Q&A with multi-talented musician Eliza Neals, sultry powerful vocals, spirited moves, and soulful piano playing

"The key so far for me is to find your center and be true to yourself. Don’t try and sound or be like anyone else. Find time to laugh and see the world take it on and meet people. Live life, be with family, loved ones and definitely try to find time go to the beach and be near the ocean. Don’t be afraid to try new things and make them a part of yourself. Talk to people all kinds of people it’s the best way to cure the blues."

Eliza Neals: Badder To The Bone

Standing before one of America’s truest art forms with an unconditional passion to give the Blues everything she’s got. Eliza Neals, a Detroit born blues-rock star on the rise, honors the gut-wrenching, soul splitting intent the American roots of contemporary blues represents with inspired songwriting, live performances, and magic not seen in years… Original compositions have garnered Eliza a 2018 Detroit Black Music Award for “Blues Artist of the Year.” and FIVE Detroit Music Awards. A total of fourteen nominations in the newly formed “Independent Blues Awards” along with “Get Ready To Rock UK’s” glowing Best Artists awards in five categories. Eliza’s history of performing/opening for legendary musicians goes back many years from Detroit’s songwriting godfather Barrett Strong to George Clinton, The Four Tops, Kenny Olson, Tony Joe White, Lance Lopez, Mike Zito, Tommy Castro, Walter Trout, Poppa Chubby, Albert Castiglia, Micki Free, Victor Wainwright, King Solomon Hicks, Peter Keys and Blues Foundation HOF bluesman Joe Louis Walker.                                                                   (Photo: Eliza Neals)

Discovered by Motown legend and Grammy winner Barrett Strong; he was her iconic mentor in songwriting & production. Standing tall in sandy grass and Spanish Moss you will find Eliza Neals with her fresh modern Blues-rock album “Badder to the Bone” (2022). Two years after releasing “Black Crow Moan” her critically acclaimed, ‘psychic’ blues album predicting isolation due to global shut-down. Eliza Neals returns with a riptide of Blues-rock on “Badder to the Bone.” Texas hot sauce guitarist extraordinaire Lance Lopez with Detroit Rock-N-Roll Hall of Famer Billy “JC” Davis and co-producer Michael Puwal present a searing guitar. Drum skins trounced by Detroit natives best Skeeto Valdez and Jeffery ‘Shakey’ Fowlkes along with Nashville’s Tim Grogan plus Brian Clune, leaves the sand shifted. Flexing the muscle on Bass is Detroit’s own Paul Randolph, motor-city studio man Jason Kott and Michael Puwal. Ivory bone strikes hammer on Hammond B3, grand piano and Wurlitzer by Detroit Rock City’s finest Peter Keys, John Galvin with Eliza Neals laying down the skeleton on piano. Michigan soul singer Kymberli Wright’s, back up vocal is supreme. Synthesizing a body from the pandemonium wreckage key by key, bone by bone, up from below, kneeling now standing, Eliza Neals proves she’s a powerful voice in modern Blues-rock. Perpetual touring plus constant songwriting in American roots, blues music puts all systems at go on “Badder to the Bone.”

Interview by Michael Limnios                   Eliza Neals, 2020 Interview @ blues.gr

How do you think that you have grown as an artist since you first started making music?

I’m constantly writing so my songwriting keeps getting better. I don’t look back at where I was, I just push forward I find myself working the arrangements more and I make it my mission to make the next album better in all ways.

What has remained the same about your music-making process?

I write on the piano always first and foremost. The piano has every instrument on it I can write bass lines, strings, vocal melodies, guitar leads and rhythms. That never changes. But sometimes I do write to a track from one of my songwriting friends and write that way too.

"There are so many obstacles it’s hard to pick one it’s a demanding business and one must be willing to work tirelessly and be a professional to keep on going. So it does make you a stronger individual all around." (Eliza Neals / Photo by Edward Sawicki Photography)

Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music?

Howlin Wolf, Barrett Strong, BB King, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Louis Walker, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Blind Faith, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Fleetwood Mac, Koko Taylor...

How do you describe “BADDER TO THE BONE” (2022) sound and songbook?

It’s modern blues and power blues rock that hits the listener with a strong Detroit rock and roll edge. I created it with a Detroit grit plus heavy on the classic rock vibe from the 1970’s. Throw in a heavy dash of Motown and strong classic blues.  I always strive for an intense vocal as live sounding as I can plus unique songwriting arrangements and productions creating my own sound. I don’t want to sound like anyone else.

Where does your creative drive come from? Do you have any interesting stories about the making of the new album?

I don’t know I just create its in my DNA. Do you have any interesting stories about the making of the new album? Many of the songs were done in one take and required minimal editing to get it right. I wanted a LIVE feel and the fabulous musicians delivered and…. a bit of blues magic is required.

Artists and labels will have to adapt to the new changes. What are your predictions for the music industry?

Everything is changing with the Covid pandemic so its much more difficult for small labels and mid-sized venues and indie artists to maintain their momentum. Gaining fans worldwide and operating more like a label and less like a band will be required form all who plan to have longevity in the biz.                    (Eliza Neals / Photo by Steve Galli)

"I’m constantly writing so my songwriting keeps getting better. I don’t look back at where I was, I just push forward I find myself working the arrangements more and I make it my mission to make the next album better in all ways. I write on the piano always first and foremost. The piano has every instrument on it I can write bass lines, strings, vocal melodies, guitar leads and rhythms. That never changes. But sometimes I do write to a track from one of my songwriting friends and write that way too."

How do you think the music industry will adapt to it?

The industry will shrink and record labels will get bigger unless artists can maintain their connection to their fan base.

What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome as a person and as artist and has this helped you become a better musician?

There are so many obstacles it’s hard to pick one it’s a demanding business and one must be willing to work tirelessly and be a professional to keep on going. So it does make you a stronger individual all around.

What do you think is key to a life well lived?

The key so far for me is to find your center and be true to yourself. Don’t try and sound or be like anyone else. Find time to laugh and see the world take it on and meet people. Live life, be with family, loved ones and definitely try to find time go to the beach and be near the ocean. Don’t be afraid to try new things and make them a part of yourself. Talk to people all kinds of people it’s the best way to cure the blues.

If you had a question you would like to ask another musician, what would it be?

I’d ask a musician what song do you play that the crowd loves but you really hate.

Eliza Neals - Home

(Photo: Eliza Neals)

Views: 105

Comments are closed for this blog post

social media

Members

© 2022   Created by Michael Limnios Blues Network.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service