Johnny Neel has been touring all over the US and Europe, astonishing audiences with his powerful vocal and amazing keyboard technique.
Born blind in Wilmington, Delaware, Neel cut his first single at the age of twelve in 1966, as “Johnny Neel and The Shapes Of Soul“. As an adult, the Johnny Neel Band had a strong following up and down the East Coast and released two well-received independent albums; “One Hot Night” and “You Shoulda’ Been There”. Neel moved to Nashville, the premiere song writing city, in 1984. Where he immediately became recognized a session “A” studio player. Others began to notice Neel’s songwriting talent and decided to take advantage by recording his songs on their albums.
Performing with various bands in area clubs drew the attention of former Nashville resident Dickey Betts, who asked Neel to join his road band, and begin working on Dickey’s solo LP for Epic Records. That relationship led to seven cuts on the “Pattern Disruptive” LP including the Top 10 AOR hit, “Rock Bottom.” Neel’s talented keyboard and harp playing on that album convinced Gregg Allman to ask Neel to tour with his road band.
Neel decided to join the reunited Allman Brothers Band, immersing himself in a successful tour, which led to a number one AOR smash hit during the summer of 1990. Car radios all across America blasted “Good Clean Fun”, from the Seven Turns Album, co-written by Neel with Allman and Betts. The chart topping hit provided the reunited Allmans with their highest charting single since “Ramblin’ Man” fifteen years prior. Neel’s songs have been recorded by such artist’s as Montgomery Gentry, Delbert McClinton, John Mayall, John Louis Walker and many others…. Johnny Neel is a recipient of the “Life Time Achievment Award” from the 2012 Grammy’s with his work with the Allman Brothers.
In 2000 Neel released “Late Night Breakfast“, which was recorded at his studio, Straight Up Sound Studio, with the members of his band, “The Last Word”, and special guests such as Shane Theriot (The Neville Brothers), Rick Vito (Fleetwood Mac) and Wayne Jackson (The Memphis Horns). This record was released on Neel’s label, Breakin’ Records, which showcased his pleading vocals as well as brilliant piano, B-3 and harp work.
During that same period of time the recordings were made, Neel also became a member of Blue Floyd, a premiere jam band with variations on the material of Pink Floyd. In addition to Neel, band members were comprised of Marc Ford (Black Crowes), Matt Abts (Gov’t Mule), Berry Oakley Jr. (OKB Band & Bloodline) and, the late Allen Woody (Gov’t Mule).
Johnny Neel and Matt Abts went into Johnny’s Straight Up Sound Studio and record the “x2” project which was graciously received by fans and the media.
Neel toured with the Italian rock band W.I.N.D. and has recorded the proclaimed “Italian Experience” in 2002.
Neel has released on Breakin’ Records “Gun Metal Blue, Criminal Element Vol 1 & 2, and Vol 3 along with a DVD. Johnny also has contributed tracks on the Truckers Tracks compilation series: www.truckerstracks.com
In 2010 he released a solo effort titled “Harmonious” with a mini documentary that featured a intimate side of Neel never seen or heard before.
In 2012 Johnny is releasing his eighth solo effort titled “Every Kinda’ Blues”, this release has every kinda blues that you never heard before. This recording has been well received by the blues community and features two (LIVE) tracks with the Italian band W.I.N.D., as well as tracks that cover all variety of the blues.
In 2016, Johnny celebrated 50 years in music with his double CD “66/16”. This CD included Johnny’s favorite cuts from 1996 to 2016. It’s a fun collection of music that is guaranteed to make you smile and stir your soul. The CD Release party was held at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville Tennessee on December 28, 2016 and included a reunion with Johnny Neel & The Last Word, featuring Jack Pearson on guitar, Randy Coleman on bass and Nanette Bohannon and Soul Keys singing back up. It was an amazing night. The evening included a video presentation of Johnny talking about his career highlights and as well as other great musicians giving their experience and thanks to Johnny.
Yes. A man with boundless energy, Neel still manages to juggle studio work, local club gigs, road work and hit song writing, and somehow between the chaos maintains his sanity.
“They say that you can’t do it all; Hell, I’m trying to prove ‘em wrong.” – Johnny Neel
* Grammy nomination for keyboard work as an Allman Brothers Band member on the instrumental cut, “True Gravity” LP from the Seven Turns album
* ASCAP Country Award for “Take The Long Way Home” recorded by John Schneider * BMI Citation Award as a member of The Allman Brothers Band
* Vocalist of The Year – 2001 Bands of Dixie Magazine (France) Readers Poll
Television / Movie / Video Appearances * XXXS and OOOS (Movie)
* Good Clean Fun (Video) – MTV Unplugged
* CBS This Morning
* The Tonight Show
* Nashville Now
* Music City Tonight
* Volunteer Jam – TNN
* Milene Music, Inc. – Nashville, Tennessee
* Cuts by Chad Mullins, Restless Heart and Joe Louis Walker
* Song Pantry Music, Inc. – Nashville, Tennessee
* Cuts by John Mayall, Irma Thomas, Travis Tritt and Jason D.Williams
* Bob-a-lew Music – Universal City, California
* Cuts by Dorothy Moore, Marie Osmond, Ann Peebles and Delton Reeves
* The Reel Neel Music Nashville, Tennessee
* Cuts by Burton Garr, James Walker, HBO, FOX Sports