WELCOME to the internet home of Neil w Young - songwriter & recording artist,
aka N.W. Young - author of The Summer Garden and the Song.
Neil's 4th CD album (his 2nd in 2016), Those Were The Days released December 23, 2016 was the culmination of a dream that had its beginning in the 1950’s when he was going to high school - as pictured on the album cover above - and was a budding musician and songwriter in his own right.
The album appropriately reflects what Neil has often been heard to say, "I'm not going back to the Fifties ... I never left!"
"Yes," he is happy to confirm, "those really were the days."
Neil's roots are deep country, proudly reflecting his early years growing up on the family farm in part of the now slowly disappearing tobacco farming heartland of southwestern Ontario.
It was during his high school years beginning in the mid 1950's when Neil's love of the music of the times ignited his passion as a songwriter and singer. It was not until decades later after he had "retired" from a 35-year entrepreneurial business career that he had the opportunity to give himself the room to let that light really begin to shine.
From tumbleweeds drifting along old Route 66 and flashy 1950's convertibles, to rusted out flatbed trucks and walking down railroad tracks, it is hard not to picture Johnny Cash here. Even more so with Neil's self-effacing western lilt and a soft southern drawl influenced in part during his teens while toiling in summer sun-baked Southern Ontario tobacco fields alongside his co-workers from the Carolina's and Georgia.
Neil was a nominee in the 2008 Hamilton Music Awards for New Country Recording of the Year for his debut album No Looking Back, and in the 2012 Hamilton Music Awards for Alt/Country Recording of the Year for his album What Difference Will It Make released in July 2012.
Two of Neil’s songs on his debut CD album No Looking Back - “The Cowboy Song” and “The Restless Wind”, were #1 in 2007 on the CASHBOX Magazine Country Chart.
Neil was honoured to be named on the front cover of the July 1, 2007 CASHBOX Magazine as one of the "awesome Indies gracing our Independent Charts every week".
In 2008, Neil was the recipient of the IAIA (International Academy of Independent Artists) Golden Kayak award for Best Country Song 2007 - "The Cowboy Song" from his album, No Looking Back.
He was a nominee for Best Country Song in the 2015 Golden Kayak Awards for his song, “Shining White Eyes” from his sophomore album What Difference Will It Make, and in January 2017, he won his second Golden Kayak Award for Best Classic and Progressive Rock Song 2016 - "Fire On The Water" from his third album, Old Memories.
Bobby Lawson, Rockabilly Hall of Fame member, says this about Neil's debut CD No Looking Back:
"A great CD, these are eleven great songs, beautifully written and sung. Neil puts his all in these songs, from the heart and from the soul. I recommend this CD and Neil w Young to everyone who likes it country."
Christian Lamitschka, Country Home - Germany’s Premier Country Music Magazine, write the following about Neil's debut album No Looking Back:
"Some dreams come thru really late, but then when it happens, the joy is much bigger. And even the man is over 50, he has the energy of a 25 year old. His songs have an honesty that hasn't been heard in a long time.”
Neil’s 2-book ‘realistic fiction’ love story – a labour of love many years in the making and in the writing – The Summer Garden and the Song, circa 1959, is a coming of age saga set in and around the fictional village of Haddon Junction in Norfolk County – the tobacco heartland of Southwestern Ontario. It is a story of loves gained, loves lost, and loves unconditional – Mick Neilson’s story – The Summer Garden … The Circle of Life … Harvest … and the Song.
Both books include countless cameos of tobacco farming, music, people, events and places from the era and area such as the famed Summer Garden destination dance pavilion in Port Dover. Both are available at Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, CavernOfDreams.com and at Green Heron Books in Paris.
Neil was a Western Ontario Secondary School Honour Athlete in 1960 and graduate of Burford District High School and graduate in 1964 of Waterloo Lutheran University - Waterloo University College Faculty (now known as Wilfred Laurier University).