Sticks and Stones was written solely by Nelson with the hope of bringing people together at the forefront of his mind, bringing upbeat energy and a sense of fun. Across the album’s twelve spirited tracks, Nelson explores the universal human experiences of love, celebration, longing and humor. Self-produced by Nelson and his longtime band, POTR, Sticks and Stones captures the band’s musical power and fits perfectly alongside the canon of the electric live performances they’re known for.
Reflecting on the record, Nelson shares, “This album is about celebrating the human connection, joy and excitement. We went from quiet and introspective on A Few Stars Apart to something big and fun to really showcase the band’s talent and performance. You can listen to the album Sticks and Stones from start to finish and get the songs to dance to and then the quiet, poignant songs. To me, this album is the perfect setlist.”
Nelson + POTR will continue to tour through this fall including a nine-show run across the UK and Ireland this summer as well as select dates supporting Tedeschi Trucks Band in September. See below for complete tour itinerary.
Since his debut over a decade ago, Texas and Hawaii-based Nelson has played countless sold out shows and festivals and released seven studio albums to date including the latest, 2021’s A Few Stars Apart. Produced by Dave Cobb, the record spent seven weeks at #1 on the Americana Albums chart and received widespread acclaim with Rolling Stone declaring, “His best album yet…Nelson’s most compact, streamlined, and focused album,” while The Tennessean asserted, “a collection of lyrically stirring, musically multifarious and ultimately hopeful roots rock storytelling.”
Additionally, Nelson co-produced the music for 2018’s lauded A Star Is Born film in addition to appearing in the film and went on to win a BAFTA Award for Best Original Music and a GRAMMY Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.
Sporting a wide brimmed black hat atop long curly blonde locks, guitar in hand, fire in her voice, and stories in her heart, Madeline Hawthorne asserts herself as a 21st century troubadour. An intriguing journey gives her songs a novelist’s level of depth and detail, while unbridled attitude and wide-eyed adventurousness turn every show into a celebration. After building buzz independently, packing shows, and honing her craft, the Montana-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist welcomes everyone into her world on a series of 2023 singles and much more to come.
"I hope that people feel something when they listen to my songs.” she notes. “Maybe the energy of the tune brings a smile to their face, maybe they connect with one of the characters in my stories. Either way, I want people to have a good time at our live shows and I hope they can take away something from the music."
Growing up in New England, Madeline’s parents placed a strong value on music and it played a major role in their family life. Her Dad studied to be a conductor at Berklee College of Music, and her mother trained as a professional soprano soloist at New England Conservatory of Music. While pregnant with Madeline, mom took the stage with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Handel and Haydyn Society, among others. Meanwhile, they introduced their daughter to world music, folk, and jazz.
After spending her younger years singing in choir, she picked up her first guitar at age 16 and never put it down. She started writing her own songs and embraced an eclectic palette. She found inspiration from folk singers like Crosby Stills Nash & Young, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. She pulled inspiration from pop radio, underground hip hop and country classics like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson’s ‘Poncho and Lefty’ album. “My daily playlist had seemingly little rhyme or reason. I was drawn to vocal melodies, powerful lyrics and groovy back beats. If a song made my feet tap or pulled at my heart strings then I’d listen to it over and over and over again.”
Two years later, she chased love to Bozeman, MT, settling in the Big Sky State with her eventual husband. In college, she gigged around town and cut her teeth providing back up vocals on stage and in the studio, and eventually started a band called the Hawthorne Roots. Over the years in the band, cross-country tours followed. At the onset of the Global Pandemic, the group went on an indefinite hiatus, and she launched her solo career.
Writing at a feverish pace, she decamped to Pittsburgh, PA and recorded her debut album ‘Boots’ with producers Brad Parsons and Tyler Thompson. Her signature style started to crystallize with the LP’s artful fusion of roots, country, rock, and soul as evidenced by the fan favorite title track “Boots.” In the record’s wake, she opened up for the likes of Jason Isbell, Lukas Nelson, Kip Moore, Josh Turner, and Nathaniel Rateliff, to name a few.
2023 saw her embark on another chapter. She stole away to Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA to record with producer Ryan Hadlock [Zach Bryan, The Lumineers]. She came out on the other side with a vibrant and vital vision brought to life on the single “Neon Wasteland.” On the track, she reflects on small town malaise in quotable lyrics buoyed by a smooth slide guitar riff, bluesy twang, and hummable hook. Madeline croons, “Everything is bringing her down, living on the sidelines stuck in this town, she needs a break, could use a hand, she’s all alone in this neon wasteland.”
“I had a couple of nights in Nashville where I felt so small, like a total fish out of water,” she admits. “You go to a city for the first time, and the neon lights have this magical and powerful energy about them. If things aren’t turning out the way you want them to, those neon lights can look a whole lot different to you, depending on where you’re at emotionally. Neon Wasteland tells a story of a young woman who has left her home to pursue her dream. She is barely making ends meet and we experience her struggle and frustration with the situation she finds herself in.
Making her debut at Americana Fest 2023 in Nashville, TN September 21st and plotting more shows and songs for the future, Madeline is inviting everyone to accompany her on this journey.
“I’m out here, and I’m working,” she smiles. “I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m excited to be out on the road, meet new people, share my music with the world, and tell more stories.”