“Reese Neal is rapidly becoming one of the mid-south’s most versatile and noteworthy performers.”
“It is clear that Reese Neal is a talent worth recognition…and a refreshing reminder of what real music can and should be!”
—Byron Motley, singer-songwriter, Los Angeles, CA
"Neal is a gifted songwriter and a good singer, more than able to carry the load."
“Reese Neal is a refreshing change in the newest wave of acoustic musicians in Arkansas.”
—Ben Smith, Abel Music
"Reese Neal is one of the best in the immense talent pool of Northwest Arkansas."
“...artists like Ryan Adams come to mind.”
—Taxi A&R staff
::AUDIO HANGOVER:: by Jerry Oliver
"NAMA Nominee Releases Third Album"
One great thing about NAMA (Northwest Arkansas Music Awards) is that it is a great way for people to be introduced to bands and other musicians who they may not have been aware of.
One man, in particular, made a huge splash when he was nominated for Best New Singer-Songwriter for the release of his second full-length CD, “thisclose,” which was nominated for Best Un-Plugged Album. Though he didn’t win, Reese Neal cemented his position in the music scene and opened many people’s ears.
“I felt honored to be nominated and recognized among so many other talented musicians,” Neal said.
Reese Neal did not grow up playing the guitar. He started playing while in college and has grown tremendously in the last decade. He plays his own brand of Americana sprinkled with a pop flavor that makes for a grand-scale appeal. “The folk aspect may appeal to the more mature crowd of music-lovers, yet it sill maintains a quality that allows it to fit in with the mainstream,” Neal said.
Indeed, his audience is diverse and always appreciative of his songwriting skills. The crowd Neal draws ranges in age, but everyone enjoys the way his guitar accompanies his lyrics—words that otherwise could easily stand alone as poetry. His creativity shines through on every song, and, impressively, Neal always is writing quality music.
Just a year after the release of “Thisclose,” Neal is set to put out another album, “Traces of Me.” “I’m pleased with last year’s release, but this is the album I really wanted to put out,” Neal commented.
Most of the songs for the upcoming album were written last year and recorded earlier this year. David Farley, Robb McCormick (aka Some Guy Named Robb), and Krys and Josh Keylor round out the cast that gives Neal’s third album a “bigger and better” sound, but there’s another aspect of the album that gives it special meaning.
“This one’s dedicated to my beautiful bride,” Neal pointed out. The title comes from a poem his wife wrote, and in return, Neal gives us songs like “Miss Marionette,” in which he celebrates their love in a genuine, not gushy way. His lyrical development on songs like “When You Go” require several listens to appreciate the elegance, but casual listeners will end up singing along the first time around.
Neal seems to write great songs at will, and with every song, he grows as a songwriter and musician. He already has plans for a 2007 release and several other future albums. While “Thisclose” came close to snagging a NAMA by earning a nomination this year, “Traces of Me” just might fit nicely into the same category next year.
- Jerry Oliver, FreeWeekly