Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA

darkly twisted, acoustic-pop songs that seem to ride nature’s very rhythm. Weaving richly textured layers of sound, yet remaining undeniably sparse.


A man and his dog. They go for a hike. Holy Smokes! It's a bear!!!!

Cedarwell’s Erik Neave well embodies his northern heritage. Sheboygan, Wisconsin, should be proud of such a wonderfully full beard, such tough flannel shirts and darkly twisted, acoustic-pop songs that seem to ride nature’s very rhythm. Crisp clarity and addicting genuineness hibernate Neave’s voice somewhere in the back of your memory, somewhere where it can stay for a long, long time, constantly reminding you that this is Wisconsin, and winter never really ends.

Weaving richly textured layers of sound, yet remaining undeniably sparse, Cedarwell's "Smoky Mountain Bear" is a meditative self-confrontation that is raw with mournful honesty and rife with expansive landscape imagery.

Old biography:
Just before the morning, while the nervous sun hesitates beyond the horizon, Cedarwell wakes up at the bottom of the ocean. Slowly gasping for a breath and swimming towards the surface Joel Philip Stokdyk (drums, percussion, harmonica) realizes they are far away from home. Erik G. Neave (acoustic guitar, voice) gets sucked up behind him and grabs a glossy tuft of seaweed peeking out from a slit of darkness and screams up to his shrinking partner “I will never let go. I can never let go.”
Sheboygan WI is not necessarily known as a hotbed for new music but it does border the great Lake Michigan. In the spring of 2000, rolling waves bruised the shore and spread to meet the toes of four young shaky dreamers as if they stood somehow closer through shivering at the same cool water. Naturally, they picked up instruments and began to write and record music under the name amalgam. (www.purevolume.com/amalgam) During the 4 years of learning and maturing as musicians in amalgam, they recorded two full length CDs of original material, played hundreds of shows, and built a loyal Midwest fan base. Lake Michigan could probably swallow Sheboygan, but they longed for a swirling pool of unknown to explore and fill. In 2004, they packed up a van and drove to the edge of America to live and play music in Boston for one year. Amalgam was starting to develop a moderate but equally loyal fan base on the east coast when a tragic afternoon pulled the four to the border of the beach. They stood for a moment or two teetering between options and tracing out possibilities. Joel and Erik dove in one wave too soon and never saw the rest of amalgam again.
Infinite depth sucked and spit them back and forth through the openings in this the mother of their own Lake Michigan. “Water creates! Water will destroy!” They screamed again and again and again as though fear breeds repetition. Finally, after a struggle against the inevitable, they spun through the darkness and the current laid them softly on the ocean floor and named them Cedarwell. Soaked in weight and blackness, they slept for a summer and dreamt of colored glass, dry land walking, crimson leaves, Wisconsin skies, and lighthouses that point to heaven but are rooted in hell. Here on the mossy sand Erik first muttered out the opening lines to Cedarwell’s first single “Breathe Underwater” in the state where dreams and open eyes collide to create an un-nameable. “Walk until we fall and you see bruises. I saw submarines but could not speak. And we both saw angels blooming into another week where we breathe underwater.”

Joel spiraled up the same way he had come and heard the faint cry of stubbornness from far below. “I can never let go.” Flipping his direction and struggling against the gas building in his lungs, he finally reached Erik and saw that he had mistaken the tuft of seaweed for a wandering thread of all reality. Thinking that the daylight was just beyond this slit of immeasurable darkness, he fought with equal parts courage and futility to clench the tangled seaweed in his shaking fists and stuttered a weak melody of false hope; “Wait until tomorrow comes. Wait until tomorrow.” Joel attempted to pry his fingers and forced his own phrase through the density of deep sea black and blue; “Look up my friend, look up. The daylight is breaking.” At that moment a snap echoed across the fallen ocean as the slit of darkness lost its grip on illusions and sent Cedarwell tumbling up towards the ever growing light to penetrate the glassy surface and whisper; “Good morning sun. We are called Cedarwell.”

In the fall of 2005, Cedarwell released a three song EP and began touring extensively between their two homes, Sheboygan, WI and Boston, MA. Cedarwell pleasantly surprises audiences in each city with a dynamic performance based around Erik’s songwriting and vocals and augmented by Joel’s amalgam of subtle percussion, energetic drumming, and backing harmonica and vocals. Their music draws on influences from early rock and roll, modern pop-rock, and singer songwriter sensibility with thought provoking lyrics on observations from time at the bottom of darkness and th


Breathe Underwater

Written By: Erik G. Neave

walk until we fall and you see bruises. i saw submarines but could not speak. and we both saw angels blooming into another week, where we breathe underwater. write a book on love to wake the masses. read a book on hate so you will fail. but the writing on sidewalks shimmer strength into sunken sails, where we breathe underwater. this waters weight is overwhelming. but everybody gets scared. i tried to breathe into your lips because i thought that you were running out of air. shattering glass will only heal with beauty. wholeness comes the same way that it leaves. im not sure i want you out of pieces yet. because in between the shards theres room for me. etc.


Written By: Erik G. Neave

button up your collar babe because boston is getting cold something like Sheboygan wind when October unfolds this time of year the leaves will fall and fill your hands with gold then turn into lacerations they will turn into lacerations he said he would join our hands like lovers with a razor and his wrists underneath the covers we both sealed it with a kiss shaking scared of what tomorrow might bring it might bring something pretty bad so trying to convince myself i flattened both my fists then prayed to a laceration then i prayed to a laceration so what is love and what is money and what is a joke if its not funny then why did you laugh at my lacerations you cut me up you cut me sideways i cut myself to show you my way to get better with a laceration i want you inside i want you swallowed i want you popping out of my pen because you are my blood letter you are my laceration i saw myself outside my body and what i saw i did not like i know i hurt you for that i am sorry and when i sing to god in heaven i like ot hear my own sweet voice and when it comes back all distorted i will just choose my own sweet choice so what is my faith

Wake Up!

Written By: Erik G. Neave

“lie down youll fall sleep again when you wake up in the morning i will call you friend” she was speaking with a stutter trailing at the end from Carolina to California i searched every stone for some soft place to lay my head and now ill never wake up i will never wake up i will never wake up i will never wake up i spent a week in the smoky mountains dreaming of her face spilling poems on a napkin to try and save some space curled up face down on a love seat cause i was sunburned from Carolina to California i searched every stone for some soft place to lay my head and now i will never wake up iwill never wake up i will never wake up i wont ever wake up


Smoky Mountain Bear-Cedarwell (2008)
Gamboge by Cedarwell (2006)
Cedarwell-EP (2005)
Cedarwell as "amalgam"-Play the Man(2002) and Of All the Latest Trends(2004)
Cedarwell as Erik G. Neave-Self Titled(2003)

Set List

We have enough original material to cover 2+ hours. we do not do many covers. we prefer to play a little under an hour. the songs vary in style and intensity so we work in a lot of different venues.