Michael ONeill Americana Artist
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Michael ONeill Americana Artist

| INDIE

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Band Americana Country

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May
20
Michael ONeill Americana Artist @ The High Dive

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Dec
19
Michael ONeill Americana Artist @ The Tractor

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

Jan
05
Michael ONeill Americana Artist @ Capital Theater

Olympia, Washington, USA

Olympia, Washington, USA

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Music

Press


Michael ONeill - Who’s Bad Now
The 10 songs on his just-released record showcase Michael ONeill not only as a songwriter, but also as a performer. Released on Michael’s own label, Sleeping Trout Records, Who’s Bad Now and the single of the same name are going to hit the red dirt circuit by storm. "Who’s Bad Now" is a rocking song that describes a girl who fills out a pair of jeans and can dance like she has a pole in her bedroom. I think most guys can relate. There are other great quality songs on the record as well. “Cowboy Ride”, “Austin”, and a cover of Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken” are three of note. Michael is a grizzled veteran of the music business and has toured and recorded with just about everyone, including Stevie Ray Vaughan. On his website Michael describes his own music as “coming at you like a freight train full of candy”. Michael will be on a Texas tour soon. Look for dates and don’t miss him live. We won’t.
- Keith Howerton


Sleeping Trout Music has just released “Who’s Bad Now” - one of most prolific sounding Roots/Americana Country albums of 2006. This album features the songwriting and vocal genius of Michael Oneill and is tailor made for the Roots/Americana Country music enthusiast. Michael’s songwriting is passionate and seems to reflect life as he has lived it. Passionate, playful, heartbreaking and explosive come to mind while listening to this CD. This is definitely not a ‘run of the mill’ release and it covers the gamut of musical genres from Roots Rock to down home True Country. “Who’s Bad Now” will take any music lover on one of the most enjoyable rides of their life. - Robert Bartosh, Roots Music Report


Michael ONeill’s soul is from the Lone Star State. His latest seamlessly slides from singer-songwriter, to country crooner, and on to rocked-up country with a detour into Cajun country for his cover of Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken.” That’s something you’d expect from a three-named Texas singer, not a songwriter from the Pacific Northwest. Highlights are “96 Tears” (which isn’t a ? and the Mysterians cover) and a road trip report, “Austin,” that captures the spirit of that city the same way that Marc Cohn’s hit “Walking in Memphis” took you to the River City. - Al Kunz, Playback:stl


Michael ONeill has a trademark Texas charm to his vocals, and like fellow Lonestar State performers such as Rodney Crowell and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, the voice transforms stories presented in songs into pools of relaxing warm water. The 10 tracks on this disc, no matter what tempo or dynamics, come across as aural pleasure to the listener.
The kick-off tune, “Tell Her,” has a definite Flatlanders groove. That same groove continues with “Run to Make It,” although there is some David Lindley-style slide guitar. This track, as well as “Here by Me,” has some Eagles/Jackson Browne influences definitely running through the mix. A great listen on the album is the final track, “Young Heart,” with its use of banjo in a different light while ONeill’s voice gets a bit low and gritty, yet not losing its warmth.
From the Beginning is a good example of the great Americana sound that comes out of a lot of singers. ONeill has a great way of performing a song by vocalizing it in a way that sounds like a best friend or close relative is telling the story.
1/31/05 - Twangcast


I have a high respect for artists like him who give the listeners the feeling that the artist's goal is the search of quality. Each song is so good and I love his voice! His name now means a lot for me and probably for many, many music lovers. It is the kind of music you are proud to have in your collection. His music is true. I would like to tell you more and in a better English but I guess you understand the general feeling. I have selected tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to be on the air from May 1st. Once again, thanks again for the good music.
April 18, 2005 - Mike Penard, American Roots Music, ISA Radio, FRANCE


There's a veneer of normality spread over Michael O'Neill's From The Beginning. The opening track, Tell Her is the kind of pleasant, lonesome country song that you'd find on any one of a dozen top quality country rock albums, it's an honest, rugged, square-jawed love song. That veneer is reinforced by the gentle melodies and homely rhythms that run through From The Beginning. The sea of change begins with Punta Mita which is full of sunny rhythms but also has a definite darker undercurrent. However at this early stage the suspicion is that this will be long on appeal but not particularly challenging. But that really is just a facade because a peek behind the curtains reveals that From The Beginning has been wrenched from bitter experience. Life certainly hasn't broken O'Neill's spirit but it's given it a dent or two. The benefit for the listener is that all the best art is born out of suffering. Even at an early age O'Neill appeared to be destined for great things. At 24 he opened for a then unknown U2. He was then signed by legendary manager Don Arden and spent a decade learning and honing his craft on the road with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and writing with Bob Weir, Steve Cropper and Jason Scheff, Then, not unlike a character you'd find in one of his songs, the upward curve took a downturn. A string of brawls and lawsuits, lightened by the odd hit, seemed destined to deny him his rightful place at the top table. But like a true country musician adversity has been harnessed and used to good effect, giving From The Beginning a razor-sharp edge. Having lived the life, O'Neill brings depths to his music that few can match. Here By Me, Goodnight My Sweet and Indigo demonstrate the unstoppable force of simple expression, no fuss, no frills, just straight from the heart of Michael O'Neill. His brand of country music comes not only with the cracks showing, they are an integral part of its appeal. It's all about what's going on inside the man himself. Without resorting to outward signs of rage, O'Neill sits alongside the very best of the flawed, hard core troubadours. While some use music as an expression of anger O'Neill, having been through the mill, doesn't allow himself to wallow. He has come out the other side a wiser man and a complete musician.
- March 2005 Americana UK Reviews, by Michael Mee


