•July 3, 2009 • 1 Comment

I was born

I was born under a blackened sky, heavy with the first rains of the year.

I lived with the weight of the promise and the fate of a purpose I did not fully understand

I am twenty-five years into a life, that’s been shaped by a feeling of coincidence

All my plans have been shaken through a sieve, of circumstance and half-hearted belief

I’ve never seen the face of a man that didn’t have the longing deep behind his eyes

It’s subtle in its grip and effect, that many ignore and most will reject

It’s a destiny for only some to recognize

I’ll never fully be known

Until my life’s been traced out on a stone

Where the flesh and the bone will sift out and remain

And abandon the link to an earth without sustain.

My broken heart

Alone again after twenty years, of being so safe in your love

I had gotten to the point, of feeling I had enough

I was content, until I heard the shake in the officers drawl

I would like to say to you, I don’t believe in your

Rebuilding of my broken heart that used to feel somewhat secure

Once I heard a singer say, that he just couldn’t understand

The pain of losing the one he loved, to something he couldn’t command

I would like to say to him, you wouldn’t know until you try

And I could say a hundred times, I hate you even more

For breaking up my hearts healing and leaving my scars return

Am I so terrible now for instantly thinking of me

And how I’ll spend 40 more years carrying this dead half of me

She was my heart and all my soul and you coldly taken her from me

And I don’t know if I will ever love you the same

Or have the faith I used to have in your good and merciful way


Oh the games we play when we just need a friend

Someone to open up to

Oh the games, the games, the games we play

When we just need someone to talk to

Well I am scanning the horizon for any a sign of moving

That maybe might lead to a conversation of soul politics or improving

Well I am half a pack into, my last cigarettes

And I’ve taken two more shots than my body’s used to

But it hasn’t yet lead to regret

Well the lights are dimming across the courtyard under a sliver of moon

Oh Ohio you’d be the death of me, if I didn’t know I’s leaving soon

Ever since you’re gone

Walking this way cuts at least five minutes off from my trip out and back everyday

Broken windows and newspapers all around no one dares to come around here no more

Everything is there just like it was the day before you left us all for good

There are a lot of nights where I can’t fall asleep the trains in the distance seep through my yellowed blinds

And sometimes I think I could stay in here for days and weeks would go by before they knew I’d passed on

But only because they’d not gotten my 450 before the third of the new month

Sometimes I think back to before I had ever met you on your front porch

I used to walk and watch you through the screen reading your books and drinking your black tea

Not it feels like there is a part of me missing that just won’t let the rest live on ever since your gone

Cutting my ties

Cover your love over me, I’m gonna need something stronger than just my belief

And don’t just wrap me up in it, pick me up and put me down where I won’t waver a bit

I want your essence to be my essence too, to course through my veins and fill up my head with the truth

To seep through my skin and burn behind my eyes, I want to be known for you and not some dream unrealized

I’m cutting my ties, from the defaults I know, I’ve allowed to grow, and shape my life

Before I die, I want something to show, a seed that’s been sown, before my eyes.

My life is not a dark sea to negotiate, it’s not a riddle of diversions and distractions to mitigate

I am tired of wandering around, and being led my direction from purposeless christians hell bound

If you gotta burn me, and break my bones, and hold my head under the water.

