Neil Conway
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Neil Conway


Band Folk Comedy


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Somethin' Family Album Review"

"Often humorous original songwriting on social issues set in rootsy, acoustic arrangements." - Sing-Out Magazine

"An alternate universe where Newfies are cool"

When one thinks of Newfoundland, the things that come to mind are codfish, bad winters, and genuine folks. And yet, somehow, out of the quaint Maritime province emerged rapper, songwriter, visual artist, dancer, activist, and radical roots crooner Neil Conway. Much to the dismay of St. John’s locals, Conway doesn’t rap about fishing, cold weather, or nice people. Rather, his themes deal more with sex, drugs, and internet alter-egos, proving that although he is clearly the most confused Newfie to wash up onto our shores, he is by far the most interesting.

Judging from his impressive resume, Conway is a little bit of everything; armed with brutally honest lyrics, funky beats, and insightful politics, he aims to win the hearts of Canadians or – at the very least – give them a good laugh. Currently on a cross-Canada tour, he is famous for his hilariously memorable shows that combine elements of satire with love, life, politics, and everything in between.

Conway is no newbie to the scene. Since 1998, he has been dabbling in various projects outside his current group The Somethin’ Family, such as hip hop/funk/reggae troupe The Discounts and reggae band Skank. His background as a dancer is equally as comprehensive; he has been a regular performer at various festivals.

His diverse brag sheet never really ends. It turns out that he’s also responsible for the Funnerbunny Pro Company that hosts such notorious events as the St. John’s Homegrown Dope Jam and the Heckle Me awards show. Conway is also reportedly planning a Keep Canada Car-Free tour in which he, alongside other various political artists, will travel by train to promote fuel conservation.

Opening for Conway will be Vancouver’s Norman Nawrocki, an internationally acclaimed musician, author, actor, producer, sex educator, and comedian. Nawrocki is particularly famous as a violin improv artist and regular of the Montreal music scene, having moved here some years ago. Coincidentally, he is just returning from the east coast of Canada, following a string of live music and sex-education shows, many of which have been generating a great deal of buzz. Nawrocki is not your ordinary sex advocate; think about a multifaceted performance with audience interaction, giant purple penis costumes, and dancing sex toys. Of course, keep in mind that the backdrop of the show is a truly open, educational sex talk. As strange as that may sound, he gets the job done, and has been applauded for his anti-sexist and queer-positive messages.

Friday and Saturday will be two nights of conscious hip hop and comedy that will make for a highly entertaining Halloween weekend. And, in all honesty, what could be scarier than a guy that’s teaching sex-ed to a bunch of grown-ups. I really couldn’t tell you. - By Farrah Merali - The McGill Daily

"Neil Conway - Roadblock"

Neil Conway - Roadblock
Funnerbunny Pro.

Newfoundland’s Neil Conway is a crusader of sorts a pro-music-pirating environmentalist with a nack for writing funny songs about modernity. If audiences can get past his assumed country-bumpkin
voice they will admire his hilarious and clever statements on subjects ranging from suburbs, to new country, to message managers, to hitch-hiking, to famine. One love song, sung with fellow Newf Colleen Power, even mentions his own astonishment at setting his cynicism aside for a tune, making You & Me perhaps all the more meaningful to the girl in question. The reggae-flavoured
title-track Roadblock is a protest against cars, and the album cover features a plant growing up through ashfault. See a common theme here? An enhanced section contains his 2004 release, some kitchen recordings, pictures, and album art which are all pirate-approved. The music is not too elaborate. Neil plays guitar, Pat Boyle adds some touches on trumpet, doboro, harmonica, and melodica, and Dave Rowe plays bass. As a songwriter, Neil Conway has the ability to entertain while critiscising the status-quo, to make us socially aware while making us laugh. I’d even go so far as to say that he and Rae Spoon are founding members of the ‘Politicountry’ movement, to coin a term. Most definately a songwriter worthy of being covered.

– By Mary Beth Carty
Penguin Eggs Magazine, 2006 - Mary Beth Carty, Penguin Eggs Magazine, 2006


Folk singers play an important role in the social development of our society. They bring people together under shared appreciation for musical sounds and then convey to them the socio-political ideas that are the driving purpose behind their art. There are many ways in which this can be done, from creating catchy pop-style lyrics about current events to impressing listeners with deeply developed and thought-filled songs. One of the best, but also most difficult, ways of developing folk music is to take a comedic approach. Neil Conway takes this approach and succeeds in creating music, which is both easy to listen to and informative regarding the topics of interest to him.
The risk that is taken when adding comedy to folk music is the chance of alienating listeners. Comedy tends to take a more bitingly direct approach too social issues than is often heard on other kinds of folk music. For example, in “Give God a Break,” he questions the practice of signing up for the American army for the current war. This is a debatable topic, which many may not find funny, especially when it’s coming from some Joe Shmoe with a guitar for a weapon. But Conway easily sidesteps the difficulties of making such a song by using quality musical skills and thought-through lyrics to say what he wants to say without being offensive.
One of the benefits of using comedy in folk music is that the singer can poke fun at situations. Conway uses this type of lighthearted lyrical game to balance out the more blunt songs on his album. You just can’t help but smile and pause for thought when he sings in “Roadblock,” “I see you drive to the gym for the exercise bike, jump on the treadmill and go for a hike, then you complain when fuel prices spike when you could just ride a real bike”.
Whether commenting on the hard-hitting issues of the political landscape or opening eyes to more intimate social concerns, Conway uses fun music to share his ideas with the world. That’s what folk music is all about. - By: Kathryn Vercillo, Northeast In-Tune Magazine

