Guitarist Keith Nelson founded the chart topping hard rock band Buckcherry with singer Josh Todd. Together they penned the music for their hit songs and albums. The 1999 Buckcherry debut album went Gold with the song “Lit Up” that reached number 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. They reached the charts again at number 9 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006 with their song “Sorry” from their Platinum selling album “15”. That album also featured The song "Crazy Bitch" that was nominated for a "Best Hard Rock Performance" Grammy award. Their 2013 release “Confessions” debuted at number 20 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Keith has produced three of Buckcherry's albums.
Buckcherry tours as a headliner playing 200 to 250 dates every year. They opened for Kiss on the 2009/10 US and Canadian tour. Buckcherry has also toured with AC/DC, Lenny Kravitz and the Mötley Crüe's Crüe Fest. The band appeared with Hellyeah and All That Remains on the 2011 Jägermeister Music Tour.
Jamming in North Sewickley
Keith Nelson was born on February 8, 1969 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in North Sewickley Township on the outskirts of the former mill town Ellwood City, Pa. There was always music at his parent's house. His father, Kenneth Nelson, had a collection of Motown records, ’50s do-wop, and country music and owned an acoustic guitar that Keith played with. In the mid 1980s Nelson began to go to live concerts. His aunt took him to see Donnie Iris & the Cruisers and B.E. Taylor at Beaver County Community College. At his first major shows he saw Cheap Trick and Van Halen at the Civic Arena.
Nelson started learning the drum about age 8 when his parents bought him a drum kit from a Sears catalog. Wanting to rock Keith learned the drums and jammed at his house in a band with neighborhood friends. As they practiced at Nelson's house and left their gear there Keith played with all of the instruments including the guitars. At age 17 he switched from drums to guitar. He bought a used Telecaster for $100 dollars.
In high school Nelson played right tackle on the football team. After graduating from Riverside High School in 1987 Keith played the Western, Pa and Eastern Ohio club circuit with drummer Scott Patterson and bassist Tony Oliastro in the band Stone Mona.
Forming Buckcherry in L.A.
Seeking to make it in the music industry Nelson moved to Los Angeles at age 22 in 1990. He found a day job to support himself and used the Music Connection newspaper to seek out other musicians who wanted to form a band. After several years of failed attempts to find a group of serious good musicians who would show up to play shows he was considering returning home to Pennsylvania.
In 1995 a tattoo artist friend of Nelson suggested that he meet another of his clients the singer Josh Todd who had fronted the band Slamhound in the early 1990s. Hitting it off they met everyday after work writing songs on a four track cassette recorder. The new duo recruited bassist Jonathan Brightman and drummer Devon Glenn to form the band Sparrow. Performing old school rock in Hollywood clubs Sparrow built a strong L.A. following. They were signed by DreamWorks Records.
The Sparrow worked in the studio with producer Terry Date (Soundgarden/Mother Love Bone/Pantera/Steve Jones). Before releasing their album they receive a cease-and-desist letter from an EMI owned record label also named Sparrow. In respone the group changed its name to Buckcherry . They took the name from a drag queen they knew named Buck Cherry and also because it's a flip of rock pioneer Chuck Berry's name.
Buckcherry Hit Debut Album
Buckcherry released its self-titled debut album in 1999 receiving critical praise and certified gold sales. All Music Guide critic James Chrispell wrote "like a blast of fresh air clearing out a stale room. Buckcherry returns to the raucous edge of rock while avoiding the pitfalls of veering headlong into metal land. Melodic and concise, these guys keep your attention much like Guns N' Roses did on their first disc. Buckcherry is quite a stunning debut." The album spawned the hit singles "Lit Up", "For the Movies", "Dead Again", and "Check Your Head". "Lit Up" reached number 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and the album was 74 on the Billboard Top 200. To support their the album Buckcherry toured nonstop. They opened for Lenny Kravitz on his Freedom Tour (1999) and performed at Woodstock 99. They opened several shows for AC/DC in the spring of 2000.
Buckcherry's second album produced by John Travis was released on Dreamworks in 2001. The song "Ridin' reached number 9 on the Mainstream Rock chart and the album was 64 on the Billboard Top 200.
Buckcherry Breaks Up and Reunites
In July 2002 Joshua Todd unexpectedly quit the group to pursue a separate musical and acting career. Buckcherry broke up. Keith Nelson and Josh Todd didn't speak to each other or work together for three years. Keith called Josh when Josh's father died in 2005. The two reconciled to write music and reform Buckcherry. They recruited three new members guitarist Stevie D., bassist Jimmy Ashurst, and drummer Xavier Muriel. In April of 2006 they released the album 15 on Atlantic's Eleven Seven Records. Keith Nelson and Mike Plotnikoff produced the album. They had their biggest ever crossover hit with the song "Crazy Bitch" and a Billboard Hot 100 top ten hit with "Sorry". The album went Platinum in sales and reached 39 on the Billboard Top 200.
Keith Nelson and Marti Frederiksen produced Buckcherry's fourth album "Black Butterfly". It was released in September 2008 debuting at number 8 on the top 200 charts. The album featured the hit songs "Too Drunk", "Rescue Me" and Don't Go Away"
Buckcherry released the live album, Live & Loud 2009 in September of 2009. Recorded during their May 2009 Candian Tour in Edmonton, Calgary, and Medicine Hat it features their songs "Sorry", "Lit Up", "Crazy Bitch", and more. Their fifth album, "All Night Long", produced by Marti Frederiksen and released in August of 2010 reached number 10 on the Billboard Top 200. Buckcherry's their sixth album titled "Confessions" and produced by Keith Nelson and was released on Century Media Records in February of 2013 and reached number 20 on the Billboard Top 200.
Jamming in Ellwood City
On June 25, 2013 Keith Nelson took his Buckcherry band mates to his hometown of Ellwood City, PA to play at surpise show. More than 100 people turned out to Big Dawgs Bar and Grill to hear Buckcherry minus their singer Josh Todd. Keith invited his former Stone Mona band mates drummer Scott Patterson and bassist Tony Oliastro to jam. They played covers of "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "Roadhouse Blues", "Highway to Hell" and "You Really Got Me". They also played a few Buckcherry's hits including "Crazy Bitch".