Posted - 25/06/2012 : 10:59:26
| I posted this on my blog (www.robhalligan.co.uk) and thought I should put it here as well...
Shaking The Tree
Occasionally I come across an artist who hits all the right notes, and I mean that metaphorically.
A couple of months back I went to see Chris Rea in concert and the opening act was a singer/songwriter I’d not heard of, a New Yorker by the name of Nell Brydon. I’m always impressed when a support act can win over a ‘hostile’ crowd and Nell managed to do that. But it was when she announced she was going to sing a song about 9-11 that I really sat up and listened. I get a bit jumpy when people do that because a lot of times when that happens it can feel like a bit of band-wagon jumping is going on.
But the song ‘Sirens’ is beautiful. Nell lives in New york and could see the events of 9-11 from here apartment and it’s obviously a very personal thing to her. When I met her the first time after that show and told her about my dad and thanked her for the song, I’m afraid I made her cry.
So last night, thanks to Smooth radio, I got to see Nell at the Glee Club in Nottingham for a special intimate show. The songs were great, she is a deft songwriter, and it was great to hear her doing what I like to do and tell the stories behind the songs. Show hi-lights were Mercy on Me, a song about Edward Earl Johnson who was executed in Mississippi after an unstable court case where he protested his innocence, the aforementioned Sirens and the title track of her new album, Shake the Tree.
The title ‘Shake The Tree’ comes from a conversation she had with her dad after becoming frustrated with the music industry. He told her, there are two types of people. there are those who see an apple tree and want the apples from the top and then wait until they fall, go pick one up and are content with that. Then there’s the others who can’t wait so they go and shake the tree to make the fruit fall. It’s a great metaphor for life.
Her ambitions are modest – to be doing this as long as she can. Maybe shell be huge, maybe not, she’s having fun doing what she’s doing. So refreshing to hear in a world of TV Talent and instant fame. Enjoy the journey, avoid the shortcuts.
Do check her out at www.nellbryden.com