“Where has this guy been hiding? In the library maybe.” -NPR'S Folk Alley

Although he was born by the sea, it wasn’t until he moved to the desert that Nels Andrews began writing songs. He sang them alone in a house constructed of mud and tires on the sage-brushed mesas of Taos, New Mexico where he spent his 20’s, airing them occasionally around campfires. Eventually he found his voice as a crooner of literary narratives and increasingly impressionistic story songs.

Nels has toured nationally and internationally since 2002 and has won prestigious songwriting awards from Kerrville, Telluride, and Mountain Stage. His international travels include sessions with the BBC’s Bob Harris, who named Nels’ debut album one of the best of that year.

Folk Radio UK says: “(Nels) combines deft storytelling with a warmth of tone and gentleness of pace .. awash with layers, metaphors and echoes woven into subtle, contemplative contemporary song. Like finding a seashell at the back of a dusty cupboard, putting it to your ear and hearing the ocean.”

Now, happily stationed by the sea again in Santa Cruz, Andrews has gracefully woven the morning fog, redwoods, and oceanside into his forthcoming record Pigeon and The Crow, produced by traditional Irish flutist Nuala Kennedy (Gerry O’Conner, Will Oldham). A songwriter’s record in the spirit of Van Morrison’s Veedon Fleece with a breath of the texture, rhythm, and longing of Milton Nascimento’s Club De Esquina , Pigeon and The Crow brims with literary wordplay, mixed with some sway, some shimmer, and some sand between your toes.

The bones of this soon to be released, 4th studio record were tracked live at indie rock band Lord Huron’s Whispering Pines clubhouse/studio In Los Angeles. Andrews, along with Kennedy, Sebastian Steinberg (Iron and Wine, Fiona Apple , Soul Coughing) on bass, and Quinn on drums/percussion (T-Bone Burnett, Eastmountainsouth), breathed life into the songs together in that one room. The album was then fleshed out via long distance collaborations with an international set of traditional players, from the UK to the Azores, mixed with new friends like Stelth Ulvang (the Lumineers), not to mention some old friends from New York. It also features guest appearances by fellow songsmiths Anais Mitchell, AJ Roach, and Anthony Da Costa. Release Date August 9, 2019.



News & Updates




An Illustrated modern folktale set in the foggy central Californian coast; song depicted via graphic novella. 

Pigeon and the Crow is a collaboration between Illustrator Mike Bencze and songwriter Nels Andrews bringing together their worlds of sound and image. brought to you in part by the Arts Council Santa Cruz County. 

The project is a fictionalized telling of the true story of a young girl who fed a crow in her backyard and received gifts in return. Here, the relationship re-imagined as a love story, in the form of a supernatural ballad. It's also the first track of Nels' upcoming full length album.


Vocals & Guitar Nels Andrews
Production, Flute & Vocals Nuala Kennedy
Bass Sebastian Steinberg
Drums/ Percussion Quinn
Cello Pete Harvey

"In the 1800s, whaling voyages would last 3 years or longer; several weeks, sometimes months, could pass between Whale sightings, This gave the whalers a great deal more free time than other sailors of the day. Manuscripts were penned, and finely crafted stories were told in thin line on bone. I imagine it was the romantics, if forced to sea, who would take to whaling, finding somewhere to occasionally oust their courage between long bouts of contemplation, and rum. They probably also liked the rum." Nels Andrews, 2012 

Strikingly intimate album that combines deft storytelling with a warmth of tone and gentleness of pace..awash with layers, metaphors and echoes woven into subtle, contemplative contemporary song. Like finding a seashell at the back of a dusty cupboard, putting it to your ear and hearing the ocean". - Folk Radio UK

(4/5 stars) - The London Telegraph, UK

"A true wellspring of 21st century music." album of the week - Iain Anderson, BBC Scotland

"Literate, melancholic songs of life passing" (4/5 stars) - The Irish Times, UK

“The rhythm of the ocean... and light and shade dynamics reminiscent of Astral Weeks. As great singers do, Andrews has the gift of making the ‘La-La-La’ coda sound as profound as ancient philosophy” (4/5 stars) - Rock’n Reel Magazine, UK

“A wonderfull and delicate work of art”(4/5 stars) - Maverick Magazine UK

(4/5 stars) -  Volkskrant, NL

(4/5 stars)-  OOR, NL

"With Scrimshaw, Nels Andrews delivers another masterpiece" - Heaven Pop Magazine, NL

