Music

Lost Stars
Lost Stars is Bob McNeill's first solo release since 2010's Me and Mary Ann. At the end of 2019, McNeill toured Nova Scotia and New England with Canadian fiddle player Gillian Boucher, supporting their album Race for the Sun. They finished the tour on the other side of the continent, at Yachats Festival on Oregon. During the month-long oddesy he wrote a new collection of songs, scribbling away in airports, hotels, houses, bars, coffee shops and backstage in venues, inspired and thoroughly besotted by Nova Scotia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and the incomparable, otherworldly beautiful Oregon coast. The album began as a series of love songs, against these unique backdrops.

He started recording the songs in early 2020 back in Wellington, ready to assemble his long-suffering, talented crew, and then... well. Lost Stars turned into a real solo recording, not one that just has only one name on it. Emergency double bass lessons were not deemed an essential service under Covid Alert Level 4, and the equipment could not be delivered anyway. He pushed through.

Note from Bob: Lost Stars is a work in progress. It will be out by 1 September 2020, but tracks will be posted here as they're finished. They're free - download away. Anyone wanting to donate ten New Zealand dollars for the whole album is welcome, you'll get all the tracks as they come out, and some bonus stuff as well; some unrecorded songs from the old days, alternate versions of Project Feijoa songs and some remastered songs from the Me and Mary Ann recording sessions with Rob Winch in 2010. If I manage to get hold of the right archives, this might include some very elderly stuff from the Covenant era in 2001, remixed with new vocals. Slan all, stay safe and well

CREDITS

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Bob McNeill
Using whatever was to hand


Release date: 1 September 2020
All songs written by Bob McNeill



 
The California Tapes
Project Feijoa's debut album The California Tapes was released on 1 September 2019. Written by Bob McNeill and recorded mostly in the second half of 2018 / early 2019, the album is a collection of 11 songs mostly written on the road in 2009, around Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Propelled along by Rob Henderson's driving basslines, the album weaves McNeill's Spanish and electric guitar tomfoolery with Emily Roughton's gorgeous viola, piano and fiddle stylings to create a rich and varied sound palette for the stories. An album to listen to over and over.

The California Tapes includes McNeill's "fire trilogy"; Jesusita tells one's man's story of the 2009 Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara, as he runs for his life, while the last reminders of an old love are burned over; in Painted Princess, he finds something worth living for in a figure from the Chumash past; in Las Canoas he hears the story of an older fire, from California's gold mining past, and sees his story as part of the cycle of love, loss and renewal.

PROJECT FEIJOA ARE

Emily Roughton: Piano, viola & fiddle
Rob Henderson: Bass
Bob McNeill: Guitars & programming, vocals

SPECIAL GUESTS

So many thank yous to...
Mike Moroney: mandolin on Jesusita
Jonathan Berkahn: accordion on Las Canoas

CREDITS

Recorded by Bob McNeill
Additional source recording on Lay me down, San Joachin, La Vaquilla and Las Canoas by Robbie Duncan at Braeburn
Mixed by Bob McNeill
Produced by Project Feijoa

For more information on Project Feijoa, visit the band's website....


Release date: 1 September 2019
Running time: 51 minutes

All songs written by Bob McNeill




 
Race for the Sun
Gillian Boucher & Bob McNeill's debut album Race for the Sun has all the trademarks of their live shows - tight, punchy fiddle sets; lyrical songs; and poignant slow airs. Race for the Sun brings together an eclectic collection of instrumental favourites from their live shows, played with her usual panache by one of Cape Breton's top fiddlers. Race for the Sun also features three new songs from three times Best NZ Folk Album winner Bob McNeill, including the title song, about Scottish emigrants who eventually reached New Zealand via Cape Breton and southern Australia. Rounding out the album is a cover of Emily Bay, a terrific convict ballad by fellow Kiwi Andrew London.

Gillian (fiddle & piano) & Bob (guitar) are joined on Race for the Sun by some of NZ's best musicians; Andrew Laking on bass, Emily Roughton on fiddle and Duncan Davidson on acordion and whistle.

SPECIAL GUESTS

So many thank yous to...
Emily Roughton: additional violin on Race for the Sun
Duncan Davidson: accordion, whistle on Race for the Sun
Andrew Laking: bass on Fury, Race for the Sun

CREDITS

Recorded by Andrew Downes (Surgery Studios), Ross McDermott (AudioSuite) & Bob McNeill
Mixed & mastered by Bob McNeill
Produced by Gillian Boucher & Bob McNeill

Fury, Steel & Silver, Race for the Sun and FGL written by Bob McNeill
Emily Bay written by Andrew London
The Glen of Aferlow and The Abbeyleix written by Sean Ryan
47 Upper Hillsborough written by Pascal Miousse
Seanamhach Tube Station written by John Carty
Mountain Road #2 written by Martin Mulvilhill
The Salvation written by Simon Bradley
The Clare written by Jimmy Ward
Lament for James Moray of Abercairney written by Neil Gow


Release date: 16 October 2019
Running time: 45 minutes


 
Me and Mary Ann
1  Signs of Trouble
2  Spitfire
3  Me and Mary Ann
4  Norway yawl
5  Strong winds for autumn
6  Nazareth
7  Southland man's lament
8  Last time I saw him
9  Iron in the blood
10  Shine

“Endearing, and at times haunting songs... yearning and enchanting...
a thoroughly captivating album”

New Zealand Musician

““One of New Zealand’s most prominent and gifted songwriters...
the songs are beautifully written”

Americana UK

Me and Mary Ann features brand new recordings of some of Bob's best known and best loved songs, together with new songs written in 2009. Recorded in Nashville, the album features some of the music capital's top session musicians as well as guest appearances by some of the musicians in New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland that McNeill has worked with over the last ten years. Me and Mary Ann was produced by Rob Winch.

Me and Mary Ann is currently out of print, but a digitally remastered version will be available in early 2020.


Previous releases:

Following Distance (2008)

The Little Cascade - Ben the Hoose (2006)

Turn the Diesels (2004)

Covenant (2001)


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