Neil McSweeney

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Neil McSweeney (born Irvine, Scotland) is a songwriter and musician based in Sheffield, England.[1] His acoustic guitar playing style combines folk, blues and country influences but it is his voice, likened by The Guardian to a male Tracy Chapman,[2] and his direct and personal lyrics [3] for which he is most recognised.

Neil McSweeney

McSweeney’s debut album, Remember To Smile was released in 2006 by Sheffield independent label, LM Music. Tracks from the album attracted national radio play from BBC Radio 2 and the digital station BBC Radio 6 Music. This led to Postcards being released as a single by Kids Records, the singles arm of Warner Music UK subsidiary 14th Floor Records. Further national radio exposure followed [4] including the track being playlisted by XFM. Around this time Neil also accompanied his friend Stoney both on record, on tour and in session for BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary at Maida Vale Studios.[5]

Extensive touring in the UK followed before second album, Shoreline emerged in 2009. This was self-released and attracted positive reviews in the national press [3] as well as the attention of fellow Sheffield musician, Richard Hawley.[6] Following support sets at The Crucible in Sheffield and the Royal Festival Hall, McSweeney accompanied Hawley as main support on the European leg of his Truelove’s Gutter tour.[7][8]

During a hiatus from touring in 2011 and 2012, reportedly to spend more time with his young family, McSweeney developed friendships with musicians from the English folk and roots scene. This developed into collaborations which formed the basis for an EP (The Seventeen EP) and a third full-length album (Cargo) both released in 2013. The album features contributions from Lucy Farrell, Sam Sweeney, Brooks Williams, Matt Boulter, Vera Van Heeringen, Jock Tyldesley, Andy Seward and others.[9]

In Autumn 2013 Neil supported English folk group Bellowhead on their UK tour. He was accompanied by Vera van Heeringen and Sam Sweeney.


Remember To Smile album

  1. Sunrise
  2. Postcards
  3. Walleye Jean
  4. Broken Truth
  5. Smile
  6. Flowers
  7. London Road
  8. Long Way Round
  9. Heartlands
  10. Let The Side Down

Postcards 7” single

  1. Postcards
  2. My Design

Shoreline album

  1. Glencoe
  2. Standing Still
  3. Wonder In The Making
  4. Side To The Sun
  5. Time
  6. Rope To Hang
  7. The Break
  8. Half A Mind
  9. Wasters
  10. Everybody Tells Me I’m Wrong

The Seventeen EP

  1. We Are Here
  2. In A Dream
  3. To Live Is To Fly (Townes Van Zandt)
  4. The Seventeen

Cargo album

  1. Bulldozer
  2. Be Your Own Dog
  3. Happiness
  4. San Miniato
  5. New Year’s Day
  6. Sapling Bough
  7. Snow Blind
  8. Into The Sound
  9. Slowly Sets The Sun
  10. Cargo
  11. Stop Digging


  1. ^ Granville, David (24 June 2007) "A Man On The Rise", Morning Star. Retrieved 17 June 2013
  2. ^ Simpson, Dave (8 May 2007) "Neil McSweeney: Grapes, Sheffield", The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2013
  3. ^ a b Spellman, Robert (23 October 2009) "Neil McSweeney: Shoreline", Daily Express. Retrieved 17 June 2013
  4. ^ BBC (4 June 2007) “Zane Lowe Track-listing archive”. Retrieved 17 June 2013
  5. ^ Dunn, David (26 October 2010) “Stoney broke the mould”, The Star (Sheffield). Retrieved 17 June 2013
  6. ^ McVeigh, James (August 2010) “Man On Fire”, Exposed Magazine. Retrieved 17 June 2013
  7. ^ Southbank Centre (23 January 2010)
  8. ^ Botanique (17 May 2010)
  9. ^ Clegg, Rachael (25 May 2013) “Man for all seasons”, Sheffield Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2013

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