NELSON keeps family musical tradition going
Tonight’s induction into the Scandinavian American Hall of Fame will be a unique and special honor for Gunnar and Matthew Nelson.
Gunnar Nelson, 55, said they have attended many ceremonies recognizing the three-generational talents of the Nelson family, but induction into the Scandinavian American Hall of Fame is the first time the brothers will be honored on their singular merits, without the entire family’s historical talents.
NELSON will perform at the opening ceremony at Norsk Hostfest on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
The musical duo have top 40 hits such as “Can’t Live Without Your Love and Affection” and “After the Rain” that have endured through the decades. They continue to fly across the planet for weekend shows after 30 years of entertaining.
When asked if fans still approach them, claiming to be unable to live without their “love and affection,” singer/songwriter Gunnar Nelson indicated, “It never gets old.”
“Encountering fans that tell us that NELSON was the first concert they attended and paid for with their own money, as just happened in Minneapolis at the Delta check-in desk, is pretty cool,” he added.
Nelson said he likes the parallel that — after many years and his own life evolving with family and “whatever the heck the pandemic was” — people with their own families and kids growing up can still look at NELSON’s music with fond memories. Nelson said the silver lining to the pandemic was all the extra creative time that enabled the brothers to release a “hand-picked” greatest hits compilation and finish a Christmas record that includes all three generations in a Nelson rendition of Jingle Bells.
Recently the Nelsons re-released all 14 digitally remastered seasons of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”
Nelson said while the lockdowns temporarily prohibited them from what God put them on this earth to do, they are blessed to be back performing and reconnecting with people. He said he is also a chef and likes to host live events. Both brothers are into flipping muscle cars and racing.
Following their performance in Minot Wednesday, the duo is heading to Nashville, where they will open and be included in an exhibit highlighting their father Ricky Nelson’s musical mark on the history of the Los Angeles country-rock sound. Nelson said his father was a trailblazer, along with other heavy hitters of his genre, such as Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, The Byrds, The Eagles and The Flying Burrito Brothers.
The Nashville exhibit, called Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock, opens Friday at the Country Music Hall of Fame.