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Nell Bryden

Nell Bryden

Early lifeNell was born in New York Hospital and grew up in an artist loft on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights. Her parents divorced when she was five, and she lived primarily with her father Lewis Bryden, a painter and sculptor, until aged 12 she moved to live with her mother Jane Bryden, a classical soprano and professor at Smith College in Western Massachusetts. Nell graduated from Amherst Regional High School, and deferred going to college for a year to skydive on a drop zone in Arizona, study Italian and opera in Manhattan and eventually travel to Australia for three months of backpacking, where she bought her first guitar. A classically trained musician (she studied the cello for ten years), Bryden dreamed of becoming an opera singer before hearing Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin for the first time. Bryden attended Wellesley College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English Literature. It was during this time that she began performing her songs live in the Boston folk and rock clubs.Musical careerBryden was living in Greenwich Village in New York during 9/11, an event that had a "profound" effect on her. The following year she recorded an album in Nashville and toured the US to support the album. Disillusioned with the music business, she travelled to New Orleans to write a new album, inspired by the jazz, roots and blues influences of the Crescent city. Bryden began recording with producer John Hill, but after the project ran out of money they returned to New York with a half-finished album. Two weeks later Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, displacing many of the musicians on the record and destroying much of the town.Bryden began touring the UK and Ireland by self-booking her tours, playing up to 250 shows a year abroad, opening for artists such as the Counting Crows and KT Tunstall. After coming across a Milton Avery painting during an attic clear out (a gift from her father when she was still a baby), Bryden auctioned the piece and received a substantial amount for it. She then used the money to re-record her album, but this time around bringing on board Grammy-winning record producer David Kershenbaum.The resulting album What Does it Take came out on 12 October 2009 on Cooking Vinyl in the UK and Ireland, and has enjoyed considerable critical success.In 2008, following a chance meeting with a US Army colonel at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Bryden flew to Iraq to play for the Armed Forces. Her second tour there in 2009 was documented by Susan Cohn Rockefeller for her film Striking A Chord. The film is about the healing power of live music for combat-related stress, which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Striking A Chord was sponsored by Nile Rogers of the We Are Family Foundation.Shake The Tree was recorded at Metrophonic Studios, outside London in the summer of 2010. Nell collaborated with British guitarist and Songwriter Patrick Mascall, with whom she began writing songs that reflected their mutual admiration for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris. By the following autumn, they had amassed forty songs.On a car ride home from the studio one evening, Patrick played Grammy-winning producer Mark Taylor some of their work and plans for cutting an album immediately ensued. In early 2011 a band of carefully selected musicians went into West London’s State of the Ark studio. Owned by legendary songwriter Terry Britten and renowned for its large collection of vintage gear, including an old EMI console complete with “Mick and Keith” scratched into it courtesy of some former users, the studio provided Nell's ideal environment to bring the album to life.The first single from Shake The Tree, "Buildings and Treetops", came out in June 2012, and the album was released on the 18th of the same month. The single was awarded A-list BBC Radio 2 rotation and was greatly supported by Smooth FM and UK regional radio. Following the success of the first single "Buildings & Treetops" (which was a top 20 airplay hit), "Sirens" was released on 10 September 2012, and spent three weeks on the BBC Radio 2 A-list. A poignant and soaring anthem inspired by Nell's hometown New York, and her personal experience in the devastating aftermath of 9/11, "Sirens" was a song Bryden avoided writing for ten years. One day in August 2011 as the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 approached, Nell began describing her experience to Patrick Mascall at Metrophonic Studios. By that afternoon they had completed the song.Following the release of "Sirens" Nell was approached by Take That lead singer Gary Barlow, who asked her to join him as the support act for his UK tour from November to January 2013. During these few months Bryden also supported Jools Holland for several of his UK dates, including a second performance at the Royal Albert Hall, the first with Gary Barlow earlier that month. Her 40 date string of gigs ended with a Nell Bryden headline tour in January 2013. Bryden released two further singles, "Shake The Tree" in January and "Echoes" in May of 2013 with a further headlining tour May - June of that year. The summer months saw her perform at a host of music festivals including V Festival. In September 2013 pop legend Cher recorded "Sirens" and released it as part of her album "Closer To The Truth".157 RecordsIn 2000, Nell started her own record label 157 Records (a reference to the former address of her childhood loft