When the relative of a famous singer starts to release their own music, there are often critics that allege they are riding the coattails of the famous relative. That can’t be said about Raelyn Nelson, the granddaughter of the legendary Willie Nelson.
If I hadn’t known about her lineage, I am pretty certain I wouldn’t have made any type of connection between her and the Red Headed Stranger. I would have simply seen her for what she is: a talented young woman with a great sound that is likely to bring a smile to your face while you are listening. The Raelyn Nelson Band is putting out music that is so fresh and catchy that you shouldn’t be surprised if their songs stay in your head for a while.
Traditionally, artists usually release a CD every year or so and go out on tour to support the CD. The Raelyn Nelson Band has taken a different approach . “We decided to do singles with a video and t-shirt once a month or so to give music fans new material quicker instead of one album and then touring to support that album for a year,” Nelson said. She also added the band is getting out on the road in between recording and taping.
The current single is called “Mason Jar” and the video was posted to the Raelyn Nelson Band’s YouTube page on July 3. Nelson explained the inspiration of the song. “‘Mason Jar’ is about literally the evolution of my mid-to-late twenties…deciding to face fears and pursue my dreams,” Nelson said. She also said the first few lines and the melody of the song came to her while she was driving around some backroads near her house in Tennessee, something that likely contributed to the “open spaces” theme of the song.
What does Nelson hope people will take away from the song? “I want everyone to be inspired to get out there, create and pursue dreams so we can inspire each other! We all have different perspectives and influences so everyone’s art is valid, beautiful, and should be seen and heard.” Although Nelson is the lead singer of the band, every member of the band is important to the overall sound. Jonathan Bright, Paulie Simmons and Preach Rutherford make contributions to the overall sound of the band. The members of the band have an obvious chemistry, which is important for a successful band.
In the videos they create, it is obvious all the members of this band love doing what they do and enjoy making music together. Nelson said they used a GoPro and the actors in the video are actually their family and friends. She said the “Mason Jar” video has a storyline. The band posted the video to the song “Brother” on May 31 and it also tells a story.
“We do everything ourselves so once we had the GoPro and a ‘movie plot’…it all came together,” Nelson said. She also said making the video was a blast. Nelson cites two of her influences as Loretta Lynn and Joan Jett. If you look carefully, you will be able to spot Nelson wearing a t-shirt of both influences during the “Mason Jar” video.
In addition to the music videos, some of the other videos that have been posted to the Raelyn Nelson Band channel on YouTube are quite entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the one where the band was searching for someone selling a Loretta Lynn t-shirt during this year’s CMA Fest. Fans can connect with the Raelyn Nelson Band on social media. In addition to the YouTube channel, the band is on Facebook (www.facebook.com/raelynnelsonband), Twitter (@raelynnelson) and Instagram (@raelynnelsonband).