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"One morning a few summers ago ... well, actually a few summers ago now," Neil begins modestly, "I found myself at that place characterized by the great New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra: 'When you come to the fork in the road, take it.'
"I did and I took it.
"In a roundabout way it led me back to my country roots and to my music that I had left behind many years before paving the way for me to have the opportunity to pursue my life-long dream."
Born in Brantford Ontario, Neil's country music roots were nurtured growing up on the family farm north of Mount Vernon Ontario where he began singing as a young boy in the choir in the small rural church that he attended with his family.
He began writing songs and playing guitar as a teenager going to Burford District High School during the legendary 1950's Country Rockabilly era and the dawning of Rock and Roll.
Living now in Paris Ontario within a stone's throw of where he grew up on the family farm, Neil found it the perfect place to embark on his life-long dream to record his original material and to begin writing his long-postponed novel.
In his Thank You notes on his "No Looking Back" CD album Neil notes that in a way his music has allowed him to become the true messenger of his spirit and soul in much the same way as his song "There's Just The One And Only You" written in 1959 was destined to become the love theme woven through the pages of his novel.
From tumbleweeds drifting along old Route 66 and flashy 1950's convertibles, to rusted-out flatbed trucks and walking down train tracks, it is hard not to picture Johnny Cash here. Even more so with Neil's self-effacing western lilt and a soft southern drawl influenced in part during his teens toiling in summer sun-baked southern Ontario tobacco fields alongside his co-workers from the Carolina's and Georgia.
Neil was honoured to be named on the front cover of the July 1, 2007 CASHBOX Magazine as one of the "awesome Indies gracing our Independent Charts every week".
He was a nominee at the 2012 Hamilton Music Awards for Alt/Country Recording of the Year for his album "What Difference Will It Make" and in the 2008 Awards for New Country Recording of the Year for his debut album "No Looking Back".
Neil was the recipient of the IAIA (International Academy of Independent Artists) Golden Kayak award for Best Country Song 2007 - "The Cowboy Song".
The multi-talented line-up of musicians in "The Legendary Bear Creek Band" on Neil's debut CD album included Juno nominee and international recording artist Ray Lyell - acoustic and bass guitar, keyboard, harmonica and backing vocals, Gary Borden - lead guitar, Steve Petrie - pedal steel guitar and fiddle, Ken Baird - piano. Vocalist Paula Tessaro joined Neil on lead vocals on "You Just Turned My Life Around".
Joining Neil in the studio on his second album "What Difference Will It Make" are Roger Banks - drums and Mike DeBenedictis - bass guitar as well as guest musicians Gary Ashthorpe - piano, Anne Lindsay - fiddle, Randal Hill - banjo and mandolin, Glenn Higgins - Tenor sax and David Rodenburg - Tenor sax.
A Western Ontario Secondary School Honour Athlete and graduate of Burford District High School and Waterloo Lutheran University now known as Wilfred Laurier University, Neil claims having received a grounding education and degree in the University of Life.
Neil is a member of the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). His music accomplishments have been reviewed and written about in local newspapers as well as in Blue Suede News Issue #83 (Summer 2008) and Issue #99 (Winter 2012/13) published in Duvall, Washington, U.S.A., and in CountryHome – Germany’s Premier Country Music Magazine.
Bobby Lawson, Rockabilly Hall of Fame member, says this about Neil's debut CD ‘No Looking Back’: "A great CD, these are eleven great songs, beautifully written and sung. Neil puts his all in these songs, from the heart and from the soul. I recommend this CD and Neil w Young to everyone who likes it country."
Christian Lamitschka, Country Home, Germany’s Premier Country Music Magazine writes of Neil’s debut CD album ‘No Looking Back’: "Some dreams come thru really late, but then when it happens, the joy is much bigger. Neil w Young is not a young boy anymore, but he always had the dream to publish his own CD … better late than never. And even the man is over 50, he has the energy of a 25 year old. His songs have an honesty that hasn't been heard in a long time.”
Known to his family and friends over the years as "Skip" - a nickname given to him by his father when he was knee-high to a grasshopper he says fondly, he purposely spells his name Neil w Young with his middle initial "w" always appearing in the lower case with no period following it - a step he says intended to create a "branding" style for his name as well as wanting to be seen standing apart in the world of music from his accomplished countryman three years his junior who shares the same first and last name as him and who he greatly respects.
Neil's CD albums are available at CDBaby.com and iTunes (search Neil w Young).