"ONE OF THIS COUNTRY'S FINEST BOTTLENECK BLUES GUITARISTS"
...says Stephen Foster, BBC radio presenter.
MARTIN McNEILL plays old-school blues with the emphasis on slide guitar and mellow vocals. He performs as a solo act as well as working in duo, trio and full band format.
He has a wide repertoire including raw Delta styles, classic Chicago blues, jazzy ballads and melodic folk-blues. His bottleneck guitar echoes pioneer players such as Elmore James, Fred McDowell, Tampa Red, Earl Hooker and Muddy Waters.
With his band, Bottleneck Blues, Martin plays every third Sunday at Southend's famous music pub the Railway Hotel. The band line-up is flexibile but usually has West Weston on harmonica, JJ Zarbo on double bass and Roy Webber or Marc Cecil on drums. Pianist Tim Huskisson is on some gigs.
As well as solo and duo gigs and dates with his own band, Martin plays guitar for singer Ruby Florence. For duo gigs, he has teamed up with some of the finest players on the blues scene: West Weston, Tim Huskisson, JJ Zarbo, Tim Aves, Ramon Goose, Richie Milton, Katie Bradley and others.
Martin hosts a blues session with guests at Peggy Sue's Music Bar in Leigh-on-Sea, on the first Monday of the month.
His passionate and spontaneous approach to blues has led to live sessions with a host of UK and US artists including Leo Bud Welch, U P Wilson, Chris Corcoran, Dave Ferra, Ben Tyzack, Mississippi MacDonald, Digby Fairweather and Ben Waters. It's a mission that goes back to his teenage years, when he plays shows as the support act to visiting US blues artists including one of his biggest influences, Fred McDowell, and legendary duo Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.
FULL GIG LIST
Tim Aves and me playing as a duo at Low Slow and Juke, 1 Abbey Orchard St, Westminster SW1P 2LU. 7pm
Oaktree vegetarian bistro, Leigh Road, Leigh, 7pm. Bookings: 01702 471435
My guests at Peggy Sue's are Richie Milton and Bill Farrow.
Martin hostsa blues gig with star guests at Peggy Sue's Music Bar, Leigh-on-Sea, on the first Monday of each month .click here
Bottleneck Blues at the Railway Hotel, Southend. We do Sunday sessions, 4.30-7pm, every third week: April 23, May 14, June 4, June 25, July 16, Aug 6, Aug 27, Sept 17, Oct 8, Oct 29, Nov 12, Dec 3. Possibly Dec 24 (to be confirmed)
FULL GIG LISTINGS
You can buy my CD, Lately I've Let Things Slide, via this website if you use Paypal. Click this link:
It costs £10, including post and package within the UK.
"THIS ONE IS BRITISH BLUES AT ITS BEST...terrific album, excellent showcase for Martin's outstanding slide talent"
IAN McKENZIE, Editor, Blues in the South, on the the CD Lately I've Let Things Slide (which he made one of his picks for 2015)...click here for full review
07967 339 809
Live at Peggy Sue's: West Weston, Rob Glazebrook, Martin McNeill: CLICK HERE!
HEAR MARTIN ON SOUNDCLOUD
The Martin McNeill solo CD Lately I've Let Things Slide was selected as one of the best of 2015 by two pundits.
Joe Singleton played a track in his round-up of of the year's top CDs on the Big Blues Bonanza, broadcast by Kansas City Radio.
Blues in the South editor Ian McKenzie placed the CD at No 32 in his (international) Top 50 of 2015.
And Paul Stiles, editor of Blues in Britain magazine, says: "I’ve been playing tracks from the album on UK Blues Today radio show recently and in the coming weeks.
"In fact, if I had a theme tune it would be Pickin’ The Blues."
BUY THE CD
BLOW WIND BLOW
Quotes from a review of the CD Lately I've Let Things Slide in Blues in Britain magazine, Sept 2016:
"Outstanding fingerpicking and slide work ...shimmering, atmospheric slide ...classic blues sounds ...thoroughly enjoyable acoustic album."
Picture by Graham Chapman