Raised in Iowa City, the son of a nationally-recognised poet, by 1983, Nathan Bell had formed the duo Bell & Shore with then-wife Susan Shore. The two scored a record deal, began touring heavily, and would eventually release a pair of records, the second, L-Ranko Motel, scoring rave reviews. Their marriage and musical partnership ended in 1989 and he didn't pick up a guitar or write a song again for almost 15 years.
With his latest album, I Don't Do This for Love, I Do This for Love (the third instalment in a potent trilogy that began with 2011's Black Crow Blue and continued with 2014's Blood Like a River), he has created a song cycle that is both moving and timely.
The new CD won him more media attention in the space of a few weeks than he has experienced for a long time, picking up four and 5-star ratings from reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Now, the UK gets a chance to catch the man in action when he flies in for appearances at Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival and plays a few UK dates before heading for a string of shows in The Netherlands.
Some recent quotes:
Gritty and authentic A Best of 2016 selection - The Telegraph
Really, really special Ricky Ross, BBC Radio Scotland
Powerful excellent - Country Music People
A stand-out album poetry is coursing through his veins Maverick magazine