|
|
|
The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Heather Neal working on new solo CD

  • Heather Neal is a rising star in the country and gospel music scene. Neal, who is 22 years old was born in Harrisburg and learned to play guitar from her father, the well known local musician Brad Neal.
    • email print
  • Heather Neal is a rising star in the country and gospel music scene. Neal, who is 22 years old was born in Harrisburg and learned to play guitar from her father, the well known local musician Brad Neal.
    “When I was 13, I made my Dad drag out his guitar and teach me how to play,” Neal said. “The first song I learned wasn't something tame like ‘Mary had a Little Lamb' or ‘This Land is Your Land.’ It was ‘Take it Easy’ by The Eagles. That was one of my favorite songs at the time.”
    Neal began performing with her father professionally in 2007 with the group “Risen Gospel Band.” In 2007, the band released a single and “Shine a Little Light on Me” went to No. 9 in the Australian Gospel Music charts. In 2009 the release of the single “Child come Home” went to No. 7 in the Australian Gospel charts.
    “I was blown away by that,” Neal said.
    In 2010 Heather and her father Brad formed the father daughter duo of Brad and Bri and her strong vocals and skilled rhythms on guitar proved to be the backbone of the duo’s contemporary country sound. For three-and-a-half-years the duo thrilled crowds throughout the tristate with their eclectic blend of music and tight, melodious harmonies. Sadly, in December of 2013, Brad Neal passed away and an album the duo had begun was never finished.
    This year saw Neal embark on a solo career, performing at local venues such as Morello's and Wooded Hills as well as local wineries. Performing without her father is difficult for Neal and she admits she is more nervous about her music then she was when her father was on stage with her.
    “It's a lot different, it feels like something’s missing,” Neal said. “It's difficult sometimes to go on with performing, but I think it's what Dad would want me to do.”
    Neal is near to completing her first solo CD which she says should be released in December or February.
    Neal will perform on Aug. 30 at the Isle Casino of Keller's Restaurant in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and plans to continue performing at local venues in Southern Illinois. Neal has a Facebook page for her fans to find her on at heathernealmusic and Neal is handled locally by Zoo Crew Entertainment.
    When asked what she likes most about performing Neal said, “Being up there doing it. Making people feel what your singing about.”

        calendar