One morning a few summers ago, well, actually quite a few summers ago now, I found myself at that place characterized by the great New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra: 'When you come to the fork in the road, take it.'
I did and I took it.
In a roundabout way it led me back to my country roots and to my music that I had left behind many years before paving the way for me to have the opportunity to pursue my life-long dream.
Born in Brantford Ontario, my country music roots were nurtured growing up on the family farm north of Mount Vernon Ontario where I began singing as a young boy in the choir in the small rural church I attended with my family.
I began writing songs and playing guitar as a teenager going to high school during the legendary 1950's Country Rockabilly era and the dawning of Rock and Roll.
Living now in Paris Ontario within a stone's throw of where I grew up on the family farm, I found it the perfect place to embark on my life-long dream to record original material I had written over the years and to begin writing my long-postponed novel.
In the Thank You notes on my "No Looking Back" CD album I noted that in a way my music has allowed me to become the true messenger of my spirit and soul in much the same way as my song "There's Just The One And Only You" written in 1959 was destined to become the love theme woven through the pages of my novel.
I 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".
A nominee at the 2012 Hamilton Music Awards for Alt/Country Recording of the Year for his album "What Difference Will It Make" released in July 2012 and in the 2008 Awards for New Country Recording of the Year for his debut album "No Looking Back" released in August 2007 I was also the recipient of the IAIA (International Academy of Independent Artists) Golden Kayak award for Best Country Song 2007 - "The Cowboy Song".
I am accompanied in the recording studio on both of my albums and my Christmas song by some well traveled and much lauded musicians including my producer – Juno nominee and international recording artist Ray Lyell.
Bobby Lawson, Rockabilly Hall of Fame member, says this about my 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, writes of my 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.”
I purposely spell my name Neil w Young with my middle initial "w" always appearing in the lower case with no period following it - a step purposely taken and intended to create a "branding" style for my name as well as wanting to be seen standing apart in the world of music from my more accomplished countryman three years my junior who shares the same first and last name as me and who I greatly respects.
I am a Western Ontario Secondary School Honor Athlete and graduate of Burford District High School and Waterloo Lutheran University now known as Wilfred Laurier University.
Prior to embarking on my late in life second career as a singer / songwriter, musician and author I enjoyed a successful 35-year entrepreneurial business career.
My two CD albums and Christmas mp3 single are available at CDBaby.com and iTunes.