From the biography posted on his website, it appears that Michael O’Neill has wrestled with more than his fair share of demons, but, as the old aphorism goes, if it ain’t killed you, then it’s made you stronger. O’Neill has that weathered and time-worn look that harsh experience imparts, and the same is true of his music. The opening cut, “Tell Her”, has an aura of wistful regret over lives in divergence, while the next, “Run To Make It”, celebrates the grit and determination that gets one through the hard times. There’s some good and understated, (in that it doesn’t overwhelm the songs), lead guitar by Gary Ballard throughout the disc, and I think that therein lies the strength of from the beginning: there’s not a lot of flash and glitz here, those days “weren’t that pretty at all”, and are now safely in the past for this Cascadian. What you’ve got here is a collection of solid tunes from a survivor who has made his peace with his demons. They provided the inspiration for much of his music, but they no longer have the power to drive him. Lucky guy, lucky us: we get to listen to the denouement.
March 2005
- Don Grant (Freight Train Boogie)


I really enjoy the laid-back roots/rock sound . . . Michael is a good songwriter and I really like the musical variety and delivery of the songs. I hope this CD does well and I expect that my listening audience will get into it as well. - Brian Bourgoin, Twisted Roots Radio Show (WCNI 90.9FM)


. . . sounds great. It helps to have some very cool songs/melodies, and he does. Good stuff.
- Buzz McClain (Freelance writer, Harp, Washington Post, and Playboy, etc.)


. . . the song [Run To Make It] is solid. Dec. 2004
- Robert K. Oermann, columnist for Music Row magazine


Discography

Ginger Bread and other things -1983
Young Heart-1985
The Hollwood Sessions-1989
Live From Seattle Folklife-1995
Dream On-2000
From the Beginning-2004
Who's Bad Now - 2007
Ain't Leavin Your Love-2010

Photos

Bio

“. . . earthy, solid song craft. It has a gentle but solid groove. It inspires. It mourns. It carries the listener through a range of emotions, always engaged and entertained. . . . a knack for telling a story that is simple, deceptively personal and universally understood.” — Don Hunger

Michael ONeill. Showcasing a new collection, this singer/songwriter with a “roots-rock” history and a soulful ease carries his listener into a time and place reminiscent of steel strings, guitar heroes, and great story-tellers like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. A living music legend, ONeill comes armed with vignettes of open-eyed romance, highway drama, and hard-earned tenderness – vocalized with the assurance and attitude that comes only from experience.

One of 13 children, Michael ONeill got started in music early. At the age of 24, he cut his teeth opening his first tour for a then-unknown band called U2. By the time the tour ended in Los Angeles, ONeill found himself signed with legendary manager Don Arden (father of Sharon Osbourne). A record deal followed soon after. ONeill put together a band that featured a young John Shanks (now superstar producer of Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morrisette, Vertical Horizon, etc.), Kenny Gradney (Little Feat), and jazz saxophonist, Boney James. He spent the better part of the next ten years touring with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn and penning songs with Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Steve Cropper (Booker T. and The MG's), and Jason Scheff (Chicago). His band held down a weekly gig at the hottest club in town, The Central (now The Viper Room), playing to packed houses. As the '90s approached, ONeill left Southern California for his hometown in the Pacific Northwest to raise horses and focus on his family. “I retreated to gain some perspective and try to keep my family together,” ONeill says, “I did pretty good on the perspective part.”

Quietly working on material for nearly a decade, ONeill found himself happily remarried and content. In 1999, he released “Dream On” to critical acclaim, garnering nation-wide airplay. His current work, “From the Beginning” is an uncommon album that documents an artist in his prime, a man who knows himself, strengths and weaknesses alike. Part country crooner, part haggard storyteller, ONeill draws from heroes like Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan for inspiration. His new release, “From the Beginning” plays like old-time rock and roll, deceptively simple yet focused on craft and execution.