Michael Buckley Interviews Linda Nelson
Linda Nelson is a singer/songwriter with soft and soulful southern accent. She was born and raised the fifth of seven kids in Baltimore County, a rural area as close to the Mason Dixon Line as it is to the city of the same name. “My folks are from Alabama (dad) and Memphis (mom).
Before Linda was born her father, Andy Nelson, was a star player with the Johnny Unitas led championship Baltimore Colts (1957-1964). (In fact, Johnny U. and Andy Nelson roomed together.) Those same qualities of talent, dedication, teamwork and success have clearly migrated from parents to daughter.
Linda started playing guitar when she was just a teenager. “I had been writing songs on the lane to the mailbox, so when I got a guitar I just started writing songs all the time,” she remembers. Her first inauspicious public performance was at a Tupperware party. In high school things got a bit more ambitious when Linda answered a City Paper ad for a singer (“no Emmylou look-a-likes!”) and won the job with a band of Hopkins students called the Zumbuzie Warriors. Her second gig with the Warriors was on TV at the Hopkins Fair. “(I was) shaking in my boots,” she painfully remembers.
The band gig morphed into a smaller, perhaps more manageable act called the Rising Sun trio with Doug Boardman and Craig Muller. But soon the young musician caught the traveling bug and moved down to the beaches along the Outer Banks of Carolina, and then on to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands where she played solo gigs in the sun. After some tough breaks and inner turmoil took hold, Linda’s musical career lay dormant for about six years.
Click here to read a 2005 interview with Linda Nelson