Fall Heroes Preview #4: N.C.’s Anthony Neff & The Nearly Distants

Anthony Neff

Terrific new record drops middle of next month.

By Blurt Staff

Raleigh, NC, based troubadour Anthony Neff—a BLURT fave, incidentally—is prepping for the release of his newest album Blood Beneath the Sun, due on Sept. 22 and billed as Anthony Neff & The Nearly Distants. The songwriter grew up listening to equal amounts of rock, country, folk and pop, and he’s been compared to artists as diverse as Elliott Smith, the Band, Donovan, the National and Little Feat. Running throughout his work is the knack to craft words and melodies that linger with the listener long after the song is over. The new album, recorded at Overdub Lane studios in Durham, NC, seamlessly incorporates elements of indie rock, Americana, soul, pop and folk into a set of songs that are his strongest to date. Each track is part of a slice of life in one year of a relationship, covering the highs, lows, and points in-between.

The Nearly Distants comprises a group of talented Triangle musicians involved with other bands and projects: Jason Merritt added guitars, loops, keyboards, backing vocals and percussion. Additional guitar work was added by Scott McCall (Two Dollar Pistols, Kenny Roby band) and Jeff Mullins (Brothers Grim, Adam Lane & Jeff Mullins). Morgan Davis (Mr. Potato Head) provided drums, with Gary Mitchell (Gary Mitchell Band) adding conga and percussion. In addition to backing vocals, Roger Gupton (The Backsliders, Jeanne Jolly) played bass, as well as Mark Connor (Kenny Roby, SOON). Dave Wright (Boneslinger, Countdown Quartet, 6 String Drag) added trombone. The band will be joining Anthony at CD release shows in the fall.

Anthony began writing, performing and recording music in 1999. Since then he has released three CDs prior to his latest (Between the Rungs, Chase Your Burden and Generation X-istential Blues), was featured in a compilation from Shut Eye Records, two editions of Holly Raleigh Christmas compilations, and landed a song in the top 10 of Neil Young’s “Living With War” website. Below, check out a live recording of him from a couple of years ago (he’s joined by another BLURT pal, Kenny Roby), and meanwhile, look forward to the new album.

8/28/15 – Berkeley Café, Raleigh NC
9/05/15 – Front Street Public House, Burlington, NC 10PM
9/26/15 – Saturdays at the Market, Raleigh NC
9/27/15 – Carrboro Music Festival, Carrboro NC 1:00pm
9/27/15 – Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh NC (CD Release show with full band) 8:00pm
10/9/15 – Schoolkids Records, Raleigh NC

Photo Credit: Andy Orr

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