By Michael Eilers
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tonight, musician Casey Neill is bringing his eclectic blend of folk, Celtic, and rock music to Tucson. The show will be a benefit concert for local animal rights activist Rod Coronado. Musically, Neill is difficult to pin down, but he always gives a high-energy performance, with emotive vocals and a crisp guitar style.
Wildcat: What brings you to Tucson?
Casey Neill: I've performed at Prescott College the past couple years, so I'll be in the area, but Rod's case is something I've been following for a while, and I'm eager to help out any way I can.
W.C.: Your music has been described as everything from Celtic music to punk rock. Do you have a favorite label?
C.N.: Celtic music definitely has a huge influence on what I do, and it pervades the way I phrase things. I've been studying the historical context of Celtic music, and resistance music in general, and that informs my music. I have roots in traditional folk music, but I want to take it farther Ä there's this idea that folk music has to be wimpy, but that's not the case. I
want to play folk with guts. In Washington I sometimes play punk, and do a lot of playing in that venue.
W.C.: You're known for having an environmental message in your music, but these days it seems most environmental problems are handled in a courtroom, rather in public. Is music a relevant way to talk about these issues?
C.N.: We're watching a lot of the courtroom stuff crumble, and many of the old protections such as the Endangered Species Act have been struck down or are in danger. Music is a way to get at and frame environmental issues in an emotional way, because they are emotional as well as political issues. Music can convey that emotion without making it into a diatribe or a canvasser at your door. I think that's where these things need to strike, because if people start to care they will be motivated to make changes in the way they live.
Casey Neill is playing 7 p.m. at the Soundings of the Planet Courtyard, 3054 North 1st Avenue. A donation of $5 is suggested, with all proceeds to benefit Rod Coronado.
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