1 Tridents 4:54

2 Starboard 4:11

3 Barroom Bards 5:57

4 Small Victories 4:12

5 Flotsam 5:15

6 Houdini 4:00

7 Three Hermits 3:18

8 Lost Year (Off Track Betting) 6:27

9 Wisteria 5:27


Acoustic bass, piano, pump organ production Todd Sickafoose

guitars, vocals, shruti box Nels Andrews

Electric  and 12 string guitars Jonathan Goldberger

Electric Guitars Adam Levy

Tenor Banjo, Mandolin acoustic guitar Brandon Seabrook 

Pedal steel Rich Hinman

Drums Ben Perowsky

Drums, percussion Andrew Borger

Violin Savanna Jo Lack

Vocals, Flute  Nuala Kennedy


“While his sound may remind some listeners of other talented young minstrels such as Amos Lee and Andrew Bird, Andrews, paints with a more delicate touch. His canvas may suggest large Southwestern landscapes or a vast desert of yearnings, yet the beauty of his work is in the tiny details. ****/***** -Chicago Sun Times

“Moody, intense, thoughtful and very good. - ****/***** Irish Times

“Sunday Shoes’ was always going to be a hard act to follow, but Nels Andrews handles this new set of nine self-penned songs on ’Off Track Betting’ with intelligent assurance. For all intents and purposes, ’Off Track Betting’ has temporarily replaced the bebop of Charlie Parker for the soundtrack to Kerouac’s bestseller, if only for a while. If this is the evolving route for all things Americana,then it’s fine by me. - Froots

“Excellent follow up to feted debut. The songs are at times dreamlike, shuffling past, almost languid. Andrews’ vocals are reminiscent of Jackson Browne on Late For the Sky, and the songs here reach that peak of creativity. It would be unfair to pick out highlights, from the start this album draws one in with welcoming arms…. one cannot fail to mention the excellent “Temple Incense”, best song so far this year.” 9/10 -Americana UK

1 Fever Dream 4:20

2 Temple Incense 4:45

3 Three Days 4:32

4 Lady Of The Silver Spoon 4:49

5 Butterfly Wing 3:11

6 Rented White Sedan 4:01

7 Shoot Out The Stars 3:15

8 Sunday Shoes 6:06

9 Dollar And The Dream 3:29


Acoustic Bass, Piano, Pump Organ, Mellotron, Produced By – Todd Sickafoose
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Adam Levy
Banjo, Fuzz Guitar – Brandon Seabrook
Drums – Ben Perowsky
Harmony Vocals – A.J. RoachAna Egge
Harp – Shelley Burgon
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Nels Andrews
Organ, Synth, Piano – Mikael Jorgensen
Pedal Steel Guitar – Rich Hinman
Wine Glass Orchestra – Gina Leishman


“Sparsely arranged, slyly intelligent country-folk stuffed with juniper winds, Juarez jails and long women in short dresses, delivered with all the gruff urgency of Tom Waits over lap steel and ruptured guitar.” -UNCUT ****

“Elegantly sparse, subtlely ethereal, and ferociously intelligent songs.. reaffirms your faith in music and threatens to wear out from repeated plays.. Sunday Shoes is) word perfect from endless listens and a strong contender for album of the year.” -Americana UK

“On "Sunday Shoes" , Nels Andrews proves that he deserves a spot in the ranks of today's Americana heroes. “ American Songwriter

“Seamless smoke rings of atmospheric campfire reflection, tempered with heady, tumbling slow-roots melodies and a restless wisdom. . At the moment, there are few others in Americana who carry his rugged presence. For Nels Andrews is that much sought-after treasure in music. He’s the real deal.” -Maverick

1 Central Avenue Romance 4:09

2 Weight 5:10

3 Jesse's Mom 5:06

4 Broken Conversation 2:13

5 Milk And Honey 3:54

6 Lilli Marlene 4:59

7 Meadowlake 3:25

8 Denim Scarecrow 4:12

9 Petal To A Bee 4:41

10 Big Oaks Sway 3:34


Bass – Chris Kitchen
Drums – Heath Dauberman
Guitar, Banjo – Jeffrey Richards
Vocals – Michelle Collins
Vocals, Guitar, Written By – Nels Andrews
Accordion - Brett Sparks
Trumpet - Sarah Kramer