Where I’ve found you

Music might be the poetry of my soul in the morning

And whiskey might be the inspiration of my heart late at night

Oh God tell me what is right

I swear I’ve seen your face through a cloud of cigarette smoke

I’ve felt closer to you through vice than on any Sunday morning

I aint saying anything about how I went and searched for you

But what I have is experience about how it is that I found you

Wet roads

I’m going back on the wet roads of January, where the snow doesn’t fall annually

I’m alright with being alone, I’m alright knowing six years ago I killed someone

On the wet roads of January

The air is thick and doesn’t move much at all

It creeps and brings the dampness under the door and on the back of my neck

A shudder takes me back to the morning after

And the feeling that shaped every resulting day

My hair is full and the corner of my eyes don’t show any wrinkles

And I look at least 10 years younger than I am

My blue eyes still shine like when I was seventeen

But time has beaten on my soul

It’s in our hearts

The train whistle sounded hauntingly through the air

Desecrating the silence that the night brought to bear

The same winds blew over the four corners of town

With the wild flower seeds that it carried around

Through the brick houses the mansions the banks and the stores

Through the shanties and shacks of the needy and poor

It unifies us

But that same wind that joins the hands of us all

Works to erode and put a wall

It’s on the winds the rich sail and fly in their plans

Or brings the poor dryness instead of much needed rain

Our worries and cares and the things we rely

In the end are the things that distinguish and divide

It separates us

From the TV to the internet our cars and big houses

Lifestyles of destruction and divorcing our spouses

Maybe our culture is one of destruction

We’re just now trying to mitigate our consumption

The wild west was tamed the atom unlocked

The access of a bullet lock barrel and stock

It will destroy us

Contributions and charities sent over seas

When our neighbors are the ones that can’t make their ends meet

The food of the rich harvested by the poor

That organic produce is something they’ll never afford

Well-meaning well-wishers vote inside a booth

And hoist up their candidates to tell them the truth

They will inform us

Well millions are dying of malaria world-wide

Over a banned chemical from reports falsified

And some are suggesting to be human is sin

That mother earths dying at the hands of her kin

With all that’s occurring it’s easy to do

To curl up in a ball with a bottle or two

But a fifth won’t affect the issues that lie

Within our hearts and our souls and our minds

It’s in our hearts


Walking to harbor to see if the boats still remember me

I’d been all but two summers as a boy less than 16

The wind blew my hat off and into the bays chop

It swallowed up that part of me like it never really noticed

The birds only come down, if it’s a sure thing

Gliding on the wind swells, taking in everything

My grand dad was a sailor, who felt his way back to port

But he never found them answers, on the end of any hook

And now I am scattering the ashes of this man

Watching my dad cry, I’ll never regret being his son

We’re all here at the inlet, watching him float away

Somehow I know he’ll always be part of Barnegat Bay

Nothing I can say

Nothing I can say, will ever change enough

And everything I’ve done, is already too much

You won’t put back the pieces

You’ll never see in away, divorced from our past

Our story always will include, a pain that continues to last

I took something that wasn’t mine

It’s OK

It’s Ok to be afraid of being alone

It’s alright to never wear those same clothes

It’s ok to not ever visit those bars

Or fall asleep if you’re not in, your friends’ arms

You’re broken, and you’re damaged, but it’s alright to need healing

Your beauty still shines right through your guarded eyes

You’re still pure despite what’s happened in your life

Don’t let the lies build and break down your heart

You weren’t exposed or purposely set apart

A dampness has settled like a yoke that you can’t hold

Its weighted your soul like the cloven-hoofed coats of wool

And like a good shepherd we bring you to rest and peace

And slowly the scars fade until they no longer can be seen

Without Comparison

Without companion I spend my nights

Without comparison of wrong and right

You don’t know what I’m capable of

Every experience could shine a bit brighter

Every experience could cut a little cleaner


Sales Info

•May 8, 2009 • 1 Comment

If you can’t make it out to my CD release party this Saturday night, and you don’t see me around town enough for a hand-to-hand transaction, here are some ways you can own your very own copy of Without Companion.

1.  send me a personal order at  we can work out payment through email but our main options are paypal or sending me a personal check in the mail.

2.  Order online here.  This is an online distributer that stocks a few of my CDs.  They take a $4 cut for each CD, so if you want to support me in full and not in part, you can use option #1.  This same company is currently working to put my music on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, etc., but this process takes a few weeks at minimum.

3.  retro-actively work on the album and i will hand you a copy for free.

4.  burn a copy from a friend.  don’t do this.  i know its an option, but if you really want to hear my music before you buy it you can see me play it live or stream it at myspace and cdbaby.  if you are just hard up for cash, i want you to have it more than i want your money so just ask me.

I am going to use any revenue I get from CD sales to invest in future projects and maintaining my musical pursuits.  So, by buying a CD you are really donating to support me continuing to do this.



Release Party

•May 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

album releasealbum release

Finally Done and Waiting

•April 24, 2009 • 3 Comments

The last few weeks has been a bit of a blur as I have been pulling together all the final steps of this project.  I finished the mix with Keith (who did a really fantastic job) and was really happy with how it turned out.  I had it mastered at Crystal Clear studios in Dallas – and man were they fast.  Right now it is at the printers.

