Blurring the boundaries between acoustic Americana, haunting Irish fiddle wizardry and rambunctious Celtic folk-punk, 'Skree' presents a dozen songs, mostly originals, performed by Casey Neill and his touring band. Fiddler Anthea Lawrence and 'newgrass' mandolinist Zak Borden add instrumental firepower and harmony vocals to Neill's heartfelt singing and percussive guitar work. Produced by the late, great Irish musician Johnny Cunningham (of Solas and Big Bad Bollocks), this CD contains such notable songs as 'A Mighty Love,' 'Love is a Killing Thing,' and the traditional, beautifully tender 'Mingulay Boat Song.' Sing Out! Magazine called Neill 'a major talent in the making,' and, at the other end of the spectrum, punk pioneer Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys said, 'As you might guess, folk is not my main area of interest, but Casey Neill has now joined Phil Ochs and Fred Neil as one of my true faves.' Bio: In less than a decade, Casey Neill has earned himself a large multi-generational following and a reputation for sharp songwriting and emotive performances. He has created a unique sound fusing country, punk, folk, traditional Irish, and bluegrass, with an indie rock sensibility. Over the last few years, Casey has busked with Pete Seeger in Grand Central Station, toured with Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, collaborated with many of the finest traditional Celtic musicians, and toured throughout the US, Canada,& UK. His three CDs on the Appleseed label have garnered rave reviews and widespread radio airplay on the cutting edge of the North American acoustic music scene. Based in the Pacific Northwest until recently, Casey began performing in the early '90s. He was raised in the East Coast tri-state area and was profoundly influenced by the music of Bruce Springsteen and the maritime music of the region. In 1989, he enrolled at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and began studying ethnomusicology with a focus on Irish music. Increasingly involved in the ecology movement, he began to gain notoriety with the environmental community. In 1996, he released his first formal recording, 'Riffraff,' which has since sold 6,000 copies and become a cult folk-punk classic. In 1997, Appleseed Recordings signed Casey and released his self-titled CD. He was also featured on Appleseed's 2-CD tribute to Pete Seeger, 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone,' along with Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Bragg, and Springsteen. After working with master Irish fiddler Martin Hayes on both recordings, the need for a band was clear. The Casey Neill Trio was formed with longtime collaborator Zak Borden on mandolin and Anthea Lawrence covering the fiddle parts. Traditional Irish jigs and reels were added to the show, alongside Neill's originals. The Trio has since released two CDs for Appleseed, 'Skree' (1999, produced by master Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham) and the live 'Portland West' (2001). In 2000, Anthea Lawrence left the band and was replaced by virtuoso flute player Hanz Araki (formerly of the Paperboys and the Whyos). Since then, they have carved out a truly original blend of Irish and Americana music and clocked tens of thousands of road miles.
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