-"Bloody brilliant ! ! ! It's Like Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Steve Earle", Steve Yarwood 'On-Air Personality', nmfm 106.6, Manchester, ENGLAND.
-"...voice sounds ICONIC, as always. Guitars sound great, songs are very cool...", Greg Kane (Waylon Jennings, The Ranch, )
Neal Spears, a singer/songwriter out of Eastern KY, penned his first song at the age of thirteen. Influenced by such diverse artists as Prince, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, Pink Floyd and Neil Young, Spears writes songs as diverse as his influences. But once Neal found the music of Steve Earle, his writing was indelibly changed. He could identify with the lose arrangements and rough vocals.
Spending time in Nashville, Neal shared the stage and studio with such names as Greg Kane (Keith Urban), Johnny Neel (Allman Bros.), David Roe (Marty Stuart) and Tabby Crabb (Mickey Gilley). But there was something missing.
He put his guitar away and music on hold upon his homecoming. He had questions to answer and demons to address. But he missed his songs. Neal found himself playing acoustic gigs around home again. Soon meeting fellow songwriters Roger Alan Wade, Alan Cormier and Owin’ Moses, Neal took to traveling in VA, TN and NC with like-minded songwriters.
Spring 2010, Neal met fellow Pikeville native Joey Huffman, a veteran of the stage and studio, touring with such artists as Soul Asylum, Matchbox Twenty, Izzy Stradlin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others. Joey was currently playing with Hank Williams Jr., in town to play a political event. Needing someone to accompany him during his performance, Neal’s name came up. Joey went to reverbnation and listened to Neal’s songs. He was instantly impressed and captivated. That gig led to playing and writing together in the months to follow. They became fast friends. Neal had a wealth of material and Joey suggested that it was time to do another record. Joey was to produce the record at his studio in Atlanta.
Neal likes the prospects of Huffman at the helm of this effort. If ever a collaboration was meant to be, it was this one. Joey and Neal are currently recording tracks for the new record in Atlanta with engineer/producer Jeff Tomei (Smashing Pumkins, Hole). They are accompanied in the studio by Rick Richards (Georgia Satellites and Izzy Stradlin) and Eastern Kentucky native Dave Prince on guitars.
Look for Neal Spears and Unit 31’s record to be available from CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon.com and !!MANY!!! other outlets around January 2012. This is one record worth waiting for.