by Kim Ruehl
Brooklyn-based folksinger Nels Andrews has been slowly but surely building a remarkable career playing the role of the story-singing troubadour. Since earning the coveted New Folk title at 2002's Kerrville Folk Festival (held in other years by Nanci Griffith and Slaid Cleaves, among others), Andrews has released a handful of studio albums and EPs.
He's collaborated with AJ Roach, held an apprenticeship with Washboard Williams, and been produced by the inimitable Todd Sickafoos. Sickafoos, as a matter of fact, helped craft Andrews' newest release - the emotionally provocative and aurally stirring Scrimshaw, which you can take on a First Spin via the player below.
Here, Andrews seems to finally be stretching his legs, letting each narrative tread its own path. There are ripping, distorted guitars and whimsically fingerpicked acoustic instruments; dreamy, atmospheric tones, background choruses and, of course, Andrews' own honest and earnest-with0ut-trying vocals. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think.