My friends and I are planning to have a release party for the album on Saturday May 9th, 7pm at the Village Cafe in downtown Bryan.  I think it will be a really great time where I will play some songs live, maybe have some special guests and we can all hang out together.

I created a new myspace page ( and a facebook page (search Ian C Nelson) where you can preview some of the album songs.

Tomorrow night (April 24th) I’ll be playing at the Palace in downtown Bryan for the International Justice Mission benefit concert.  Clairmont and Ross King will be playing too, and I might steal a few of them for some of my songs.  So if you can, come out and enjoy some music, learn about a fantastic organization and donate some money.

Lastly, here’s the album art designed by the always-impressive Ben Langford.  Hope to see you on the 9th!



•March 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ll be playing this Thursday night in downtown Bryan at the Frame Gallery.  I will be opening for Tom Conlon, a singer/songwriter from Massachusetts.  The show starts at around 7pm.  Hope to see you there.

In other news I think I played the very last note for the recordings today.  It is in the process of being mixed now by Keith.  After a couple weeks when this is finished, I will send it off to a mastering/duplication company to then receive the final product.  Some friends of mine are planning a release party for mid to late April, details to follow.


•February 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Doug, my good friend and oh-so-talented guitarist, made the trip to College Station this past weekend with our friend Brett in tow.  I have been playing guitar with Doug since we were in college together at UT and wish we still lived in the same town to facilitate that a bit better.  Doug is the sort of guitarist that grounds any delusions I might have of being a good guitarist.  I sent him some scratch work with electric guitar I had recorded over the studio work.  It thought it was pretty good and that we would just do something similar when we got to the studio.  Doug showed up at my door around 10am on Sunday and we worked through some of his ideas.  It was a completely different level.  It just felt really professional.  So after lunch we hit the studio to cut that stuff.

Me liking what I am hearing

Me liking what I am hearing

We brought along my Fender Deluxe (hands down one of the best things I have ever purchased) and mic’d it in one of the isolation rooms.  Its a loud amp and will make your ears bleed with the volume set at a 3 out of a possible 12.  Thats also about the same volume it starts to sound really good.  But tucked away in the other room we were able to crank the amp and live to hear another day.  We split Doug’s signal coming from his effects board into two channels:  one directly into the mixing board and the other through my amp.  That way we aren’t stuck with just one sound if we want to go back and change it.

My Turn

My Turn

I added in some slide parts with the volume pedal effect I posted on earlier.  It came out really well and greatly compliments some of the songs.

Doug explaining his theory of dropped things

Doug explaining his theory of dropped things

We spent about 2.5 hours in the studio and then were done.  Doug and Brett hit the road for Austin and I was one step closer to finishing.

Thanks to Brett for snapping these iPictures.

The Home Stretch

•February 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well now that the drums, bass, acoustic guitar and lead vocals are all finished, I am counting down the days to the conclusion of this project.  I set a February 20th deadline to have the record out of the studio and on its way to the duplication company. That will mean I hopefully have the thing in my hands the first week in March.

So what’s left?  It feels like a lot.  My good friend is making his way in from Austin and we are going to track some electric guitar parts over the weekend.  From the scratch work I’ve done so far, this will add a lot to a few of the songs.  There is also quite a bit of little textures that we will be adding to the songs in the next week and a half:  accordians, mandolins, harmonicas, etc. Ross and I have a pretty good idea of where each of the instruments are going to fit into different songs, but I am still ready to hear how it all comes together.

My friend Ben and I have been working on some cover art.  Ben is by far the most fantastic drawer that I know and I was really excited when he told me he could help me out.  From our first couple of meetings, I think the result is going to be really wonderful and will visually represent the music quite well.

Looking back over the last 6 months or so, I have gained a new appreciation for crafting a song from start to finish.  I’ve never had the motivation to dissect and rebuild a song.  I often write a song and as soon as I have something halfway complete I am moving on to the next bit of inspiration.  But being in the studio is different.  There is a more focused approach to the music.  I have found elements in some of my songs I wish I had further developed, spent more time with.  Now I am wondering how this experience is going to shape my future song writing, and if the result will be welcome.