John Mark Nelson performs in The Current studio

John Mark Nelson performs "Dream Last Night" off his new album I'm Not Afraid live in the studios of 89.3 The Current. (MPR)
  1. Listen Feature audio

    Sep 9, 2015 Listen to all 4 tracks:
    John Mark Nelson In-studio (full session + interview)
    John Mark Nelson - Dream Last Night (Live on 89.3 The Current)
    John Mark Nelson - Holes in Our Skin (Live on 89.3 The Current)
    John Mark Nelson - Control (Live on 89.3 The Current)

"I enjoy hearing that people appreciate the new direction while still recognizing my writing," says John Mark Nelson. "It lets me know I'm growing and changing in a way that is still true to my own artistic voice."

Anticipating the release of I'm Not Afraid, Minnesota's own John Mark Nelson and his band—Kara Laudon (keys, backup vocals), Benjamin Kelly (bass), Nate Babbs (drums) and Steve Bosmans (guitar)—stopped by The Current to perform all new songs live in-studio and to chat with host David Campbell of The Local Show.

Though it's the 21-year-old's fourth studio album, I'm Not Afraid is John Mark Nelson's first label release as the principal signee to GNDWIRE Records, the new label co-founded by Trampled by Turtles frontman Dave Simonett and Twin Cities-based artist manager Mark Gehring.

And with a record deal comes a booking contract. John Mark Nelson recently signed to Billions Corporation, a big break for the local musician. The show booking agency represents artists from Vampire Weekend to Arcade Fire and HAIM, and John Mark Nelson hopes that the new relationship will help the band reach more people in new cities opening for other artists on Billions' roster in addition to headlining tours.

What better way to kick things off than with a hometown headlining gig: John Mark Nelson and his band celebrate the release of I'm Not Afraid this Friday, Sept. 11 in the First Avenue mainroom with opening acts Black Diet and We Are the Willows.

Songs Performed

"Dream Last Night"
"Holes in Our Skin"
"Control"

All songs off John Mark Nelson's forthcoming album, I'm Not Afraid, out Friday, Sept. 11 via GNDWIRE Records.

Hosted by David Campbell
Produced by David Campbell
Engineered by Mike DeMark
Web feature by Leah Garaas

Guests

  • John Mark Nelson

Resources

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  • John Mark Nelson performs live in The Current studio With the recent release of his third album Sings the Moon, John Mark Nelson stopped by The Current before heading off to Paris to chat with Local Show host David Campbell and to perform tracks off the new record live in our studio.
  • John Mark Nelson performs in The Current studios When people hear John Mark Nelson's music for the first time, the sense of disbelief is usually evident. With arrangements that recall songwriters who have been in the business for decades, the 18-year old - and recently graduated - Minnetonka High student is turning heads for the mature compositions he's been recording since the age of 14.

11 Photos

  • John Mark Nelson loading into in The Current studio
    John Mark Nelson loading into in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • John Mark Nelson performing live in The Current studio
    John Mark Nelson performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • John Mark Nelson and his band performing live in The Current studio
    John Mark Nelson and his band performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Steve Bosmans and Benjamin Kelly performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio
    Steve Bosmans and Benjamin Kelly performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Kara Laudon and John Mark Nelson performing live in The Current studio
    Kara Laudon and John Mark Nelson performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • John Mark Nelson in The Current studio
    John Mark Nelson in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Nate Babbs performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio
    Nate Babbs performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Nate Babbs and Kara Laudon performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio
    Nate Babbs and Kara Laudon performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • John Mark Nelson performing live in The Current studio
    John Mark Nelson performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Nate Babbs performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio
    Nate Babbs performing with John Mark Nelson live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • John Mark Nelson in The Current studio
    John Mark Nelson in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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