"Liner Notes - reviewing the music that matters"

“a man of most unique lyrical genius." The Coast, 2000, Halifax

Neil Conway, St. John's Kitchen Sessions, Live with Duane Andrews (Ate Victoria Records)

In 1998, the best disc I heard was called Truck and Camper. It was the brainfood and heart spewings of then Wolfville-based pianist/vocalist Lars Kampe. I have no idea whether Kampe continues to make music or if he's still a resident of that lovely valley town. But I've always waited for more from the man -more twiddling piano, more of the Glen Gould-esque foot thumping you can hear under the tones and more morose storms of rhythm. But mostly, I've been waiting for more of Kampe's words. His lyrics were some of the funniest, goofiest, novel and most endearing I'd ever heard ("You looked like heaven at 7-11, a godess even in a convenience store smock"). I wonder now whether Kampe's still playing piano and singing. And I wonder if he knows he's got a colleague in St. John's singer/songwriter/guitarist Neil Conway.

Conway, a veteran of the St. John's independent scene, is, as someone's grandmother might say, a true original. And she'd mean it well. His open air diary song style is a recipe for smiles and head-nodding -he mixes wiggly country inspired beats with comfortable guitar solos. And, as with Kampe, this is a man of most unique lyrical genius. Conway melts my heart with his lament to god, "Oh God" which contains few lyrics apart from "Man, why must you scare the hell into me?" Then there's Conway's witty pledge of allegiance to commercial media -"Don't read into it, the lyrics don't make sense/four chords and a steady beat and I will repeat what you just heard -don't get excited 'cause you've heard it all before."

Conway's music ain't so shabby either. He manages a variety of stylistic turns over the course of nine songs, never really settling on one definitively, or for long. Conway dances with blues, rustic Newfoundland traditional, protest songs, bluegrass, even jazz. He actually turns the agony of, uh, catching oneself in one's zipper to a regular honest-to-god folk classic with "Set My Willy Free." Along this multi-styled path, Conway is aided by singer/songwriter Colleen Power on backup vocals and Duane "da neighbor eh!" Andrews on guitar and fiddle. No one's said it before or better -"It's hard to be an asshole and politically correct." I don't think Conway needs to worry about being either.

-Lezlie Lowe - Lezlie Lowe, The Coast, Halifax

"Neil Conway – The Somethin' Family Album"

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll praise the lord! Neil Conway brings us a proper collection of original and cover novelty tunes he has been playing around St. John's for the past 5 years. Backed by the likes of Pat Boyle, Duane Andrews, Jody Richardson & Colleen Power the musicianship on this record is fantastic. Banjo, accordion, dobro, thrift shop organ and sweet harmonies all add texture to Neil's highly stylized songs imbued with humour and satire. Features a cover of the Floyd TIllman classic ''Slippin' Around.'' This is a great collection of tunes the local bar circuit has been singing along to for years. - Fred's Records, St. John's

"Neil Conway – The Somethin' Family Album"

In short – ridiculous lyrics, respectable music. “I paid a dollar for these pants at the Salvation Army, Praise the Lord!” Neil Conway is the frontman of Newfoundland's ever-popular reggae/ska/dance band The Discounts puts to record a bunch of his songs that have become popular novelty classics in their own time (Newfoundland time, that is) – The Lesbian Boxer Song, Wake 'n' Bake Weekday, Set My Willy Free and so on. Clever humor (“My sixteen year old manager gave me the slip!?!”) does not necessarily mean crappy music, however. Some songs on the disc sound surprisingly like authentic Hank Williams-style swing country, with lovely trumpet, accordion, and banjo playing thrown in, and other are reminiscent of his reggae flavored Discounts stuff. There's even some Django style guitar playing. Newfoundland already knows how great Neil Conway is – it's only a matter of time before he rest of Canada does as well. As I can say is I've been singing The Lesbian Boxer Song for five years, it's a bout time this guy put out an album! Worth the 24 page accompanying booklet alone!

-Mary Beth Carty,
Penguin Eggs Magazine, 2004 - Mary Beth Carty, Penguin Eggs Magazine, 2004


2006 - Neil Conway - Roadblock
2004 - Neil Conway - The Somethin' Family Album
2002 - Neil Conway - Behind The Curtains EP
2000 - Neil Conway - St. John's Kitchen Session


Feeling a bit camera shy


With a knack for biting commentary and eyebrow raising lyrics, he is sure to leave you thinking with his own brand of social comedy song writing.

After growing up between rural Nova Scotia, Toronto and Montreal, Neil Conway hitch hiked to St. John's, Newfoundland in 1998 and still can't get enough of the place. Since then he has had his fingers in many musical pies. He has been a regular performer at Sound Symposium and Peace-a-Chord Arts and Social Justice Festival. He has toured Canada extensively and played frequently in St. Pierre et Miquelon.

His debut release, The Somethin' Family Album, chronicles both early and recent work. The large cast of gifted musicians on the recording documents his close relationship with the St. John's music community; his something family as it were.

He has recently completed a new album with a focus on social commentary and a more acoustic approach. Titled "Roadblock," it was released with a Cross-Canada tour in September 2006.