The Greatest Power Pop Compilation Ever!?

The Greatest Power Pop Compilation Ever!? or...What happens when an obsessive professional mix tape maker from the 70's and 80's get's his melody hungry hands on the monolith that is the 20 International Pop Overthrow Pop compilations and whittles them down to a stupendous three CD set for his own personal satisfaction? (now there's a run-on sentence). How many diamonds in the rough could continue to languish in relative obscurity? And the bigger question remains....Who cares? Well I'm here to tell you that all of the above questions can be answered with one statement: Somebody had to do it. 20 years of compilations, 56 actual CD's of music and over 1150 songs...Yea...I had to do it.

But it all started in my pre-Brian Wilson Band summer rituals that began in the year 2000: Playing the IPO festival with a dozen bands, going to several IPO shows as a fan, getting the free IPO CD, digging in and digging it. My sense of wonder and adventure always got the best of me when the shows ended and the bands went home. Here was this years batch of songs to sift through guessed great pop buy the bands music. It always ends with me spending money. I've probably bought 4 or 5 titles a year that I discovered from IPO discs...sometimes more, sometimes less. Add to that, the CD's I bought from bands after seeing their scorching sets. It...was... a...blast.

So after 10 years I made the first IPO compilation and dug that intense melody/hook-laiden grail of a mix. At 20 years I did it again but this time, took a couple of years to finish. I was really busy in 2017 so it was an on again off again hobby. But as I started to get into it...the songs started to really hang together and I kept them in order by year of release: 1998 - 2017. I finished this extreme vanity project in 2018 and decided to actually create art for it and press up 20 copies for fun.

It ended up being 3 CD's. Disc 1 & 2 are 1998-2007 and disc 3 is 2008-2017, 55 songs, a mind melting compilation. I was driven by the need to hear the incredible tracks on the IPO CD's that were mixed in with tracks I wasn't crazy about...all together as one. I'm kind of a music snob so I found about 5 to 7 tracks per year that I thought would be an exceptional listen together. I did a first pass (105 songs) then a second pass (55 songs). To be fair, I wanted this compilation to be the first pass but felt the impact would be diminished by it's volume. So the 2nd pass won the day...55 tracks from 20 International Pop Overthrow CD Compilations over 20 Mind blown.

The bigger picture message from all of this is simple: look for, seek out and discover great bands, artists and their music for yourself. Go to live shows, listen to youtube and bandcamp or whatever you do and then buy the music you have found not what's told to you by TV. Be an active music listener and pop fan. It's good for your ears, your soul and us musicians and artists. Now I know your reading this so...I might be preaching to the choir. But if I reach 1 person and elevate them to "active music listener" status...I've done my job. Hooray.

