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article imageInterview with country rocker Cameran Nelson Special

By Adrian Peel     Nov 14, 2014 in Music
Digital Journal talks to the proficient singer-songwriter from Texas currently working hard to capitalise on the success of last year's Happy to Beer, his well-received second album.
Born in Haskell, Texas 31 years ago, Cameran Nelson has built up quite a following around the Lone Star State thanks largely to his hectic touring schedule.
It therefore came as no surprise that when I caught up with the energetic performer, he was on his way down to Corpus Christi to play a show that evening at the Brewster Street Ice House with Jon Wolfe and Cody Johnson.
The winner of Male Vocalist of the Year at this year's Texas Music Awards, Nelson has also been working on another album - the follow up to 2013's Happy to Beer - a new long-player set to be released early next year that will include his recent number one hit, "Shotgun."
"That was our second number one this year," notes the resident of the Texas Hill Country, situated between Fredericksburg and New Braunfels. "Earlier this year '35 Runs Both Ways' went number one on both the Texas Music Chart and the Texas Regional Radio Report and then 'Shotgun' was number one on the Regional Radio Report."
"It's got everything recorded and ready to go," says the singer, as big a fan of rock music as he is of country, of the as-yet-untitled forthcoming album. "We're just working on the title, the artwork, the packaging and all that stuff, along with at least one new music video as well."
Going into more detail regarding the music and lyrical content of the record, Nelson remarks, "There were a lot of songs on the Happy to Beer album that we liked a whole bunch and never really got to give them a chance.
"So it's going to follow along the lines of '35 Runs Both Ways' and 'The Only Thing I'm Missing (Sunset)' - songs like that that I personally really liked and a lot of the guys in the band really liked.
"We're gonna kind of follow that style of music, more so than the funny songs like 'Happy To Beer' and 'Reckless In Texas' (a track off Cameran's 2012 EP of the same name)."
Asked to reveal his biggest musical influences, the born entertainer - who played his first gig at the age of 13 with his dad who was also a country singer - lists many of the 'usual suspects' (Haggard, Strait, Keith Whitley etc.), but it was while working for an often-overlooked country legend that he began to learn some useful tricks of the trade that would later come in handy.
"When I was 15, I went to work for Gary Stewart for a little while, selling merchandise," he remembers. "I got in with that camp and started playing more and more. Then went to college to study music after high school and just never stopped!"
What did Cameran learn from 'The King of Honky Tonk?'
"Well he taught me how to play 'Empty Glass' in a hotel room in Rockwall, Texas one night... I did get to see his ability to entertain a crowd and keep a crowd interested. Of course, I still haven't quite learned to do it as well as he did it, but I did get to see it a lot; take as many notes as I could as a 15 year old kid."
Finally, I wondered whether the clearly very driven musician has ever considered following other Texas Country acts like Eli Young Band and Wade Bowen to Nashville, even if it were just to look for regular work as a songwriter?
"Oh no. I do a lot of work up there and I visit there often, but I couldn't see myself living outside of Texas."
Happy to Beer is available now in CD form and online.
Cameran Nelson's new album should be out "about mid-January."
For more information, visit his official website.
More about cameran nelson, texas country music, cody johnson, jon wolfe, texas music awards
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