Some artists form in the womb and emerge ready to push their instrument's limits and in turn be pushed by them, using their childhoods as a proving ground for the brilliance to follow. That is not Cincinnati's Natalie Wells. Wells didn't touch a guitar until she was 18, but her natural gift and bluesy persona went straight to the chords. The Independence, Ky. native learned quickly, absorbing influences from Janis Joplin to Frank Zappa to Carole King.
Wells was barely 21 when she and her band were nominated for a 2003 Cincinnati Entertainment Award, and her new debut album, Mind the Gap, proves she's become a mature, fluid guitarist. Since gaining worldwide recognition, she's seriously considering another studio album this year.