While fans back home in the Twin Cities haven’t seen or heard much of J.S. Ondara since the February release of his debut album for Verve Records, “Tales of America,” that’s only because he’s been out trying to conquer the world. And now comes more proof of how much headway the golden-voiced immigrant folk-rock strummer is making.
Ondara, 26, just landed a nomination for best emerging artist in the 2019 Americana Music Awards. He’ll be up against Aussie buzzer Jade Bird (opening for Jason Isbell and Father John Misty at the Armory on June 14), R&B-tinged D.C. area couple the War & Treaty (one of this year’s Minnesota State Fair free-stage highlights), Erin Rae and Yola at the Nashville-based awards in September, whose full roster is led by Brandi Carlile and John Prine.
That’s not the only bragging point for Ondara going into summer; he also just landed the opening slots for Neil Young’s four solo dates in Oregon and Washington next week. Young joins a list that includes Lindsey Buckingham, the Head & the Heart and Anderson East to tap him to warm up for them.
With all that, it’s no surprise Ondara doesn’t have another hometown gig on the books until Dec. 7, when he’s due to play his first headlining set at First Ave as a year-end finale.
Here’s the latest in a series of rather gorgeously shot black-and-white videos for songs from “Tales of America.”