coast Music Association, over half a dozen nominations for MusicNB awards, including wins for Best Blues Recording (Redemption 2010 and The Shack Up Sessions 2013). In 2012 Ross was chosen as a semifinalist in the solo/duo category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
In 2007, Ross Neilsen had an epiphany. He quit his job, left his relationship, moved out of his house and into his car. Neilsen spent the next two years couch surfing and began the never ending tour schedule that he would become known for throughout Canada. The road honed his craft into a well-oiled machine of stories and song. Music has taken Ross throughout Canada, Mexico, The Olympics, The Pan Am Games, The Hill Country region of Mississippi, The Swampy rivers of Louisiana and even to Macon, Georgia where he was privileged to play the holy grail of blues, rock and soul: Duane Allman’s 1957 Les Paul Gold Top. 2014 found Ross Studying at Camp Copperhead under the tutelage of Steve Earle. The time at Camp Copperhead proved invaluable and gave Ross an entirely new approach to songwriting.
After nine years of non-stop-touring clubs, homes and festivals throughout Canada, Neilsen finally left the road for a much needed break. Neilsen used the break to write new material. In early 2016, Neilsen returned to the studio to cut his sixth studio album with Juno winning team of, Producer Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk) and ace engineer, Ken Friesen (Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo). Elemental was released in September of 2016 and has received much critical appraise and airplay around the world.
On Elemental, Neilsen completely abandons the singular genre format. The result is an album of Neilsen’s influences used to tell a biographical story that spans ten years. Driving blues rock, heartfelt ballads, classic R&B, and a nod to one of Neilsen’s biggest influences, Willie P. Bennett, are all proudly displayed in an incredible sonic palate.
Although he now lives in Saskatoon, you can still find Neilsen performing throughout Canada in a variety of concert styles. Be it his solo show, power trio or his new six piece, Neilsen is still out there telling tall tales and melting faces with his signature finger style guitar displays and troubadour song stylings.
Sarah French Publicity