‘Some crooked fun’ — Amy Nelson visiting Prince Albert on tour promoting inaugural album

Amy Nelson. Photo by Ingrid Vargas.

Amy Nelson has been sitting on her debut album, Educated Woman, for about a year.

The Calgary-based singer-songwriter has been writing and performing for a couple of years, but this will be the first time, aside from her performances, she’ll be sharing it with the world.

“it’s very exciting. It’s also very nerve-wracking,” Nelson said over the phone Friday.

“I’ve really only toured near my hometown of Calgary, so this is a first. The goal of any time you make any piece of art or an album is to get more people to hear it, and to meet more people and make interactions that way.”

Nelson said her sound, and her inspirations, aren’t what’s typically heard on the radio today. Her rural folk sound is steeped in depression-era blues and Appalachian mountain music.

“There are a lot of different influences I think we draw from. We do a lot of old-time music. It’s kind of jug-band like, swampy blues. It’s a bit crooked and weird,” she said.

“It is kind of a melting pot. A lot of music that predates 1940 is where we’re coming from.”

While the sound may be from that era, the lyrics certainly resonate with today’s times. Of the 12 tracks on Educated Woman, Nelson wrote ten, the other two are public domain songs.

Nelson draws from her own personal experience, especially about being a woman.

“I write a lot about being a woman, which is why the album is called Educated woman,” she said.

 “(It’s about) good adventures and the bad things that happen. I do write a lot about being mad. There is a lot of hidden anger in there, and sadness. I think art provides a relief.”

The instrumentation Nelson is taking on the road is a straight forward, if a bit eclectic. She’s bringing a kick drum, stand-up bass, lap-steel guitar and her own guitar and banjo picking talents on the road.

“We make music you can dance to or sit and listen to. We do a lot of groove-centric riffs and songs like that,” she said.

“Because of our influences not being a lot of mainstream music, it’s always really interesting to see an audience’s reaction to it. People have been really fair and really kind, so that feels good.

“(The music) can be fun, and silly and sad — it can be real. I think people should expect some crooked fun songs.”

Nelson is performing at Jam Street Music Sessions in Prince Albert on April 5. Tickets are $20 and available by texting or calling Lucy at 306-960-3005. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30.

While the music video for the title single Educated Woman and for How Long Blues are available now, her album will be available on April 12 on Spotify, Bandcamp and Itunes and be released on both vinyl and CD.