Now....Dig this Track List and remember: "POWER POP HITS ALL NIGHT LONG!" - NB


CD 1  Vol. 1 - 5  1998 - 2002

1. Jason Falkner - She's Not The Enemy

2. THE Grip Weeds - Strange Bird

3. Cloud Eleven - Take Control

4. The Bobbies - Look Into The Face Of Love

5. Igmo - Zen Gazzara

6. Cloud Eleven - Serendipic Wheel

7. Ray Paul - How Do You Know

8. Linus Of Hollywood - Say Hello To Another Goodbye

9. The Dons - Till We Meet Again

10. Cosmo Topper - For... The Time Being

11. The Nines - Doesn't Matter What I Do

12. Beagle - Well, It's Only Pain

13. The Grip Weeds - Rainy Day #3

14. Myracle Brah - I'd Rather Be

15. The Churchills - Close My Eyes

16. Starbelly - Baby's Eyes

17. Anthony & Tony Rivers - Don't Make Me Wait

18. Fools Face - Fortunate Flowers

19. The Now People - Town Without Pity

CD 2  Vol. 6 - 10  2003 - 2007

20. John Wicks and The Records - Edges Of A Dream

21. Adventures Of Jet - Emily Mazurinsky

22. Marc Carroll - Crashpad Number

23. Hawks - Only Love Is Real

24. Epiicycle - Sunday Girl

25. Owsley - Matriarch

26. Jason Falkner - Hello Mr. Future

27. Trend - She's High-Fi (live)

28. Roger Joseph Manning Jr. - What You Don't Know About The Girl

29. The Innocents - Your Precious Touch

30. Squiddo - I'm Not Alone

31. Chris Brown - All My Rivals

32. Vanilla - Black Saturday

33. The Vinyl Skyway - Hanging On

34. The Dirty Royals - Cover Up The Sun

35. Nelson Bragg - Turn The Darkness Into Gold

CD 3  Vol. 11 - 20  2008 - 2017

36. Roger Joseph Manning Jr. - American Affluenza

37. Twenty Cent Crush - Summer (You Know My Name)

38. Chris Brown - Ordinary Day

39. The Ken Kase Group - Shiner

40. The Ravines - Dark Clouds

41. John McMullan - Double Monday

42. Bastards Of Melody - Dream Jeannine

43. SPYGENIUS -  - The Girl Who's Everywhere

44. Longplayer - Silicone Sue

45. Shoes - Head Vs. Heart

46. Private Jets - Speed Of Sound

47. The Cherry Bluestorms - As Above So Below

48. Kontiki Suite - See You In The Morning

49. Jeremy - Not Of This World

50. Lisa Mychols 3 - Bruce Foxton

51. Bobblehead - Turn The Radio On (The perfect song)

52. American Suitcase - Think Of It

53. Magic Bus - Seven Wonders

54. The Jeremy Band - Angels In The Air

55.  The Top Boost - What If She Loves You



“Anny Celsi…One of LA’s smartest and catchiest

pop songwriters." — LA Weekly


Pet Sounds percussionist Nelson Bragg of

Brian Wilson’s Band


Duncan Maitland from Ireland’s Picturehouse and Pugwash



The road to Glasgow was a bumpy one…and when the sat-nav accidentally sent us through Paisley it was a long road as well! But our day ended with our heads on fluffy pillows at the warm Glasgow home of the wonderful Nell Gaughan. We woke up to a huge Scottish breakfast and life was good again, and in Castlemilk, for that matter. Scotland has always been good to us. We’ve been able to really see the beautiful world these lovely people live in, from Inverness to Ullapool, from Edinburgh to the Isle of Bute and back to Glasgow. Hell, we hung out with an amazing little Scottish doggy in Glencoe while having black pudding. We just love it.

Which brings us to our new CD, The Road To Glasgow. Celsi, Bragg & Maitland is a group born out of its creation. Who are we? I asked this when thinking about a new release for our “50th Summer Of Love UK Tour 2017 ”… and do we have any music to share? The three of us – Anny Celsi, Nelson Bragg and Duncan Maitland – scoured our respective vaults for anything that might work as a record together. Emails were exchanged across the Atlantic and we came up with these ten songs, three of which were tracked from scratch: “The Second Summer of Love,” “Heavenly Day” and “The Bright Light of Glasgow." The remaining tracks are three live performances from our 2011 UK Tour and four wonderful tracks that just needed a home. Fortunately, they fit together nicely for our Road To Glasgow via America and Ireland theme center, ending with the new Anny Celsi song “The Bright Light Of Glasgow."

