Niel Golden
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Niel Golden


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"Niel Golden"

It’s A Journey (independent)
Yet another entry in the almost-too-good-to-be-local category, Niel Golden’s It’s a Journey is a beautiful package, both visually and sonically. Perhaps best known for his work with local world music outfit Saffron, Golden has crafted a solid solo album that should stand the test of time. Filled with gentle sounds of the tabla as well as staples of both the world music (djembe, tamboura, kora, oud) and roots (guitar, accordion, harmonica) scenes, Journey sounds a lot like a Windham Hill release—and indeed, Golden’s music would be perfectly suited to the glory days of that fabled label. Most of these 12 tracks are originals by Golden (the notable exception being the quirky and charming cover of the Stones’ “Paint It Black”), but the savvy inclusion of a more rootsy sound broadens the audience for this album immensely, helped along by the likes of Harry Manx on the mohan veena, guitarist Ken Hall, bassist Scott White, vocalist Emily Braden, Jamie RT on fiddola and busy co-producer Wynn Gogol on accordion. For example, the traditional Indian Bhajan “Hari OM” is a great meditative track that’s much like a journey down an exotic rail line, but just when you’re getting tired of those mystical tabla sounds, he downshifts to a jauntier Celtic-influenced track like “Celtickle.” It’s A Journey is well worth taking.

- John Threlfall , Monday Magazine,Feb 13 2008


It's a Journey (
Local tabla master Niel Golden's debut CD brilliantly melds jazz, Brazilian, Celtic, blues and India's classical music into a gorgeous easy listening melange.
With a studio team including Ken Hall, George Koller, Emily Braden, Enrique Rivas, Scott White, Harry Manx, Steve Marriner, Scott Sheerin, Doug Galbraith, Jamie RT, and co-producer Wynn Gogol, Golden conjures-up an eclectic, exotic world of rhythm from material ranging from the Rolling Stones' Paint It Black to traditional Indian sacred songs.
Golden's originals comprise the majority of the CD's dozen tracks, and they are truly inspired examples of our borderless musical world. This is a stone
- Joseph Blake, Times Colonist


It's a Journey, December 2007
to hear samples go to



Inter-Cultural World Acoustic Musician
Niel Golden’s first solo CD release, "It's a Journey" takes the listener on an eclectic trip through music cultures as diverse as Indian, African, Latin and the Blues. The CD is a 2008 Western Canadian Music Award nominee for Outstanding World Recording of the year.
Niel is a talented percussionist specializing in the tabla drums of India and on this new CD he also adds all of the other percussion, guitar, voice and introduces the Hang ( hand steel drum, pronounced hung ), an instrument invented in the year 2000. Niel has studied world music with Trichy Sankaran of York University, Bob Becker of the world renowned percussion ensemble, Nexus and is a disciple of the tabla master, Pandit Sharda Sahai, the fifth generation leader of the Benares style of playing.
Since becoming a resident of Victoria in 1986, he helped form the world, folk fusion trio, New Earth. Their self-titled CD took them to Seville, Spain where they represented Canada for 6 weeks at Expo '92. Moving in a new direction, he then was instrumental in creating the band Djole. Blending African, Indian, Western and other world music, their first CD, “Indiscretion” earned them a Juno nomination in 1995.
In recent years, Niel has recorded and toured with the acoustic blues/roots sensation, Harry Manx, and is on his Juno nominated CDs “West Eats Meet” and “Mantras for Madmen”. He is also on Xavier Rudd’s recent release “Food in the Belly” and Jaime RT’s “Spark” and “Reach”. Niel is a member of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and performed with Trichy Sankaran at the orchestra’s “Imagined Worlds” concert in Vancouver in November of 2007. He also had the opportunity to perform for and meet the Dalai Lama at the Celebration of Peace concert in 2004. Over the past ten years, Niel has played at many festivals across Canada including Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Mariposa and the Montreal Jazz Festival to name a few. He began the year 2005 at the Festival au Desert near Timbuktu, Mali with the Canadian Indo-folk group, Galitcha.
In Victoria, Niel is a member of two world music ensembles. Saffron, features Ken Hall and Enrique Rivas and the newly formed trio Prevedoros, Golden & Joy featuring Celtic, Latin and Eastern influences.
Niel’s first solo release contains nine original compositions and was co-produced with Wynn Gogol ( Sarah Marreiros, Sarah Metzner, Glenna Garramone ). Some of the guests featured are Harry Manx, George Koller, Steve Marriner, Jaime RT, Ken Hall, Scott White and many more.