Tag Archives: CASEY NEILL

Casey Neill Band: Live On 11th Street

“I agree, that it’s ‘Rock and/or roll music with some twangy geetar, Scottish fiddling, and piano ballads. Drunk and tough, except for the mushy moments.” Casey Neill

“Live On 11th Street” was the last time Casey Neill performed with Fiddler/Producer, Johnny Cunningham. On December 15th, 2003. Johnny passed away, sending shock waves across the entire world of folk music. With that in mind, you’re somewhat heavy hearted upon first listen to “Live On 11th Street”… that is until the top notch quality of the recording, or the stellar musicianship/lyrics, or the wisecracking Mr. Cunningham in between tracks. By the third song you realize, you’re hearing something special. One of those magical nights that are almost never recorded, let alone properly released as an album. By the 5th song, you’re covered in goosebumps, and the hairs on the back of your neck are standing on end. Between songs, as the crowd cheers, You ask yourself, “Damn! Why wasn’t I in New York City that night.” By the sixth song the combination of Johnny’s fiddle and Jon Spurnley’s beautiful piano sends a shiver down your spine so fierce, you have to take a break from the album, and simply call up a loved one just to wish them well.

Upon returning, you examine the album, a simple red cardboard cover saying: Casey Neill Band – Live On 11th Street. The other side contains only the track listing. There are no pictures, no lyrics, no special thanks. It’s not needed. The album speaks for itself. By the middle of the 9th song, you realize Mr. Cunningham is absolutely hilarious as he torments a very (trying to be) serious sounding Casey between songs. A minute or two go by… It’s around this time you congratulate yourself on purchasing such a fine album. You begin to think about all the live albums you’ve heard over the years. How does “Live On 11th Street” stack up? Pretty damn good, but you have to replay that last track. You were in such a deep thought, you missed the majority of the song. (Damn, I hate that!)

After replaying the album about a half dozen times, you simply pass out on the couch and awake the next morning feeling so refreshed, you decide to call in sick to work and take a drive through the woods, and reflect on things that should matter, and all that petty shit that shouldn’t. Only music can make you feel this way, and the music recorded on this album happens to hit the nail on the head, as you suddenly you crack up laughing…Johnny Cunningham you will be missed, brother.

Look for Casey Neill’s latest album “Brooklyn Bridge” later this year. (The last album produced by Johnny Cunningham)


Review by “Barnacle” Brian Gillespie

Casey Neill Band: Memory Against Forgetting

You will enjoy the music of Casey Neill. At least it sure looks that way…There seems to be a Casey Neill song for almost everybody. All you need to do is catch one of his shows. Everything from mohawks and leather jackets on one side of the room, to pony tails and Birkenstock on the other. I’ve seen a few Casey Neill gigs, and I can honestly tell you, I have seen that happen. Somehow, Mr. Neill has danced across that tightrope for some time now.

Raised in Brooklyn, NY, Casey moved out to Portland, Oregon in the early 90’s. It’s probably a good thing he did, because there used to be a great little dive in Portland, called the East Avenue Tavern. (RIP) If you knew anything about Celtic folk, that’s where you’d be. Casey Neill was there one night, and thanks to spilling a beer into the lap of Johnny Cunningham’s girlfriend, the two became fast friends & collaborators. (One hell of an introduction, don’t ya think Casey?) In fact, it was Johnny Cunningham who encouraged Casey to use a more electric approach to his songs, and everyone form Jello Biafra, to Steve Earle have applauded his efforts.

“Memory Against Forgetting” is an album revisiting the past 10 years of Casey’s work. these 13 tracks cover everything from punk, folk, Americana to Celtic music. There’s a few remastered songs from “Riffraff” an early folk-punk album that’s been out of print for ages. there’s a few traditional numbers in ‘Kitty” and “Paddy’s Lament”, (with fiddler Kevin Burke) to some absolutely outstanding original material such as “Angola” “Radio Montana” and “Cod fisher”, a song I honestly believe is the pinnacle of Casey’s work.

I’m quite glad Mr. Neill decided to move to Portland all those years ago. I’ve been able to see some amazing talent because of it. Seems like the guy has played with every top notch Scottish & Irish musician to ever step foot in the United States. A few weeks ago, Casey Neill opened up for The Tossers. I had quite a few excited folks come up to me and ask who he was, and where he came from. I hope more people in our little world of Shite’n’Onions tune into his work and check it out, because I rank it right up there with the best.


Review by: Barnacle Brian Gillespie

Casey Neill: Raleigh & Spencer (7″)

I never heard of Casey Neill before this 7″ arrived at my door and man was I missing something big. The a-side is the tradition “Raleigh & Spencer” and the b-side the Irish ballad “The Blue Tar Road”. Just try to imagine the sound of Johnny Cash with the attitude of Mike Ness and the intensity of Ed Hamell. Feckin Great!

May 2003