Things start off with two freshly minted tracks, both UK-born: the 80’s Danny Wilson folk juggernaut “The Second Summer Of Love” and Duncan Maitland’s new recording of his 90’s Picturehouse hit “Heavenly Day." We all tracked transcontinentally on these songs, setting a sunny tone for our journey.  Next is the first of three tracks recorded live at the Elba Sessions in Glasgow in 2011: “Own Sweet Time." The Americana Trilogy follows as the centerpiece of our tour journey starting with the Dylan classic

“She Belongs To Me,” followed by an Australian diversion with the Paul Kelly 80’s smash “To Her Door” and ending back home with The dB's founder Peter Holsapple’s magical “Hollywood Waltz." It’s Maitland’s bizarre “Insect Under The Stone," an English garden interlude that realizes our arrival across the sea to Scotland, followed by an equally bizarre diversion to “The Green Man Festival” courtesy of me. “’Twas Her Hunger Brought Me Down” sets a sobering tone for our arrival in The Old Country and our journey ends in Castlemilk with Celsi’s amazing “The Bright Light Of Glasgow," our ode to the beautiful Nell Gaughan…a snow dusts the city…the thistles are sleeping.

Heavenly summer days to cloudy love affairs come and gone and saved; thrilling journeys through green hills and challenging roads bring us back to The Old Country to celebrate The 50th Summer Of Love in style. It’s 2017 and we’re glad you’re here and listening to us, the weary folk travelers: Celsi, Bragg & Maitland.  


Love, Nelson Bragg - Steel Derrick Music



The Road To Glasgow


The Road To Glasgow | COVER C S.jpg




UK TOUR 2017




9/8 - The Barrels Ale House, Berwick-upon-Tweed
10/8 - Edinburgh Festival Fringe Ukrainian Community Ctr.
11/8 - The Green Room - Perth
12/8 - Homesongs House Concert - Clachan
13/8 - The Hug & Pint - Glasgow
(The Fast Camels Single Launch)
14/8 - String Theory - Hawick
16/8 - The Green Man Gallery - Buxton (w/Fun of the Pier)
17/8 - The Donkey Bar - Leicester
(w/ Robyn Gibson of The Junipers)
18/8 - Woodstock Acoustic - Woodstock (w/Tony Poole)
19/8 - The Beehive - Swindon (w/Tony Poole)
23/8 - The Green Note - Camden Town, London
26/8 - Kingsmead House Concerts - High Wycombe, Bucks
27/8 - Santini's - Kenley
28/8 - The Greys - Brighton (w/Tony Poole)
29/8 - The Jenny Lind Inn - Hastings
30/8 - The Betsey Trotwood, London
(w/Steve Somerset and Tony Poole)


DAY INTO NIGHT Anatomy Of An Album

Day Into Night was a dream for me, a dream I thought would never come true. When I wrote those songs in that very fertile but turbulent period (1987 - 1992) I was obsessed about writing, not putting the music out. That said, making a cassette was always possible but a CD or dare I suggest a vinyl record was out of the question. I, like all my friends were broke. We spent our lives broke until we grew up a bit more as ya do. So when I went to my 10 year college reunion I was shocked at how many people kinda had there shit together by then….except us lowly musicians. Be advised, I'm talking financially here. We were good in other areas. So when a guy whose name I'll never remember told me: "Hey man….give yourself 20 years. That's REALLY how long it takes for most graduates to find their footing in this world…especially as an artist.” He was right. So I had a lot to talk about at my 20 year reunion. Which brings me to the 2000s. 


I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and started at the bottom of the barrel in order to rise to the top. It's the only way. Many thought I was crazy to leave the comforts and security of my hometown but I, as I said, was obsessed…this time with succeeding as a drummer/singer in L.A.…to do "important" work. Those things did indeed happen and the real possibility of putting out my songs seemed within my grasp. Those songs built from a seven year window of pain and written during what I call "The Great Lost Folk Rock Revival" (1987 - 1994) were ready to record, AND I had the moolah as I was recently hired by Brian Wilson. After only a few months with Brian I started to get arranging and orchestration ideas I never knew I could, that's what Brian does to people. Steve Refling the great power pop producer was the man to produce the music and his hide-away studio in Venice, CA. was my haven. I asked Steve to officially produce what would become my first record: Day Into Night. Was I ready to write, arrange, sing and release these songs? Yea. But to produce the project was fool-hearty at best for a newbie like me. Steve kicked my ass in the way I knew he would. He changed keys on a few tunes, slowed tempos, trimmed fat off songs, and played a lot of bass and some electric guitar on the record. His most valuable skill though was policing the vocals to the nth degree. You see, Steve has dog ears. It's a great gift but really annoying for a first time songwriter singing with headphones on. He hears what artists don't hear…but that's how it's done isn't it? That's why you should never self produce until you've developed sea legs in the studio yourself. (These days I produce others and love doing it.)


