I didn't meet Eric Neal until recently. Not until he and the other Best Instrumentalist nominees for this year's DOMAs got together to offer up their takes on this year's Best Song nominees.
But I'd seen him around, that's for sure. Hell, it's tough not to; the guy's in so many bands around town, you're bound to see him performing on the region's stages with some regularity. And you can tell that music, truly, as clichéd as it sounds, is his life. Hell, he even teaches guitar and bass when he's not performing on stage.
On top of it all, he's about as nice a guy as there is.
And while that's all fine and good--great, even--this post doesn't exist to sing his praises. Rather it exists to point out what should be a pretty cool event at Club Dada tonight. See, today is Neal's birthday. And it's also the first night of his month-long Wednesday night residency at Dada.
To celebrate and help combine the two events, Neal's put together something pretty special: A night in which he's invited nearly every one of the bands he performs in to come share the stage with him at Dada.
The resulting lineup is a pretty impressive collection: Solly, Fishing for Comets, Escort Service, Doug Burr, The Slack, Billy Goat & The Neal Family Band, Salim Nourallah & The Noise and a special performance with just Neal and his good buddy (and fellow Best Instrumentalist nominee) Chris Holt.
The coolest thing about the night, though, is that Neal, no matter how distracted he'll be with trying to celebrate his birthday, will be performing with every single one of those bands. Or, at least, he says he'll try to.
Good for him. And you, too, actually. 'Cause, really, with this lineup, you're the one who'll be getting the gift tonight. --Pete Freedman