Casey Neill is an American musician. He leads Portland, Oregon-based band Casey Neill & The Norway Rats, singing with a raspy vocal quality and playing electric and acoustic guitars. Neill's style, folk-punk, mixes influences from punk, Celtic and folk music, and has been compared toR.E.M. and The Pogues.
The Norway Rats have included Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists on keyboards and accordion, among other established Portland musicians Jesse Emerson, Jeff 'Chet' Lyster, Lewi Longmire, Little Sue, Hanz Araki and Ezra Holbrook of Dr Theopolis.
After graduating from The Evergreen State College with an ethnomusicology education, Neill developed as an artist in the underground music community of the Pacific Northwest, releasing two early cassette releases and then his first CD, Rifraff, in 1995. Two songs from that album,Rifraff and Dancing on The Ruins of Multinational Corporations, became the defacto soundtracks for many Earth First! and other logging protests during the 1990s, a time of growing tension between environmentalists and the logging communities of the Pacific Northwest.Dancing on the Ruins of Multinational Corporations is still sung by protest communities around the world.
Highly regarded Scottish musician and producer Johnny Cunningham, one of Neill’s early supporters, produced his albums Skree and Brooklyn Bridge. Cunningham plays fiddle on these albums plus Live on 11th Street, the last live recording of him before his untimely passing in 2003. Besides including some of his current bandmates and Johnny Cunningham, Brooklyn Bridge features cameos from Chris Funk of The Decemberists, John Wesley Harding, Erin McKeown and Phil Cunningham, Johnny’s brother.
Neill has been included on numerous compilations. One tribute release, Where Have All the Flowers Gone: the Songs of Pete Seeger(Appleseed Recordings), won Top Independent Release of 1998 from the American Association of Independent Music. The compilation includes Neill alongside tracks from Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg, two artists to whom Neill has been compared