Casey Neill
"Brooklyn Bridge"

(In Music We Trust Records 2007)Casey Neill - Brooklyn Bridge

"Brooklyn Bridge," the most recent release from singer/songwriter Casey Neill, is a real collaboration. In terms of personnel, Neill is assisted by a number of musicians, such as The Decemberists' Jennie Conlee and Chris Funk, singer/songwriters John Wesley Harding and Erin McKeown as well as Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (Steve Earle, The Dukes). But in terms of sound, "Brooklyn Bridge" rolls folk, roots, country and traditional music all together for a distinct result that has an introspective and melodic quality one moment and a rough, aggressive style the next.

That light country sound, with a smoothly echoing twang, is incorporated into the album's title track and "Beautiful Night" while Neill focuses on blended vocal harmonies for "Once Upon A When." The music gently lilts over a rhythmic melody, with the feel of a sailor's drinking song, on "The Holy Land" while, similarly, the piano led ballad "King Neptune" offers a traditional sound. But Neill is not push over. He shows off a stronger side with gruffer vocals on the aggressive "We Are The City," as he cites the diverse populations that make the city what it is, and "Philadelphia Girl," where electric guitar backs up the full, powerful instrumentation.

Neill's lyrics, the stories which he so eloquently and willingly offers, are part of what makes "Brooklyn Bridge" such a rich album. A musical chameleon, Neill's influences might be diverse, but he never seems haphazard or unfocused as the songs remain well put together. On "Brooklyn Bridge," Neill comes across as strong as ever.

A-

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