At 30 years old, 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 3 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 for the past twelve years, Casey began performing in the early 90's. He was raised in the east coast tri-state area and was profoundly influenced by the music of Bruce Springsteen & 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 folkpunk classic.
In 97, 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.
"For all its range, this band never sounds like anything but itself. The Casey Neill Trio is a fine example of going your own way and making everyone else want to join the party."
- John Foyston | The Oregonian