Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
American singer/songwriter Nell Bryden's blend of bluegrass, jazz, and country, self-described as modern Dixie, has drawn favorable comparisons with the edgier recent efforts from Norah Jones. Born in Brooklyn in 1979 to a classical soprano mother and artist father, Bryden grew up in creative surroundings, and by the age of seven she was writing and directing her own plays. She studied the cello for ten years and dreamed of becoming the next Maria Callas, but after hearing Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin for the first time at 15, she changed musical direction. While on a gap year in Australia, she began writing songs on her guitar, and in 2003 she recorded her debut album, Day for Night, in Nashville with renowned film and TV composer Fred Mollin. The recording of her follow-up in New Orleans was abandoned halfway through when she ran out of money, but after finding a lost Milton Avery painting in her dad's studio, she used the money to fund the production of the album with Grammy Award-winner David Kershenbaum (Duran Duran, Bryan Adams). Championed by legendary Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris, second album What Does It Take? was released through Cooking Vinyl in 2009. She has since supported KT Tunstall and Counting Crows, traveled to Iraq to entertain the armed forces, and appeared in the documentary Striking a Chord.