Winter Park: Musicians patch together tapestry of tunes
August 22, 2008
A steady changeout of musicians keeps things fresh for artist Jeremiah Nelson and his appropriately named band project, Patchwork. For his Saturday performance at the Winter Park Pub, the musician, who specializes in acoustic and jazz-influenced music, has invited local musician Eric “Oly” Olson to join in the special performance.
“I gotta try to change it up ” keep it interesting,” said Nelson, who is “tickled pink” about how well his new record “Take Me Down the Interstate” has turned out. After months of hard work pulling it together the album was released just last week and suitably, some of the songs included are four-track recordings from his tours on the road.
Nelson is excited to get to play with Oly, who is also a member of bands Stereomaid and Huge in Germany and is an accomplished soloist who plays guitar regularly throughout the county. Nelson “heard glowing things about him and his music” from a mutual friend, John Statz, who plays in Grand County every now and then and lives just a couple doors down from Nelson in Madison, Wisc.
Nelson grew up in Rochester, Minn., playing in various local bands before moving to Minneapolis to attend music school. He came away with a degree in jazz guitar and what he said was “a new-found appreciation for wanky, indulgent solos.”
He played mandolin for Ian Hilmer’s Stagefright, a “gypsy-folk outfit,” after a move to Winona. As he criss-crossed the state, playing places “from Harmony Park to hallway bars,” he built up the song list that laid the foundation for Patchwork’s “lo-fi,
found-sound-folk opus,” album “Dancing on a Fallen Sky.”
It was in Oshkosh, while studying recording, that he finally put the songs on tape. He recorded them on a borrowed 8-track cassette recorder and Patchwork was born ” “no band, no shows, just songs.”
During the following couple years Nelson taught guitar and “assembled a modest home recording rig piece by piece.”
He recorded “Work and Worry,” a six-song EP with a group of musician friends in a basement. It was self-released in the spring of 2007 and served as a springboard for Nelson to begin full-time touring.
Following a year on the road, Nelson moved to Madison, Wisc. and linked up with “professional urban forager” Christopher Billingsly. The two moved into a warehouse-turned-scrap-metaling space/recording studio the two dubbed The Warehome.
From there Nelson emerged with several new songs that challenged the boundaries of contemporary songwriting ” with tunes inspired from “influential luminaries” like Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and “modern pioneers like Faraquet and Karate.”
Nelson tries to “create songs that are real and not derived from a formula” ” a nice change from some of the commercial stuff “that gets churned out in the mainstream.”
He describes his newest album as a “soundtrack to life on the road, drunken sing-a-longs and hard-earned, thinly spread paychecks. It’s not for the faint hearted but its dog-eared beauty should resonate with folks who have been put through the ringer a couple times.”
For this next show, Nelson said he’s “stoked” and loves the mountains. The dual performance will be Nelson’s debut in Grand County and Oly’s first time playing with Patchwork.