Born in the same small West Virginia hospital where Hank Williams was pronounced dead, Anthony Neff grew up listening to equal amounts of rock, country, folk and pop. Skirting around the edges of each of these musical styles, he has been compared to artists as diverse as Elliott Smith, the Band, Donovan, the National and Little Feat. Running throughout his work is the knack to craft words and melodies that linger with the listener long after the song is over.
His latest recording, Blood Beneath the Sun by Anthony Neff & The Nearly Distants (release date – Sept 22, 2015), continues in this tradition. Recorded at Overdub Lane studios in Durham, NC, the record seamlessly incorporates elements of indie rock, Americana, soul, pop and folk into a set of songs that are his strongest to date. Each track is part of a slice of life in one year of a relationship, covering the highs, lows, and points in-between.
Joining Anthony on this latest recording are The Nearly Distants – a group of talented musicians involved with other bands and projects, but still willing to add to the creation of Blood Beneath the Sun. In addition to producing, engineering and mixing the record, Jason Merritt added guitars, loops, keyboards, backing vocals and percussion. Additional guitar work was added by Scott McCall (Two Dollar Pistols, Kenny Roby band) and Jeff Mullins (Brothers Grim, Adam Lane & Jeff Mullins). Morgan Davis (Mr. Potato Head) provided drums, with Gary Mitchell (Gary Mitchell Band) adding conga and percussion. In addition to backing vocals, Roger Gupton (The Backsliders, Jeanne Jolly) played bass, as well as Mark Connor (Kenny Roby, SOON). Dave Wright (Boneslinger, Countdown Quartet, 6 String Drag) added trombone. The band will be joining Anthony at CD release shows in the fall.
Anthony began writing, performing and recording music in 1999. Since then he has released three CDs prior to his latest (Between the Rungs, Chase Your Burden and Generation X-istential Blues), was featured in a compilation from Shut Eye Records, two editions of Holly Raleigh Christmas compilations, and landed a song in the top 10 of Neil Young’s “Living With War” website.
Hear what the critics are saying about his previous release (Between the Rungs):
“A powerful album that gracefully moves up and down the emotional spectrum of modern alt-rock thick with satire and melodic landscaping…lyrics that will cause your mind to bend…enthusiastic 5 out of 5 stars…some of the best songwriting I’ve heard this year.” – Trevor Gray, All What’s Rock
“From start to finish this CD delivers the goods…the songwriting is impressive and digs a bit deeper than the next independent artist…pure musical mojo…offers much in the way of passion and compelling thought-provoking lyrical content. The overall vibe of the production is very mysterious and honest with pockets of raw truth shining through. 4 out of 5 stars.” – Michael Morrison, Rock n Roll View
“Between the Rungs is a brilliant, striking and compelling musical production. Its strong suit is its overall consistency, lyrical wisdom and bold straightforwardness of Neff…At the end of the day people don’t buy plastic and paper, they buy emotions. In this aspect Neff is brilliant! 10 out of 10 stars.” – Cyrus Rhodes, Indie Music Digest