The musical collaboration of husband and wife singer-songwriters, Darwin and Dana Nelson known as "Double Dee" has taken them far from coastal Gulfport and their small town roots of Lucedale, Mississippi and carried them across the country where they have created a name for themselves at numerous songwriting festivals, house concerts,and top flight venues. Darwin and Dana have released six albums since 2006 and continue to be regular Margaritaville performers from New Orleans to Pensacola Beach as well as entertained audiences ages 2-92 at other venues from Texas to Florida.
They are founding members of the Mississippi Songwriters' Festival and perform at numerous other festivals including the "Frank Brown International Songwriting Festival, the "Smoky Mountain Songwriters' Festival" in Gatlinburg, "Juke Joint Festival" in Clarksdale, "Sixth String Festival" in New Orleans, and the "Cotton Picking Songwriter's Series" in Monroeville, Alabama.
The acoustic duo has been described by others as Americana/Folk/Gulf Western/Country blending harmonic originals with a Mississippi accent. These two have opened up for such recording artists as Keith Sykes, Mac McAnally, Ronnie McDowell, Jeff Bates, and Darrell Worley among others. They have entertained for Parrotheads at pre and post Jimmy Buffett concerts, festivals and events from Pensacola Beach, and New Orleans to Galveston, Austin and Illinois.
Currently, the Nelsons (along with co-writers Taylor Craven and Mailboat Records recording artist Matt Hoggatt) have their song "Workaholic in Recovery" featured on Sirius XM Margaritaville Radio. It is the title cut on Matt's album produced by legendary singer- songwriter Keith Sykes from Memphis, Tn. who is also the producer of the Nelson's next CD, early 2016.
Darwin and Dana were finalists in the 2012 "thesongwriters.biz contest with their song "Justice Served". They received an" honorable mention" in 2013 "American Songwriter's Magazine" for their collaboration, "Doin' For Daddy" with co-writer Taylor Craven. "Call It Gumbo", the title cut off of their latest CD won the "Director's Award" in the 2013 "Paramount.com Songwriting Contest". Their song "Mississippi Sound" was recently selected to be on a Mississippi compilation album produced by "Silver Creek Records" out of Nashville. "Music City Roots Show " will feature a "Vietti Chili" jingle written by the Nelsons, Hoggatt and Craven in December 2015 in Franklin, Tn.
Darwin and Dana are both recently retired Mississippi Public School teachers: Darwin: Dr. Ed./Social Studies/Coaching and Dana: Performing Arts. Additionally, Darwin and Dana have served as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies with Darwin having extensive experience emceeing and hosting public, private and civic events. The two are now traveling and performing full-time with their original sounds of "Double Dee".
"Adjust The Sails"
From: Isla Public Relations
Lucedale, MS (June 21, 2016) - Darwin and Dana Nelson, known as “Double Dee” throughout the Gulf Coast music scene, announce the release of their new CD entitled Adjust the Sails.The husband and wife duo celebrated with a well-attended CD release party at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs, MS on Thursday, June 16. Packed with authentic Americana, country-leaning sounds, and tinged with a tropical twist, the new CD is the first complete studio recording for the married singer songwriter team.
“The title, Adjust the Sails, is a metaphor for life – it’s not perfect,” says Darwin Nelson. “It’s about learning to adjust to things that happen in your life.”
The 12 song collection features original songs written by the Nelsons and co-writer, and friend, Taylor Craven. It was recorded at Man Cave Studio in Escatawpa, Ms., mixed at Hi/Lo Studio in Memphis, TN, mastered at Mayfield Mastering in Nashville and produced by renowned singer songwriter musician Keith Sykes, who is a former member of the Coral Reefer Band. The album is sure to please faithful Double Dee fans, but Sykes is sure it will attract fans of Troprock music too.
“There are a few songs in the CD that the parrot heads will like, especially “Staycation,” he said. Sykes also played guitar, banjo, some bass, percussion and harmonica on the CD.
“Staycation” is a tune inspired by years of performing in Orange Beach, Alabama and developing friends and fans among the Snowbirds who follow the sun to the Gulf of Mexico.
“Paddlin’ Across the Bayou” is a spicy number that expresses the love Darwin and Dana have developed for Louisiana, the Cajun Queen, doing gigs in New Orleans and traveling to nearby towns like Grand Isle, Thibodeaux and Venice.
