Arthur Neilson born and raised in New York City, taught himself to play guitar on an electric Teisco Del Rey at age fifteen. After purchasing a Harmony acoustic, he honed his folk repertoire and fingerpicking skills. Then, one night, he heard Albert King. Arthur got goosebumps from his head to his toes, and has been hooked on the blues ever since. Arthur developed his dynamic guitar style by playing along with every blues record that he could find.
With a longing to play the blues, but unable to find the right situation, Arthur worked in rock & roll bands (he also loves Chuck Berry). Then, in the early seventies, he responded to an ad in the Village Voice, seeking a blues guitarist. He then formed the "A Train Blues Band" with Felix Cabrera. This propelled him into the burgeoning New York blues scene, which gave Arthur the opportunity to back up the late Victoria Spivey and jam with James Cotton and Hubert Sumlin.
In 1979, Arthur caught the attention of the band Blue Angel with his rootsy, aggressive guitar playing. After joining Blue Angel, they recorded an album for Polydor, which garnered much critical acclaim. Cyndi Lauper was the lead singer of the band.
In the eighties and through the nineties, Arthur's phone was always ringing, as his guitar work was in much demand. Not only was he playing the blues, but rock & roll, rockabilly, and country too. In fact, at one point, he was gigging in seven bands, including "Oxford Blues", "Kid Java", "Felix and The Havanas" and "The Guitar Guys from Hell".
Arthur was schooled in New York City bars and clubs, such as Dan Lynch Blues Bar, Lone Star Cafe, Manny's Car Wash and Tramps. This has led to sharing the stage with many of his influences, most notably B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton, and Albert King, who upon hearing Arthur, said, "That boy sure can play!".
In 1998, Shemekia Copeland found Arthur to be the guitar player that she was looking for to complete her band. Arthur has been performing with her across the globe and can be heard on the Grammy nominated "Wicked", throughout her CD, "Talking to Strangers", as well as "Never Going Back", and the Grammy nominated "33 1/3" and "Outskirts of Love".
In 1999, Popa Chubby asked Arthur to be part of his New York City Blues record (Dixie Frog). Arthur contributed four of his songs, including the track "Fenderbender", which showcases his intense fretwork.
With the Dixie Frog release of "a piece of wood, some strings, and a pick" (2000 release), Arthur Neilson brought together all the exciting aspects of his playing onto one record. He easily moves from deep, soulful blues on "Better Deal", to lightning speed, country chickenpickin on "That's Allright Mama", to back porch slide on "Walkin'Blues".
"Moan & Cry", the title of his second release, defines Arthur's raw and emotional guitar playing. He explores the raunchier side of blues in "Sleeping in my Clothes" and then delights us with his sweet soulfulness in "When It's Over".
Arthur's latest release is "Hell of a Nerve!"
Everytime Arthur picks up his guitar, his lifetime love and passion for the instrument resounds in each note played.