- Artist: Casey Neill
- Format: CD
- Release Date:4/21/1998
Casey Neill is a rough-edged rocker with a passion for music from deep in the traditional vein. With a passion for the environment, strong communities, and social justice, he is a songwriter performer of the same spirit as Billy Bragg and Dick Gaughan, and a carrier of the traditions of Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs. 'Casey Neill', Neill's new CD, is, in his words, a 'personal take on political music.' The album, which is his first for Appleseed Recordings, features 10 original songs and a cover of Ewan MacColl's 'Manchester Rambler.' Tucked at the end is an incisive hidden track called 'Taking Back the Music.' It's a pointed and barbed rock/punk rap that includes one of the most quotable lines we've heard in a long time: 'Beavis and Butthead is a self-fulfilling prophecy.' Recorded in analog at Crow Studios in Seattle, Casey Neill features the playing of upright bassist Cary Black, Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, Hanz Araki of Celt-rockers the PAPERBOYS on flute and whistle, hand percussionist Dave White, guitar player (and tunesmith) extraordinaire Jim Page, and others backing up Casey's songs. Zak Borden co-produced the disc, and also adds octave mandolin, queca, bodhran, and mandolin to the project. The arrangements range from slow acoustic ballads, to rowdy rock 'n' reel with a full band. While the songs are contemporary originals, they are heavily influenced by the sound, melodies, and emotion of traditional music. Neill's guitar playing travels from percussive attack to slow finger style, with the occasional flatpickin' of a fiddle tune. The most striking element of this eponymous CD are Neill's gritty vocals. They are influenced by training in the ornamental Irish sean-nos (old style) singing, and his voice indeed sounds like it comes from another place and time. Neill is also featured on Appleseed Recordings' new Pete Seeger celebration album - 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 1.' Not surprisingly, Neill performs 'Old Father Hudson' and 'Sailing Down My Dirty Stream', two of Seeger's songs about the environmental abuse of New York's Hudson River. Of Neill's performance of these songs, Seeger wrote, 'To me, Casey's interpretation is one of the best; I feel the passion in his singing.'
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