“Burn” is a romantic winter’s night song that brings to mind a cozy fireplace and passionate love. The idea was being developed by the Nelsons, when co-writer Taylor Craven turned up the heat on this sizzling project with the first few lines.
“Made Up My Mind” is a funny and spot-on tune about communication between husbands and wives. It’s plain to see the spouses had a great time writing it, and they perform it with just the right animation to reach couples who can identify.
“War Again Tonight” delves into the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that many war veterans deal with for years after the fighting is done. This is a personal song for Dana whose father served in Vietnam and was a quiet hero. She learned many years after he came home from war that Tech-Sgt. Robert Willis Norris was awarded the highest medal of bravery for saving lives.
“Who Says Love is Blind” speaks to the memories that are love’s powerful gift and even though couples may age physically, they see the boy or girl they first fell in love with when they look into each other’s eyes. This is another Craven-Nelson-Nelson collaboration.
“Fly Glory Fly” is the finger snappin’, toe tappin’, and hand clappin’ finale of the CD. It's the story of a young girl’s escape and redemption in the Appalachians during the 1920’s. A true Americana tune that features the multi-talented Keith Sykes on the banjo.
Other songs on the CD include: “Genuine Leather” a song that profiles Darwin’s grandfather, but could apply to all of us; “Can’t Afford to Lose You” a harmony-driven ballad cleverly centered around financial and bank terms; “Justice Served” based on true events that led to the death of a local law enforcement officer; and “Reservations” a bold political statement about the need for reformation in Washington D.C.
The Nelsons are “adjusting their sails” to a new life as full time performers since they retired from teaching a year ago. Double Dee has made a name for itself in the Gulf Coast region, but they are branching out now that they can focus on their music full time. It's a passion that shows in their performances and recordings.
“Both have great voices on their own, but combined they have that fine sound of familial performers – it’s easy to hear that they’ve been performing together for a long time,” said fellow singer/songwriter James “Sunny Jim” White. “And Dana and Darwin are good songwriters too – I think a lot of men can identify with Made Up My Mind.”
Darwin and Dana have released six albums since 2006, but Adjust the Sails is the first complete studio recording. When the CDs were delivered, the Nelsons celebrated the result of long hours and a lot of work.
“It was like Christmas!” says Darwin. “To actually hold a CD in my hand and unwrap it after more than 200 hours in the studio and a road trip to Memphis. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. We took the time and got it right.”
Keith Sykes came on board through a connection with Matt Hoggatt, a Mailboat Records artist, friend and collaborator. The Nelsons, Taylor Craven and Hoggatt together wrote "Workaholic in Recovery," a song that received quite a bit of air play on Sirius XM Margaritaville Radio.
Founding members of the Mississippi Songwriters' Festival, Double Dee performs at other festivals including the "Frank Brown International Songwriting Festival, the "Smoky Mountain Songwriters' Festival" in Gatlinburg, "Juke Joint Festival" in Clarksdale, "Six String Festival" in New Orleans, “Mullet Festival” in Gautier, Ms., “Pine Hill Festival” in Wiggins, Ms. and the "Cotton Pickin’ Songwriter's Series" in Monroeville, Alabama. They also perform at Margaritaville Café’s from New Orleans to Pensacola Beach, and they entertain audiences from ages 2-92 at other venues from Texas to Florida.
Dana and Darwin Nelson have been married and making music together for 33 years, inspired, they say, by their family’s love, work ethic, and passion for music. Their respect for each other as artists, shines through.
“Darwin is my Renaissance man,” says Dana. “He wears so many hats in our band even though I have probably literally worn more hats on stage. Because of his abilities and his work ethic we have been able to set and reach so many of our goals on this musical journey that we are traveling together.”
“Our harmony does catch people's ears when we're performing,” adds Darwin. “Our love for one another shines through in our songs, and I don't think we could do what we do and spend as much time together as we do, unless we were still madly in love after 34 plus years.”
To order a copy of Double Dee’s new CD Adjust the Sails or for bookings, visit www.doubledee.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601.766.5300. The CD is also available for download on iTunes and CD Baby. Connect socially with us on twitter @double_deemusic and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/doubledeemusic.