“The Weissenborn lap steel guitar creates a very special atmosphere and Neil plays it extremely well.. very, very nice indeed”
Paul Jones (BBC Radio 2)
“One of the world’s leading exponents of the Weissenborn lap steel guitar”
Blues Matters (UK)
Electric, acoustic and Weissenborn lap steel guitarist,
music composition and sound design.
Neil Warden is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and has been performing and recording for over 40 years.
He has performed live at international festival and theatre venues and composed music for film and video within a wide cross section of musical genres.
He has performed with: Tam White, Boz Burrell, Camille O'Sullivan, Peter Straker, Maggie Bell, Jim Diamond, Brian Kellock, Stuart Mitchell (Classic FM composer), Dave Heath, Aqua Bassino, John Burgess, The Lorna Reid Quintet and many more.
Recently featured on BBC Radio Scotland, he is currently writing original compositions for film /TV and collaborating on recording projects with cross-genre musicians.
"This is fabulous, evocative, emotional music"
Gary Grainger (Bishop FM)
"How good is that? Great playing, atmospheric....
this is a joy."
Jimmy Carlyle (BBC Radio Scotland)
New Blues/Americana from Neil Warden. 4 track EP
of solo Weissenborn lap steel compositions.
The blues doesn’t run any deeper than when life itself hangs in the balance as Andy Gunn and Walter Trout have proved recently. Weissenborn lap steel guitarist Neil Warden recorded this EP, Canalslide Blues, when recovering from cancer, a process which thankfully helped the healing process. This recording, although only 20 minutes long, is a profound and inspirational musical journey communicated not in words but solely through Neil’s exceptional guitar playing.
On "The Road Home," Neil’s sumptuous slide creates a poignant, melancholic mood as he sets out on the hard road ahead, the grief and heartache echoing from the strings. "Canalslide Blues" has a jaunty feel suggesting optimism alongside moments of anguish, the atmosphere created by skillful slide and finger picking techniques.
The longest track, "Mantra," is a complex, contemplative, classic piece of music beautifully arranged, the spaces between the chords as significant as those played. The powerful, spirited "Dust Bowl" signifies Neil returning to his best, stronger than ever and extending the Scotsman’s illustrious 40-year career as a highly respected and innovative bluesman. An extremely unique blues experience well worth listening to.
Dave Scott - Blues Bytes
New CD/EP out now at Bandcamp Canalslide Blues
CD/EP - Adventures in Weissenborn Land
“The Weissenborn lap steel guitar, Neil plays it extremely well” Paul Jones (BBC Radio 2)
Eastern improvisations within the blues genre are extremely rare but Scottish guitarist, composer and producer Neil Warden has extended the Eastern boundaries even further with his unique musical journey on the Weissenborn lap steel guitar.
Neil’s blues credentials are well documented over his 40 year career, most recently as the influential guitarist with Stevey Hay's Shades Of Blue, and in the past with Scottish blues legend Tam White.
‘Bad Dog’ is the one recognisable blues song on this EP with Gary Martin’s anguished vocals pleading that “I can’t stay here much longer when you treat me this way. You treat me like a Bad Bad Dog.” Martin’s tasteful harmonica playing and Warden’s intricate finger picking guitar work make this a memorable number. The blues heritage stands out from the contrasting sounds of the instruments which become before and after.
The whole musical concept is reminiscent of Ry Cooder’s Paris Texas movie soundtrack, essentially a poetic journey into the soul of his slide acoustic guitar. Neil takes this a step further with Stuart Mitchell’s haunting soundscapes, beautifully crafted and embelished with the sumptious lap steel guitar.
The Far Eastern nuances on the poignant introduction ‘Mojave’ evoke desert landscapes whils enchanted enhances the mood further with its violin and background chanting. ‘The Alchemist’ with Dave Heath’s atmospheric bass flute adds further layers and texture as the journey reaches its climax.
This creation is at best inspirational, never the less interesting and stimulates the listener’s imagination.
Alan Dearling "The Gonzo Journal"
CD - The Silent Sky
Stuart Mitchell & Neil Warden
The Silent Sky is the first album created, performed and composed by Scottish musicians and composers Neil Warden (Guitar) and Stuart Mitchell (Piano/Sound Design). The music covers a wide genre from Ambient and Ethnic influences to Raga rhythms and deep Classical moods. Each piece takes the listener on a journey into rich melodic territory, weaving together a huge variety of harmonic colours and symphonic textures. Combined with the virtuoso talents of some of the best performers in the UK such as Dave Heath (Flute), The Silent Sky is a ‘tour de force’ of powerful rhythmic expression, creative performance and a touchingly subtle fragile beauty.
'A textural, smooth and thoughtful offering'
Julian Joseph, BBC Radio 3 Jazz Line-up
‘An album of calm, cosmopolitan mood music sculpted into smooth and pleasing contours’
David Sinclair, (reviewer for Sunday Times, Q, Rolling Stone)
Turn Back The Time
Blue Soul Groove featuring John Burgess
Turn back the time by Scottish based Blue Soul Groove seems all set to become the find of the new smooth jazz year. This pairing of guitarist and leader Neil Warden with sax and flute player John Burgess first came to prominence in 2007 with the release of an excellent self-titled EP. Now, Warden has built on these five original tracks by adding four more to deliver the outstanding new album ‘Turn Back The Time’. Warden’s musical inspirations come from the likes of George Benson, Nile Rodgers, Larry Carlton and the Crusaders. All these influences can, in one form or another, be found permeating the entire piece and with additional contributions from fellow Scotsmen Ronnie Rae Jr., Bobby Heatlie Sr., Anthony Davie, Gavin Dickie and Cornell Watson, ‘Turn Back The Time’ is a blissfully easy grooving collection that is big on melodies and strong on hooks.
The mood is set relatively early by the bright breezy and rhythmic ‘Sausalito Funk’ which is a good example of what this tight unit has to offer. Indeed, despite the fact that Warden hails from Edinburgh, the band seem able to effortlessly deliver what can best described as an authentic west coast groove and, as the tempo stays decidedly hot, the joyous ‘Baga River’ provides a vehicle to faultlessly demonstrate how Warden’s tight playing meshes to perfection with the sax and flute of John Burgess.
Warden’s sublime interplay with Burgess is a facet throughout and it’s the flute that again makes an impact on ‘Out Of The Groove’. This intensely jazzy number really fizzes and although the cool title cut serves to ease down the intensity, the result is just as good. In fact it’s when Warden and Burgess find a mellower groove that they really strike gold and none more so than with the chilled out ‘3-00 am’ which reveals Warden in distinctly Paul Brown mode. This textbook slice of smooth jazz is bolstered by cool sax from Burgess and with the bluesy ‘Soul Town’ the pairing deliver more of the sweet same. Here the synergy that Warden and Burgess routinely generate is at its most powerful and the tune is further enhanced by the featured keys of Ronnie Rae Jr.
The album’s one cover is a zesty version of the Crusaders classic ‘Put It Where You Want It’ which sits in magical contrast to the melodically reflective ‘The Blue Glide’. Quite simply beauty personified, this delicious track could well be a metaphor for the entire project whilst elsewhere the lusciously retro tinged ‘Zazou’ shows off another, yet equally appealing, side to this rapidly emerging collective.
‘Turn Back The Time’ is a must have CD for contemporary jazz fans everywhere.
Neil Warden - Guitarist & composer
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