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Nelo performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival in October 2009
Background information
Origin Austin, Texas, United States
Genres Alternative Rock
Years active 2005-present
Matt Ragland
Reid Umstattd
Stephen Goodson
Mike St.Clair
Brian Donohoe
Steve Pruitt
Former members
Chris Hill
David Long

Nelo (band) is an alternative rock band formed in Austin, TX in late 2005. The band is composed of songwriter/ guitarist Matt Ragland, singer Reid Umstattd, lead guitarist Stephen Goodson, bassist Mike StClair, saxophonist/ keyboardist Brian Donohoe, and drummer Steve Pruitt[1]. Former members are David Long (saxophone) and Chris Hill (drums).

Nelo was officially formed in 2005, but Ragland, Hill, Long, and Goodson started playing casually together years before in Dallas, TX, where they attended the same high school. During these years, Ragland began writing songs and found an unsuspected singer in Umstattd, a long time friend at a summer camp in Burnet, TX. Ragland and Umstattd later became college roomates and started playing around Austin as an acoustic duo. After graduating college, Ragland brought the entire group together, with the addition of Mike St.Clair on bass.

Upon the formation of the band in September of 2005, Nelo immediately moved to Athens, GA and began playing at DT’s Down Under, an underground bar that Ragland managed. The band later moved on to regularly play other local venues including the 40 Watt Club and the Georgia Theatre.

In the spring of 2007, the group moved back to Texas to begin work on what would become their self-titled debut album in Austin. Recorded at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studios and released on Justice Records, Nelo was composed of songs written largely by Ragland and road tested over the previous years in Texas, Athens and across the Southeast. In April of 2008 the record debuted at #21 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers Chart[2]. The band spent the year touring to support the album.

In October of 2008 Nelo traveled to New York City to play the CMJ Music Marathon. They returned to Pedernales Studios that December to record Two Years Ago, an E.P. produced by Doug Lancio[3]. The band and original member David Long parted ways at the end of 2008.

Nelo began touring in January of 2009 in support of Two Years Ago, which was released by Justice Records one song at a time on iTunes beginning in March and ending as a completed E.P. on July 14th. The E.P. was made available exclusively online and at live shows.

In March of 2009, Nelo played the SXSW Music Conference in Austin for the second time and added saxophonist Brian Donohoe to the band. Nelo performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 2nd, 2009[4]. Soon after, the band and former drummer Chris Hill went their separate ways. In November of 2009, drummer Steve Pruitt joined the band. Later that month, Nelo announced their intent to go back into the studio in 2010 to record their second full length studio album.


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