On the road again, the twin musicians are touring the United States and stopping in the Chicago area. On Friday, May 28, they'll perform at Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill in Bolingbrook www.tailgatersgrill.com
"Our old fan base was primarily very young girls," Matthew says. "We were the guys they had on the posters at home and in their lockers. Now, 10 years later, those girls are grown up. They have children. They have husbands. They have real lives -- and we're still a part of it. They not only bring their husbands and children to our shows, they bring their parents and grandparents! We have the broadest age demographic on the planet. 8 to 80. And we love 'em all."
Billed as Nelson, the brothers have sold 65 million record world-wide, have an international record deal with an Italian record company and were runners up in AOL's voting for the world's most famous twins. Recently, Nelson headlined at the Annual ROCKLAHOMA festival. They have toured extensively with Peter Frampton and Styx. They have increased their television hosting work for VH1 and E! Gunnar is also a reality TV star from VH1's Celebrity Fit Club successfully shedding 30 pounds to ensure his team's victory. Plus, Gunnar co-hosted LIFETIME Radio's nationally syndicated morning show for a year.
Gunnar Nelson recently collaborated with two musical legends when he recorded and sang with Yusuf (Cat Stevens) and Paul McCartney on Yusuf's Roadsinger album. Gunnar recorded several tracks for Roadsinger in Nashville at Blackbird Studios including Boots & Sand, Welcome Home, To Be What You Must, This Glass World and Roadsinger. While Nelson and McCartney recorded in different locations - Nashville and London, they are both featured on Boots and Sand. Gunnar also performed side-by-side singing and playing acoustic guitars with Yusuf (Cat Stevens) in his first U.S. TV appearance promoting the album on The Chris Isaak Show. This year they've increased their television hosting work for VH1 and E. Gunnar is also the co-host of LIFETIME Radio's nationally syndicated morning show. Matthew and Gunnar have rare insights into what it takes to earn longevity in the entertainment world. They continue the story of a most remarkable show business family. Their grandparents, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, achieved immortality with "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," the longest-running sitcom in television history. Earlier, the couple had enjoyed big band success and had scored a number one hit in 1934.
Rick Nelson emerged from the series' popularity to establish himself as one of the most important rock artists of the '50s and '60s with 60 million career sales and three number ones of his own. The world maintains its fascination with the Nelsons. The A&E Channel's Nelson Family "Biography" episode is still the top-rated 'Biography' installment ever.
Because of continuous requests, they've worked some Rick Nelson classics into their set. They have just released their 25th anniversary CD, Like Father, Like Sons; it's a live concert tribute to their father. "We figured it's up to us to help keep his music alive," Gunnar says. "Not only is it a true pleasure to play these great songs that people love, but it makes us feel profoundly closer to our best friend -our Pop."
The brothers' career path displays parallels to that of their legendary father. He found fame as a teen idol before helping found the country rock movement.
"Yeah, it is kind of weird when I sit down to think about it," Gunnar says. "We had tremendous success at a very young age like he did. And now we're coming to the same musical renaissance that he had at our age. It's discovering what makes you unique, your own inner voice… getting to walk your talk for all to see and hear. Unlike our father though, we started out as songwriters first and foremost… something we learned from him when we were babies. I'm so thankful for that lesson. Seasons change, but what never will is my unshakable faith in the belief that you can't stop the power of a hit song."
Matthew says, "I feel more artistically, musically, spiritually and physically vital than I ever have in my life. We're just starting, as far as a musician's life is concerned. Yeah, we feel completely blessed to come from where we come from… and to have accomplished so much so young and on our own terms… but with what we've currently got up our sleeves for TV, for the stage, and for the airwaves, I promise you this: you ain't seen nothin' yet."
GUNNAR AND MATT NELSON Friday at 9pm Doors open at 7 pm Taligaters Sports Bar and Grill Bolingbrook www.tailgatersgrill.com 630.679.1994