The songs I chose were about a few subjects: girls, mom and dad, my friends and to be frank: me. To say they are personal is a great understatement. I've always had a lot of admiration for those prolific souls who could sit and write a song at the drop of a hat about baseball…or trees. I've always been the writer who has to experience something very personal to be able to draw a story that is worthy of music…I suffer, a song is written. A friend suffers, a song is written. My parents do stupid things, a song is written. A friend does something stupid, I do something stupid, and so on. I write "happy" sometimes and that's cool…just not that often. One thing I do do a lot however is shroud pain in happy music. I'm not sure why, but it comes completely natural to me. Maybe others who write this way can explain why we do such a thing. Personally, I think I'm afraid of the dreaded "Tortured Ballad Syndrome"…too self-indulgent I guess. Subsequently, Day Into Night does NOT come off as a singer/songwriter record. It's a solid electric folk-rock album with some orchestrated ballads…big difference.


And I'm influenced by the best: Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey of The dB's and their magical reunion duo album Mavericks. R.E.M… .Document through Out Of Time. The Grapes Of Wrath, that incredible Canadian folk rock juggernaut from Kelowna, BC. Their albums Now and Again and These Days were revelations to me. XTC's Skylarking and Oranges and Lemons. The Indigo Girls “Closer To Fine”. I might call this record the centerpiece of "The Great Lost Folk Rock Revival" and will. This record blew my mind and the minds of my bandmates in Farmhouse, the folk rock outfit outta Northampton, MA. It was with these guys that I learned how to write a remotely decent tune. They are John Lebhar, Chris O'Connor and Brent Nielsen. We worked 1989-1992. In this framework I was suffering a long distance love affair, a subsequent break-up and the destruction of the band itself including a personal eviction from The Farmhouse. Good times! But the records mentioned above came out around then and I was depressed in rural America people! This was how Day Into Night came to be. For some it's how you do this.


Now I won't lie and withhold the fact that some songs were written as a result of living in NYC (1987-1989) and provoked by a separate breakup entirely…”Death Of Caroline” being the centerpiece of those songs. “Every Minute Of The Day” was that period too..a song written to myself about learning to take care yourself. I left NYC and went back to my hometown of Rockport, MA. with my tail between my legs and a truck-load of demos on cassette. In an apartment with old friends in neighboring Gloucester I made real these NY demos amongst the security of my friends and shed the pain of Caroline forever. Soon after, I hurt someone myself and was forced to write “Return The Love You Take”…another song to me and the first to become a staple in the Farmhouse catalogue. As it happened, I left home again and formed the band in Northampton and started the odyssey that would become the 2nd batch of songs for the future Day Into Night


With Farmhouse the world was a blank canvas. John, Chris and myself wrote deep into the night for each others voices. We had a nice blend á la CSN. We drank cheap beer, kerosine heated the rural farmhouse we barely survived in. I was gonna be 30 soon and I was in love with a gal far away. “Forever Days” my signature song, was born out of this picture described. To this day I play it live. I always felt very lucky to have a song that really stands the test of time. All writers need a song like that. I'm lucky to have it. But after 3 years of folk rockin' we called it a day and it was my fault. I was a chocolate mess in most areas of my life and the lads had had enough. Add to it the long distance gal l loved said goodbye as well. I moved into a $190 dollar a month room in NoHo and started writing like a madman. With ammunition like this how could I go wrong? I wrote 10 songs on the porch of the new pad in about 6 weeks. For me that was a lot and significant as this batch of songs were personal but still kinda good! I demoed 6 of them in full with my friend Paul Rocha whose pop CD Crayons is a power pop masterpiece. Those demos and the NYC songs lived with me until 2003 when I finally decided to record a real CD. 


