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Casey Neill & Friends

Portland's storied folk-punk supergroup

Casey Neill & Friends

Jeffrey Martin

Sat, November 24

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$12.00 - $14.00

This event is 21 and over

Casey Neill & Friends
Casey Neill & Friends
Casey Neill is a songwriter and bandleader from Portland, Oregon performing high energy indie folk, infused with haunting melodies and weather beaten narratives. Neill performs as a solo act as well as with his band, The Norway Rats - a murderer’s row of Northwest music vets from acts such as The Decemberists and Eels. Neill tours with the band and solo throughout the USA, Japan, and Europe having performed at venues such as Town Hall in New York, NPR’s Mountain Stage, and the Newport Folk Festival. The new Casey Neill & The Norway Rats album Subterrene is a major leap forward that No Depression calls "a milestone in Neill and company’s trajectory thus far" while Rolling Stone says "(Neill's) songs mask their complexities beneath a simple, singalong-worthy surface... these swimming waters have serious depth."

A work of dystopian romance, Subterrene taps into new creative wells where electronic elements weave in and out underneath cutting guitars. While not a traditional concept album, Subterrene follows a distinct story arc. The ominous-yet-defiantly-optimistic portraits it paints were inspired in equal parts by vintage sci-fi novels, our current political climate, and the globetrotting manner in which Neill’s lived for the past few years. Casey is a frequent member of power pop band The Minus 5 along with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck of R.E.M. (who both guest on Subterrene).

"These are songs with stories well told. This is what it's all about" - STEVE EARLE "Soul-searing songs “ - UTNE READER

Casey Neill’s career launched in 1997, after inking a three record deal with acoustic label Appleseed and contributing tracks to their Pete Seeger Tribute collection along with Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, and Bonnie Raitt. A compilation of his material entitled 'Memory Against Forgetting' was released by Indigo Girl Amy Ray's Daemon imprint in 2005. Following a few years treading the boards in New York City, Casey moved back to Portland and it's thriving music community. In 2007, a far more electric Casey Neill record ’Brooklyn Bridge' was released and The Norway Rats were formed. 'Goodbye to the Rank and File' followed in 2010 and “All You Pretty Vandals’ in 2014. A collaborative songwriting project with Japanese guitar legend Takashi O’hashi titled Big Bridges led to three sold out tours of Japan. Neill was also a core member of a cross country activist tour Roadshow of Resistance - a cultural response to destructive environmental policies of the current administration. At Newport Folk Festival, Casey was part of the all star Speak Out band with Lucius, Margo Price, Nate Rateliff and more. This historic set was released on LP as part of Record Store Day 2018.

Critic Marco Rivera described it best for music blog Splendid: “Be it through raucous rockers, fragile acoustic ballads, passionate bursts of punk fury or soulful touches of Irish folk, Neill's narrative talent and concern for real people's struggles stand out. (Neill) evokes an epic feel that fits perfectly with the implicit grandiosity of this emotional material, delivered with a raspy, affectionate voice that recalls Life's Rich Pageant-era Michael Stipe. The results are so evocative, you'll be tempted to steep further in these memories, the better to share Casey Neill's particular blend of personal and historical experience.”
Jeffrey Martin
Jeffrey Martin
As a babe Jeffrey Martin sought out solitude as often as he could find it. He's always been that way, and he has never understood the whole phenomenon of smiling in pictures, although he is a very happy guy. One night in middle school he stayed up under the covers with a flashlight and a DiscMan, listening to Reba McEntire's 'That's the Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia' on repeat until the DiscMan ran out of batteries. That night he became a songwriter, although he didn't actually write a song until years later. After high school he spent a few years distracting himself from having to gather up the courage to do what he knew he had to do.

Eventually he found his way to a writing degree, and then a teaching degree. He wrote most days like his life depended on it, all sorts of things, not just songs, but songs too. He fell in love with teaching high school English, which was fantastic because he never thought he'd actually come to truly love it. His students were fierce and unstoppable forces of noise and curiosity, and for all that they took from him in sleep and sense, they gave him a hundred times back in sparks and humility.

All the while he was also playing truckloads of music. There was one weekend where he flew to LA while grading essays on the plane, played two shows, and then flew back home, still grading essays, and woke up to teach at 5 am on Monday morning. It was around this time he started wondering if such a life was sustainable.

Alas, music, the tour life, was a constant raccoon scratching at the back door. Jeffrey spent nights on end sitting up in bed, and then sitting on the front porch, staring off into the dark, wondering if he could bear to leave teaching to go on tour full time. Eventually his brain caught up with what his guts had known for months. With tears in his eyes he announced to his students that he wouldn't be back the following year, and that he didn't feel right hollering at them to chase their dreams at all cost if he wasn't going to do the same.

Jeffrey Martin tours full time now. He is always making music, and he is always coming through your town. He misses teaching like you might miss a good old friend who you know you'll meet again.


Jeffrey has put out bunches of music since 2009, but he's most proud of the more recent stuff. He's fortunate to be a part of the great and loving family that is Fluff and Gravy Records in Portland, OR. "One Go Around," due out in October 2017, will be his 3rd full length album. At his luckiest, he's shared shows with the likes of Sean Hayes, Gregory Alan Isakov, Jeffrey Foucault, Joe Pug, Peter Mulvey, Amanda Shires, Tracy Grammer, David Wilcox, and others.

He currently lives in Portland, OR but feels lately that it has become a secret that someone figured out how to monetize. And since he has no money of any kind, everything beautiful about the city is marred by the quiet ticking of a countdown toward the day that he'll have to find somewhere to live that doesn't require a steady bleeding fortune.