Freddie Nelson's Shake The Cage

Okay, now we're talking. If it was another time Freddie Nelson's new CD would be a Rock Radio hit. That's not to say he sounds dated or his musical style is from another time, it's just that these days straight ahead rockers aren't getting signed and if they are they aren't selling records because in the Here and Now, no one buys records. Lucky for me I get to hear this kind of stuff because it's sent to me. When I first saw his video Hey Doll I thought what is this guy, a wiseguy from the 1940s? Who calls a woman "doll" anymore? And he looks like Shaggy from Scooby-doo. But now he looks to me like Shaggy if Shaggy could sing great, rock out and play hot guitar.

I haven't heard such a good, commercial voice in a long, long time. A lot of both his vocal style and his song writing does sound rather retro to me but that's because it sounds like what we back in the day used to refer to as "good".

Freedie's press kit says he's from Pittsburgh, PA and that his influences include Queen, Muse, My Chemical Romance, The Killers and The Beatles. You can hear echos of The Beatles' I Want You (She's So Heavy) in his song Keep Running. Yeah, this is my kind of music.

His new album, Shake The Cage, is available for pre-order on iTunes, Amazon with instant gratification track, limited edition hard copies are available for pre-order on and his single Hey Doll is available on all digital retail outlets so I'd highly recommend you check it out. The single is what a single should be which is a good representation of the album. There is high quality throughout.

Normally I don't like just quoting an artist's press kit but in this case I'll let it speak for itself:
Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer Freddie Nelson came to international attention in 2010 when he collaborated with virtuoso guitarist Paul Gilbert (of Racer X and Mr. Big) on the album “United States.”  Together they wrote, performed, and produced the recording that was released on Mascot Records and toured Japan and Europe shortly after.

After the success of “United States,” Freddie began fielding interest as a solo artist. In 2015, he started writing and recording songs for “Shake The Cage.”  During this time, he was again approached by Paul Gilbert to help arrange and write songs for Gilbert’s latest solo release, “I Can Destroy,” produced by Kevin Shirley.  During the course of the recording sessions in Los Angeles, Nelson met world renowned drummer Thomas Lang who, after hearing Nelson’s solo material, volunteered his skills as a drummer for the project.

Nelson, who played his first professional show at age 11, grew up as a working musician in numerous established bands in the Pittsburgh region, including famed east coast hard rock band Triple X.  During this time, his main focus was as a guitarist & songwriter, but in 2001 he stepped in front of the microphone and formed the rock band Too Tall Jones with Rusted Root bassist Patrick Norman.  As a front man, Nelson’s stage presence is unrivaled and his vocal timbre continuously draws comparisons to the iconic Freddie Mercury.  In 2001, Too Tall Jones released “BiPolar,” an eclectic mix of rock songs ahead of its time, which ultimately caught the attention of Paul Gilbert leading to their initial collaboration and international spotlight in 2010.

Personally, Freddie Nelson reminds me of Billy Squier and some other 70s /early 80s rockers and I'm going to be very curious how far he gets in a business where talent like this seems no longer appreciated. Would Queen have hit records if they were a new band today?

All of the songs on Shake The Cage were written & produced by Freddie Nelson who also provided lead vocals, guitars, bass, B3 and percussion. Thomas Lang is the drummer with Nina Sainato on piano and other keyboards. The VD was engineered by Freddie Nelson and Robby Breckinridge and mixed by Rob Hill at X Music Studios, Los Angeles, CA. It was mastered by Mazen Murad at Metropolis Studios, London, UK, photography was by Tara Bennett with art Direction by Nina Sainato and graphic design by Sean Montgomery.

Now for the bad news; Shake The Cage is a real solo effort (see above credits) meaning you may not see Freddie Nelson performing live on tour anytime soon. Hopefully I'm wrong and whoever is bankrolling this very professional project will assemble a crack band behind him and send him out on the road. I don't know how people find out about artists like this without live local shows. Hopefully, you'll now send a link to this page to all your rockin' friends. They'll thank you for it, this time.

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