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Judge for Nick Shelton

Nashville, TN
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Portrait of Nick Shelton
Sometimes there's just no point in trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. The trials and tribulations of childhood rarely determine what we become. With Nick Shelton's music, there's a strong argument that being able to tell a story about your life in unflinching honesty outshines any misfortunes with music early on. Disinterest in a few music classes didn't stop Nick from dusting off his grandfather's guitar. With a few chords settling in under his fingers at the outset of his high school years, it was obvious to Nick that he would forego flash for substance. It's this unspoken mantra that has given birth to deeply personal compositions such as "Adrianna" and "Carolina's Twilight Creeping" from his debut album Average Everyday

In his live set, Nick's warm, unforced stage presence lends itself brilliantly to his songs. There is an aged beauty that whips around every note he sings that is both tempered and unforgettable. It's as if his voice is an audible photo of the West Virginia coal town where he was born and raised and the Tennessee college town where he came of age. While hovering in the stylistic territory of John Prine, Bob Dylan and Elliott Smith, Nick has found his own distinctly dusty musical road to travel and leaves his signature on the walls of the stops along the way. His follow-up album with critically acclaimed Nashville indie label Me and the Machine Records is due out in May 2008. This sophomore release entitled Crazy Jo and Other Stories will feature label mate Andrew Dolfie (The New Whole Usuals) on keys as well as Kevin Arrowsmith (Josh Gracin) on mandolin and fiddle. Recently, Nick relocated to Charleston, SC and the future is looking bright for him in the low country.