on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn), and released four EPs. She recorded her first full album Day For Night in 2005 and released it independently through the label. The album failed to generate industry interest. Bryden recorded her second album Second Time Around in New Orleans with John Hill, and released it via 157 Records. After the lucrative sale of a Milton Avery painting, she re-worked the album with producer David Kershenbaum, adding new songs such as "Not Like Loving You" and "What Does It Take", plus several new remixes. The resulting album, renamed What Does It Take, was licensed to Cooking Vinyl in 2009 whilst Bryden retained ownership of her masters. She left Cooking Vinyl in 2011 and signed a deal with Warner Music/ADA to release Shake The Tree under her own revived label 157 Records.Personal lifeIn early 2011 during the recording of Shake The Tree, Nell suddenly lost her hair from a stress-induced auto-immune condition called Alopecia. Nell began a new round of songwriting that reflected the traumatic experience, but kept her condition from the public and wore a wig to continue performing. In June 2012 Nell wrote a feature for the Mail On Sunday in the UK documenting her story. Several months later, following great feedback from the article, Nell decided to begin performing without a wig, preferring instead to present herself as she is now to her fans and the general public.Radio and television appearancesBBC Radio Two SupportWhat Does it take (Single) Was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in June 2009 and remained there for 4 weeksWhat Does It Take (Album) BBC Radio 2 Album of the Week on 8 August 2009Second Time Around (Single) Ben Mason Radio Mix was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in September 2009 and remained there for 4 weeksNot Like Loving You (Single) Ben Mason Radio Mix was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in December 2009 and remained there for 6 weeksTonight (Single) Ash Howes Radio Mix was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in March 2010 and remained there for 4 weeksGoodbye (Single) Ash Howes Radio Mix was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in August 20010 and remained there for 5 weeksGlory To The Day (Single) Danny Kirsch Radio Mix was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in January 2010 and remained there for 4 weeksBuildings And Treetops (Single) was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in June 2012 and remained there for 5 weeksSirens (Single) was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in August 2012 and remained there for 4 weeksShake The Tree (Single) was released in January 2013 and added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist. The single was accompanied by a music video that featured clips from Nell's recent tour supporting Gary BarlowEchoes (Single) was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist in May 2013All You Had (Single) was the first release from Bryden's new album and was added to the BBC Radio 2 A-list in December 2013Interviews & SessionsJanice Long: Interview and session (2008)Bob Harris: Interview and session (2008)Janice Long: Interview and session (2009)RADIO 2 Celebrates Maida Vale: Interview and session (2009)Weekend Wogan Pilot: Interview and session (2010)Weekend Wogan: Interview and session (April 2010)Ken Bruce: World Exclusive of 5th Single ‘Goodbye’ (2010)Steve Wright: Interview (Mid-August 2010)Proms In Park: Interview and performance (2010)Chris Evans Presents Elvis Forever Live From Hyde Park: Interview and performance (2010)Breakfast Show With Richard Madeley: Interview (2010)Weekend Wogan at The Palladium: Interview and session (October 2010)Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2 – Mystery Caller (30th May 2012)Friday Night is Music Night with Ken Bruce, BBC Radio 2 - Hands Across The Sea with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Performance (6 July 2012)Terry Wogan, BBC Radio 2 Interview (3rd February 2013)Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2. Interview and performance with guests David Dimbleby, Laurence Fox and Billie Piper. (22nd November 2013)BBC Radio 4Woman's Hour: Interview and session with Jenni Murray (2010)Smooth NetworkNot Like Loving You (Single) was added to the Smooth FM Playlist for 8 weeksTonight (Single) was added to the Smooth FM Playlist for 8 weeksGoodbye (Single) was added to the Smooth FM Playlist for 9 weeksPaul Coia: InterviewNetwork Blackpool Switch On: Performance (2010)Mark Goodier: InterviewSmooth Network TV Advert: featuring Goodbye was used for the Smooth TV advertSmooth Album Of The Week (December 2010), What Does It TakeSmooth Album Of The Week (June 2012), Shake The TreeAppearancesBBC Breakfast (2008)Sky Sunrise, 17 June 2012Friday Night Is Music Night with Ken Bruce, Hands Across The Sea with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Roderick Dunk, also featuring British pianist James Pearson and Michael Dore. Live on BBC Radio 2 from the Mermaid Theatre, London. Aired 6 July 2012Live performancesThe Secret Garden Festival, 2006KT Tunstall (US Tour), 2008Counting Crows (UK Tour), 2008Ben Taylor (musician) (UK tour), 2009BBC Proms in the Park, 2010Guilfest, 2010Camp Bestival, 2010Chris Rea (UK tour), 2012Duane Eddy (UK tour), 2012Smooth Radio Love Live 2012Hyde Park London, BT London Live 2012Guilfest Festival, 2012, 2012Electric Picnic Festival, 2012Gary Barlow (UK Tour) Support Act 2012-2013


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Nell Bryden - Shake The Tree

Shake The Tree