A career spanning 48 years has established Brian McNeill as
one of the most acclaimed forces in Scottish music. Brian was born in 1950 in
Falkirk and has been described as Scotlands
most meaningful contemporary songwriter
(The Scotsman); add to that his work and influence as
performer, composer, producer, teacher, musical director, band leader, novelist
and interpreter of Scotlands
past, present and future and you have a man who has never stood still. He has
performed around the globe, both as a soloist and with some of the eras
most influential bands, including Battlefield Band, which he founded in 1969,
Clan Alba and as a core member of the UK fiddle phenomenon, Feast of Fiddles.
Brian performs and teaches regularly at many of the worlds
major festivals and is the longest running booked artist at Cambridge Folk
Brian is a multi instrumentalist
chiefly fiddle, bouzouki, mandocello, guitars and concertina
and the importance of his
songwriting has long been recognised with such songs as The Yew Tree, The
Lads O' The Fair, The Snows of France and Holland, Strong Women Rule Us All
With Their Tears, Any Mick'll Do and No Gods and Precious Few Heroes.
Many of his songs have been performed and recorded by artists worldwide. Brian
was especially proud when two lines from The Lads O' The Fair were carved
into a viewpoint above his home town of Falkirk, as part of the renovation of
the Policy Bing by Falkirk Council and local charities.
His connection with his home town continued with The Falkirk Music Pot project,
for which he was commissioned by Falkirk Community Trust and Falkirk Council to
write, produce, direct and perform music for Falkirks
2014 Creative Place Award. The year long project involved local schools, music
groups and individuals and culminated in a double CD on Greentrax.
Brians audio visual shows, The Back O' The North Wind, about Scottish
emigration to America, and the sequel, The Baltic Tae Byzantium,
exploring the influence of the Scots in Europe, have won wide critical acclaim.
His continuing connection with America's Lone Star State led to him being
created an honorary Texan by the then Governor George W Bush. For six years
Brian was Head of Scottish Music at the RSAMD, now the Royal Conservatoire of
Brian is increasingly in demand for his production skills and his credits
include albums by The Paul McKenna Band, Lorne MacDougall, Rua Macmillan, Eric
Bogle and John Munro, Drones and Bellows, The John Wright Band and American a
cappella quartet The Wee Heavies.
Brian is a voracious reader and writes crime and mystery fiction involving his
hero, busker Alex Fraser and his heroine, private sleuth Sammy Knox. His third
In The Grass was published in 2012 and has been published in German,
along with some of his short stories.