I had songs about my mom's suicide, my dad leaving us in 1971, my friends betraying me and me them, girls leaving me and me them. On top of all this I recorded George Harrison's stunning song “Dark Sweet Lady” and had The Stockholm Strings (whom I had just toured Earth with in 2004 doing the Smile album live) play on. They played on 6 more tracks on the album. I also recorded my dear friend Ken Cleveland's song “Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark” and in fact wrote a song about him as well. “Turn The Darkness Into Gold” closes the Day Into Night song cycle. And it most definitely is that…but purely by accident... 


After tracking and mixing the songs, I was really excited about the track order…obsessed even…a man on a mission. I tried every imaginable configuration until one day I realized that a theme was created completely by accident…a thread if you will. Day and Night. Dark and Light. A dual existence…which is portrayed on the cover. Even a single day from morning to late night as The Moody Blues had done with Days of Future Passed seemed to be what I had done with this record. I'll reach here a little….the word Day or Days was in 2 song titles. Dark or Darkness was in 3 titles. Thematically there appeared to be lighter and wispier songs that felt right together AND in a specific order whilst there was also darker and heavier songs that felt correct and in an order. As a 12 track CD it flowed like butter, in every way. "Forever Daysdeveloped through 5 songs into “Every Minute Of The Day” while “Death Of Caroline” seemed to flow wonderfully into “Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark” and developed through 4 songs into the closer, “Turn The Darkness Into Gold”. It was morning to night…no doubt. The title Day Into Night was born. The record was a biography….even in the cover songs. I was elated. 


Fast forward 10 years after it's initial release on Jerry Boyd and Brian Battle's great label Side B Music, Day Into Night is now a two sided vinyl record on my own Steel Derrick Music…Day Side and Night Side….the way it always was meant to be. It's a proud electric folk-rock album with strings and horns all over and huge vocal harmonies to quench the thirst of pop fans from L.A. to The UK. It costs a lot. A lot of pain, a lot of years, and a damn bit of money. But I have a record, and at 54 years old, I had the thrill of cutting the seam of the shrink wrap on that puppy with my thumb nail revealing the magic within: a full color inner sleeve and opaque blue vinyl. It smelled like Aerosmith's Rocks 40 years ago. That teenager was awakened, but this time…this time it is MY record and my songs. What a mind-blow. From ‘80s cassettes to ‘90s CDs on to the thrill of your own vinyl album bought with your own money in 2016. What a Day! I'm grateful for all of it and hope you'll dig the music as well. 


Have fun this summer!! I know I am. 


Love, Nelson Bragg - Steel Derrick Music ………June 25, 2016



Today is the official U.S. release date of Bob Woodruff's first new album in almost 20 years. The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain is out today Febuary 26th 2016 and is available to order at or in person at the big release event March 3rd at El Cid in Hollywood, CA.

It is released on my Steel Derrick Music label and I am so proud of it and of Bob. Bob's music is so much the real deal when it comes to classic song structure and rock and roll poetry. He's been compared to Springsteen and John Prine and rightly so. Bob also wrote with Doc Pomus in NYC so the pedigree speaks for itself. His music comes from country origins and you can hear that in, what is definitely a country record.

However Woodruff has moved on from straight up country on this new album. There's soul, rock and real jangle goin' on here. Pop fans take note. Soul fans give a listen. There are some classic contryfied soul including a reinvention of Stop In The Name Of Love…. yea….Woodruff re-recorded THAT song and you have to hear it to believe it. It is getting airplay on Sirius Satellite radio on rotation along with other tracks and other stations nationwide.

Woody is back! Congratulations Bob Woodruff on what is a 13 song tour de force album. It's incredible work and everyone should hear it, own it and help bring this great 90's country star back to the public eye. No one deserves it more. Listen to the songs You'll see!!

