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Ross Neilsen comes back to where it all began

Sometimes the best way to beat the winter blues is to embrace it.

The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival are trying their best, by creating a way for people to get their fix of great music with the 2015 Winter Blues Series.

As part of FROSTival, Earthbound Trio performed the first show of the series on Feb. 13. The next show will feature blues artist Ross Neilsen.

“I’ve been touring across Canada since Jan. 2. I started all the way in British Columbia and am just ending things in Quebec before doing the show in Fredericton.”

The award-winning singer will be performing a solo show at the James Joyce Pub on March 14. For him, this show is an important celebration.

“For me this is a decade long relationship with being a part of the festival. In 2005, I opened their mid-winter show at the James Joyce, where I was encouraged to enter the Galaxy Rising Star Contest. I then won and that’s where my career started off.”

With this show being in the James Joyce Pub, it’s more of an intimate setting and Neilsen plans for straight blues for the evening intertwined with storytelling. Usually though, Neilsen’s band shows have an electric and rock feel.

Known as Canada’s hardest working blues rocker, Neilsen has been performing for years across the country as well as in the U.S. With a load of awards and a few albums under his belt, his bluesy music isn’t stopping.

“I’m always excited to play in town. I haven’t done a solo show in town for a while now. I’ve been thinking about this show a lot. It’s going to be nostalgic and I’m very pleased they asked me. It means a lot.”

Being Harvest’s 25-year anniversary, the return of Neilsen is at a fitting time. Based out of Fredericton, his performance is as much a celebration of his music as it is a celebration of the local scene that began his career.

“After winning Rising Star, I was inspired to do my first album and fully pursue this as a career. I just want to thank the team at Harvest for really kick-starting my career.”

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