Fred Neil was born in Ohio in 1936, and from an early age benefited from a life of music, travelling across the US with his father (who worked as a representative of a jukebox company). In the late 50s Neil moved to New York and found work as a songwriter at the famous Brill Building (one of his best-known songs from this time was "Candy Man", a 1961 hit for Roy Orbison). He also released a few obscure singles of his own. In the early 60s he became part of the New York folk scene, and performed as a duo with Vince Martin (they released an album together, 1964's Tear Down The Walls).
His first solo album came out in 1965. This was a time when folk singers were beginning to move away from traditional material and start focusing on original songs (a move led by Bob Dylan), and retrospectively it can be said that the folk singer was maturing into the singer-songwriter. Bleecker & MacDougal can be considered part of the tail-end of the folk revival, as the folk-rock phenomenon prepared to take off. Stylistically it's all folk-blues, with his rich baritone voice backed by guitar and harmonica (the latter played by John Sebastian). A closer look at the material reveals it all to be original (with the exception of his adaptation of the folk standard "The Water Is Wide").
|> Fred Neil (1966)
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