Memory Against Forgetting, was released as part of the Daemon Records/AK Press political folk series. It included Casey Neill tracks from the last ten years – songs from his sessions with Johnny Cunningham, 4 remastered cuts from Riffraff, a live recording with master Sligo fiddler Kevin Burke, and solo acoustic tunes about the American west. While stylistically different, the common thread that holds the material together is the political nature of the songs. Memory Against Forgetting was built on Casey Neill’s deep commitment to progressive politics, quality storytelling, and music that alternates between desolate balladry and raucous rave-ups.
While he created this record, Casey Neill was based in Brooklyn, NY. He has since returned to Portland, OR, where he lived for most of the 90's and cut his teeth on the underground music community of the region. His music fuses modern roots rock with country, punk, and Celtic styles. He has released numerous CD’s that have been acclaimed by radio and critics, and toured relentlessly throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. Casey has busked with Pete Seeger in Grand Central Station, toured with Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, and collaborated with many of the world’s finest traditional Scottish and Irish musicians. Casey Neill’s raspy voice, well crafted songs and devotion to the emotional center of the material, has been the foundation of his career on the cutting edge of American roots music.
In 1995, Casey self released his CD Riffraff - 12 folk punk songs with a political focus. Based on the success of his debut, he was signed to the Appleseed imprint of Red House Records. A track of his was featured on their Grammy nominated tribute to Pete Seeger, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, alongside interpretations of Pete’s songs by Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and Ani DiFranco. Casey followed with a self-titled CD in 1998, Skree in 1999, and the live CD Portland West in 2001. These recordings leaned towards the acoustic side of Casey’s music and led to the formation of his trio. Featuring mandolin player Zak Borden, and Irish flute player Hanz Araki, the Casey Neill Trio blended the original material with bluegrass inspired harmony singing and Irish dance instrumentals. Skree was produced by the late Scots fiddler Johnny Cunningham and led to a musical collaboration that grew from then on.
Johnny encouraged Casey to return to a more electric approach to the songs. Casey relocated to New York City and formed a full rock combo with Johnny Cunningham on the fiddle. Before Johnny passed away in December of 2003, they had documented their collaborations with studio recordings of over 30 songs. In 2007, Casey Neill released the record, Brooklyn Bridge on In Music We Trust Records, which showcased the more rock side of Neill and featured friends from The Decemberists, as well as Erin McKeown, John Wesley Harding, and Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (from Steve Earle and The Dukes). The evolution of Casey’s music has solidly found a home in a blend of haunting Americana, punk fury, and Celtic melody.
Casey’s latest recording is Goodbye to the Rank and File, has also been released on Portland, OR label, In Music We Trust Records, and features the Norway Rats, whose lineup includes members of the Decemberists, Lucinda Williams Band, The Eels and Minus 5 -- Little Sue (vocals, acoustic guitar), Chet Lyster (guitar), Ezra Holbrook (drums), Hanz Araki (vocals, flute), Jesse Emerson (bass), and Jenny Conlee (piano, accordion). It was recorded throughout the fall of 2009 & the winter 2010 with help from friends like R.E.M. touring musician Scott McCaughey & Talkdemonic's Lisa Molinaro, and produced by Ezra Holbrook. The final result combines post-punk energy, narrative storytelling, haunting ballads, and whiskey-fueled rave-ups with clear-cut influences by Richard Thompson as well as Hüsker Dü and The Clash.
MEMORY AGAINST FORGETTING