In the meantime, see ya March 3rd at El Cid in Hollywood at 8:30!! xxoo Nelson Bragg~

P.S. PLEASE like and share this post. We really need the love this time around folks. Thank ya. nb


"Runnin' Right" is the next Kip Boardman track we are releasing in it's entirety. "Runnin' Right" is the opening track to Kip's Hi-Fi Live in Studio vinyl album: BOARDMAN. This song is a stone groove from the get-go featuring a strong Wurlitzer track by Kip and rock steady rhythm track by Steve Mugalian and Rob Douglas. By the time the blistering Garcia-esq solo by Dave Gleason comes in your dancing and/or speeding up on the freeway. Watch out….Eric Heywood is holding down the fort and trading licks with Gleason throughout in hard-panned stereo glory. The track is smooth as silk sounding like something off a current Steely Dan album. "Runnin' Right" really sets the tone for Kip's record and proud of it are we. The journey from this groovy opener to the record's finale: "Oh The Ache" is a journey your gonna wanna take.

XO  Nelson Bragg - Steel Derrick Music

Release date today!

April 28, 2015

Available at and at the release event at El Cid in Hollywood May 7th at 8:30 PM.  And in the Los Angeles area at Freakbeat Records, Rockaway Records and Amoeba Music.


April 28th is fast approaching. That is exciting to me as it is the release day for BOARDMAN by Kip Boardman, a record I am putting out on my own Steel Derrick Music label.


BOARDMAN combines a few elements. Firstly, Kip's alarming tenor voice that is sweet as it is world weary singing lyrics that move from clever and funny to downright heart wrenching and beautiful. Add his instrument of choice: The Mighty Wurlitzer electric piano with its wonderfully slight distortion and percussive emotion drawing in its listeners.


The album features 10 songs played by 5 men who are at the top of their game. Eric Heywood is featured on electric and pedal steel guitars and what a job he does. Some of the best pedal steel I've ever heard is here, (coming from Kip's affinity for very early "Dirty Work" era Steely Dan vibe, that feeling is all over Kip's music….70's pop and roots.) Dave Gleason plays the Telecaster exclusively on BOARDMAN. Throughout Gleason features his trademark twang and rock we've come to know and love except here, he stretches out to newer territories on this outing. Dave's solos are what you expect, nothing short of inspiring.


In the engine room on drums and bass are Steve Mugalian and Rob Douglas respectively. Steve is a country veteran and also plays with The Dave Gleason Trio. On our studio sojourn, Steve is a one take wonder, just nailing the songs perfectly with a soft touch that allows the kit to resonate fully, never choking the drums like (we) drummers tend to do. On BOARDMAN that beautiful tone is evident throughout…..a master's touch. And finally Rob Douglas who musical directed much of the sessions provided that famous Fender Precision Bass sound we've come to know and enjoy in all of music history. Rob is an authoritative player with complete clarity of note in his approach. Rob Campanella captured an incredible bass sound for the record, (Ampeg "roll and tuck" nach…or was it the Bassman??) executed by an incredible player.


What's more, the entire album was cut live including lead vocals! If your a fan of the aforementioned early 70's Dan, the sharp as a tack, breezy grooves of J.J. Cale, songs Bonnie Raitt would truly shine at singing and a writing style that Randy Newman might have done back then, BOARDMAN is for you. It's roots folded in with pop and groove and covered in pedal steel guitar. It's a road album for sure, and it's the kind of record that musicians in particular love to hear, as it was created with the Hi-Fi fan in mind. 10 Songs written and sung by Kip on vinyl. Yours truly added a smattering of harmony and percussion.


Look for the video for "O The Ache" and the complete songs "Running Right” and "All In The Course". The big record release event is at El Cid May 7th at 8:30. That is when you can buy the record personally and see the band that made it happen!!




Nelson Bragg- Steel Derrick Music