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avatar for Casey Neill

Casey Neill

Casey Neill's career has always walked the line between lyrical song craft and ferocious live shows. He is a songwriter and bandleader from Portland, Oregon with a sound that explores haunting ballads, high-octane folk punk, and Scots/Irish melody. Neill's latest record with his band the Norway Rats is titled 'All You Pretty Vandals' was produced by Chris Funk of the Decemberists. The Norway Rats include an all-star cast of Portland musicians. For over a decade he has performed throughout the US, Europe, and Japan averaging over a hundred shows a year.

"These are songs with stories well told. This is what it's all about" STEVE EARLE

Neill's original weather beaten stories eschew irony in favor of romance, celebrate society's miscreants, and explore the hidden corners of the American landscape. The songs travel from place to place, with scenes from the rural Northwest to New York City street life. While the writing owes much to narrative tradition, the sound has far more in common with the early years of college rock and post hardcore ethos.

"Casey Neill’s record, Goodbye to the Rank and File, is just as much audio book as it is album, teeming with rich lyrics that paint the glory and gutter of a wanderer’s struggle. Backed by talented Rats like Jenny Conlee (the Decemberists, Black Prairie) and Chet Lyster (Lucinda Williams Band), Neill bellows pack the punch of white-capped seas, soaking the band’s big sky, prairie wind sound with a haunting graveness. It just may be Portland’s strongest brand of unfettered, contemporary roots rock." - Mark Stock, WILLAMETTE WEEK

“Be it through raucous rockers, fragile acoustic ballads, ragged country, passionate bursts of punk fury or soulful touches of Irish folk, Neill's narrative talent and concern for real people's struggles stand out.  (Neill) evokes an epic feel that fits perfectly with the implicit grandiosity of this emotional material, delivered with a raspy, affectionate voice that recalls Life's Rich Pageant-era Michael Stipe. The results are so evocative, you'll be tempted to steep further in these memories, the better to share Casey Neill's particular blend of personal and historical experience.” ---  SPLENDID eZine

"Soul-searing songs "- UTNE READER        
“remarkably good songwriting” NO DEPRESSION

Casey Neill is a sought after side player and has worked with bands such as The Minus Five, master traditional fiddlers Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes, and Johnny Cunningham as well as collaborative creative work with New York’s legendary Mabou Mines Theater Company. Irish supergroup Solas recorded Casey's original song "Lowground" on their CD's "Waiting for an Echo" and "Reunion". In 1997, he inked a three record deal with the folk label Appleseed and was featured on their tribute to Pete Seeger along with Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and Bonnie Raitt. A compilation of his material entitled 'Memory Against Forgetting' was released by Amy Ray's label Daemon in 2005. Following a few years of residence in New York City, Casey moved back to Portland and it's thriving music community. In 2007, his CD 'Brooklyn Bridge' was released by the NW imprint In Music We Trust and the Norway Rats were formed to expand on the rock sound. 'Goodbye to the Rank and File' followed in 2010 and garnered rave reviews from online blogs, radio, and press. The new Casey Neill & The Norway Rats record ‘All You Pretty Vandals’ is set for release in September 2013.

"When the day is young, everything seems possible; the next waking hours can become anything you want them to be.  Casey Neill’s newest album, Goodbye to the Rank and File, is very much like that thought. It’s just bloody good, the storytelling, the diverse influences, the delivery, it all comes together to box your ears, but oh, you’ll like the bruises. Lyrically, this is the best album I’ve heard in a very long time, musically it is almost as good, Casey Neill has hit a grand slam with this album."  Aaron Binder, WORDBIRD

"If I’d wanted to hear an album that encapsulated the barroom romanticism, neon lit glamour of a downtown Saturday night anywhere, an imaginatively vivid evocation of life lived not quite on the margins but lived to the full nonetheless, … then I couldn’t have asked to hear a more completely realized work than Rank And File."  - Jon Gordon, ADEQUACY.NET

My Songwriters Sessions

Saturday, October 5

3:00pm PDT