Nels Cline

Some facts about Nels Cline:

Born in Los Angeles in 1956.
Has a twin brother Alex (who plays drums).
Began playing guitar in 1967.
Plays guitar and writes music for a living.

Had no formal training.
In 1971 a guy named Bruce showed Nels how to play a major scale in chords, causing a major epiphany.

Early influences:
Roger McGuinn, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, John Fahey, Duane Allman...

Later influences:
John McLaughlin, Fred Frith, Jim Hall, Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie, Tom Verlaine, Thurston Moore, Otis Rush...

Studied harmony, orchestration & arranging, 20th Century harmony and commercial harmony & arranging at Santa Monica College with Rule Beaseley until going to work in retail record & book shops for most of his adult life.

Most valuable musical training came from his work with multi-instrumentalist/composer Eric von Essen, and from never turning down a gig.

First appearance on a record was in 1978 on Vinny Golia's Openhearted album (Nine Winds).

Other artists Nels has performed and/or recorded with include:

Julius Hemphill, Charlie Haden, Mike Watt, Tim Berne, Mark Dresser, Bobby Bradford, Thurston Moore, Lydia Lunch, Gregg Bendian, Mark Isham, Bonnie Barnett, Quartet Music, The Geraldine Fibbers, Brad Dutz, Mary Lou Lord, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Kaiser, Banyan, Bloc, Joel Harrison, Jeremy Toback, Devin Sarno, fIREHOSE, G.E. Stinson, Osamu Kitajima, Mark Weber, Two Dollar Guitar, Carla Bozulich, Wayne Peet, Walter Thompson, Elliott Sharp, James Carney, and the West Coast Modern Day Punk Rock Orchestra.

Nels has scored two low-grade films:
Welcome, Said The Angel
Hard Drive

His own projects have included:
The Nels Cline Singers (Current)
Nels Cline Trio (1990-1997)
an early quintet
a 6-piece called Destroy All Nels Cline
a quartet with Mark Dresser, Billy Mintz & Zeena Parkins
an improvising acoustic guitar trio with Rod Poole & Jim McAuley
Blue Mitt Ensemble

Many duo collaborations, including with:
Carla Bozulich (Scarnella, Carla Bozulich & Friends), Devin Sarno, Gregg Bendian, Woody Aplanalp, G.E. Stinson, Elliott Sharp, Thurston Moore, Christopher Garcia, and painter Norton Wisdom.

Awards include:
California Music Award for "Outstanding Jazz Artist"
LA Weekly Music Awards for "Best New Genre/Uncategorizable Artist."

Artists currently working with most often:
Wilco, The Nels Cline Singers, Scarnella, Vinny Golia, Scott Amendola Band, Devin Sarno, Banyan, Gregg Bendian's Interzone.

Nels Cline also played at...