About Music

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas and raised in Monroe, Louisiana, Sarah Jane Nelson grew up surrounded by music.  After she sang her first solo in "big" church at age 9, she was hooked.  Nelson's singing career has taken her all over the world with with a versatile voice that covers a wide range of styles including Rock, Jazz, Blues, Country, and Broadway.

On this page you can listen to clips from each of Nelson's three CD's, read biographies on her background in each musical style.  To listen to more clips and buy music, visit this page:   http://sarahjanenelson.com/music/buy-music

Thank you for supporting independent music!

THE DEBUT BLUES CD!

Listen to a clip from the title track, Wild Women Don't Get the Blues (that's right)

Listen to a clip from Summertime (slow and sticky)

Listen to Long as I Got You (an original tune - yep, I wrote it!)

(SJ Nelson vocals, Hawkeye Herman Guitar, Big Irv' Lubliner Harmonica)

BLUES BIOGRAPHY -  Sarah Jane Nelson’s relationship with the blues is rooted in her upbringing in Monroe, Louisiana.  “In junior high school I came across a boxed set of Robert Johnson music at the local record store.  Eric Clapton, one of my favorites, endorsed the set saying Johnson was ‘the most important blues musician who has ever lived.’ Those recordings were like nothing I had ever heard, and I was drawn to the simple production that let the remarkably honest storytelling shine through. Suddenly I realized where all the popular rock and country music I loved had originated.”  Years later, working in New York City as a professional actress, Nelson was cast in “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues,” at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia. With a sold out extended run, that show, which chronicled the history of blues music, was Nelson’s first taste of singing the blues professionally.  A year later, Nelson performed in an Off-Broadway production of “El Paso Blue,” a play with a blues score written by Michael “Hawkeye” Herman. When Sarah Jane and Hawkeye came together to rehearse the music, it was “love at first jam,” and they have been playing together ever since. “I adore Hawkeye as a person, an artist, and a collaborator.  He sees something special in me, and that has been a great source of inspiration on my journey into blues.  This music is where I’m from and where I live.  I love the sound, the songs, the storytelling, and the unwavering strength that is at the core of all blues music.”
 “Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues” was inspired by Sunday afternoon blues jams at the home of Hawkeye Herman (www.hawkeyeherman.com). All tracks were recorded LIVE at Freeman Sound in Ashland, Oregon with no-frills production to capture the ambiance of a backporch jam and let the storytelling shine through. It also features harmonica with Big Irv Lubliner and Tom Freeman on percussion.  

 THE COUNTRY CD!

Listen to a clip from Angel from Montgomery (Ed Dunsavage guitar, Crystal Reeves fiddle)

Listen to a clip from the title track Saving Grace (an original song I wrote with Frank Vinci)

Listen to a clip from Louisiana (Dave Scoggin on piano)

COUNTRY MUSIC BIOGRAPHY - When it comes to COUNTRY music, Nelson was inspired on road trips in her Mammy and Pappy’s motor home visiting Bluegrass Festivals across the south. Since she's a genuine southern girl, she was also raised on old records of country greats like Kitty Wells, Earnest Tubb, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, and Roy Acuff.  Nelson writes country music on a regular basis and has worked with publishers and writers in Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles.  She was the opening act for country superstar for Josh Turner at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon.  From that gig, it was clear that she needed a country CD and that's how "Saving Grace" was born.

THE CABARET CD!

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Listen to a clip from Taylor the Latte Boy (Darcy Danielson piano)

Listen to a clip from Nelson's performance in the critically acclaimed Broadway and National Tour of SWING! Cry Me a River (Darcy Danielson piano, David MacKenszie trombone)

Listen to a clip from duet from Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party" with husband René Millán  Maybe I Like it This Way (Darcy Danielson piano)

MUSICAL THEATER / CABARET BIOGRAPHY - Nelson's career as a professional singer began in musical theater.  After moving from Louisiana to New York City at the age of 17, Nelson climbed the ladder up through regional and off-Broadway theater to finally perform on Broadway and then star on Broadway.  (See her "Actor Biography" page for more info)  Throughout her years in New York City, she performed Cabaret Shows at the famous theater district clubs including Danny's Skylight Room, Don't Tell Mama, and uptown at The Triad.  Her passion for storytelling and interaction with the audience drew her to the art form of cabaret and finally she recorded a CD that shows the variety of styles she covers in her live cabaret shows.  "A Little Bit of Everything" is Nelson's first CD and it was recorded in Ashland, Oregon while she was working as an actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  It covers wide range of styles including musical theater, jazz, country, and blues with storytelling being the common denominator of all the music compiled.

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