NEW ALBUM FROM RICHARD NEVILLE
Richard Neville’s second album started with a recording session in St John’s four years ago with a plan to continue recording as opportunities allowed. With Neville in Goose Bay and producer Jim Payne in St. John’s, opportunities were limited, but COVID really complicated things. “There were times when we felt like it would never get done,” said Neville.
Fast forward to 2023 and the self-titled album is about to be launched. “I went to St. John’s every chance I got, Jim came to Labrador, and in between he recorded tracks by guest musicians,” Neville said. “But the wait was worth it. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.”
Neville’s songs are inspired mostly by the people, culture and history of Labrador. Songs like Joe’s Canoe (an homage to well-known Labrador former broadcaster and provincial Cabinet member and now master canoe builder, Joe Goudie), In a Home on the Coast (Neville is originally from Black Tickle), Labrador Nights, and The Rugged Life reflect the strong connection between people and place common to residents of Labrador.
Labrador’s influence on his songwriting is also reflected in the laid-back swing of Easy Days, the hypnotic Waterborne, and the whimsy of Mornings in Marseilles. When Your Heart Was the Song, about the passing of his mother from cancer when he was ten, is a moving account of dealing with loss and finding the strength to carry on in the face of tragedy.
Neville first became known as backup guitarist for Labrador’s Harry Martin. He has played on albums by fellow Labrador musicians Beatrice Hope, David Penashue and Jacinda Beals, and his original songs have been recorded by other Labrador artists. He also spent several years working out of Halifax, where he recorded his first album, Old Souls, and has performed extensively across Canada.
Neville received the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Local Artist Achievement Award in 2013, and was named a Labradorian of Distinction by the federal government in 2017. He has represented Labrador on the boards of both Arts NL and the NL Folk Arts Society, and is an active volunteer with The Labrador Friendship Centre, Libra House, Them Days magazine, and the SPCA, among others.
Richard Neville, the album, will be launched in St. John’s with a performance at the Well Room (formerly the Rocket Room), upstairs at 272 Water St. on Friday, Feb. 3rd, from 7-9:30 PM, and in Goose Bay with a performance at the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre on Monday, Feb. 6th. Produced by Jim Payne for SingSong Inc, with generous support from Music NL and Provincial Airlines, it is available at <www.singsonginc.ca> and local music outlets.