Neil Minet & the Night Flyers

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Nominated for Best Blues Album by the 2019 SAMMY Awards

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“Neil Minet is a fine, young guitarist and singer who carries on the tradition of strong blues players in our region. His energy, enthusiasm, humility and excellence bring new life to our scene and push us old bucks to do our best work in the process. He's a really nice, young dude who will do our region proud wherever he ends up making music, and hopefully we get to enjoy at least some of that around here for a good long while.”

- Colin Aberdeen,
West Onondaga County Journal
(July 15, 2016)

Album Review
Coming Soon!

Summer Series
with Local
Blues Guitarist
Minet
June 18, 2016

Bio

Beginning in 2013, Neil Minet & the Night Flyers (previously Neil Minet and Electric Mud) formed as Minet’s first self-lead blues project. Hailing from the vibrant musical city of Syracuse, NY, Minet was brought up in a culture steeped in the blues. At a young age he was exposed to numerous nationally touring acts as well as a multitude of local artists that made Syracuse their home. One of his earliest memories is even being propped up on the pillars of Clinton Square by his parents to listen to Bo Diddley at the New York State Blues Fest when he was just seven years old. Several other blues giants transformative for Minet in his early years include Ronnie Earl, Sean Costello, Robben Ford, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton, as well as local artists such as The Kingsnakes, Los Blancos, Built for Comfort, Phil Petroff, and Jose Alvarez.

Later on, other artists that began to influence his style included the likes of Peter Green, Junior Kimbrough, Magic Slim, and Al Green, as well as more modern players such as John Németh, The Black Keys, Henrik Freischlader, Tino Gonzalez, and John Mayer. All together, these numerous influences have helped Minet to both develop a dynamic and versatile style of playing. In addition, this repertoire has allowed him to lead his group to create an original and contemporary sound while still remaining true to the roots of the genre.

Soon after the group’s inception, bassist Shane Patterson joined the group and remains an integral part of the band to this day. Having both strong funk influences along with classical and jazz training, Patterson’s style blends well with Minet’s playing and helps to give the group its distinct sound. Patterson’s knowledge of live sound and recording also helped to take the group’s live shows to a professional level as well as capture the band’s sound in the studio on tunes such as Ronnie Earl’s "Eddie’s Gospel Groove," their first studio recording in 2015.

In 2016 Minet won the 1st place KJ James Scholarship from the New York State Blues Fest and was invited to perform both on the festival main stage and at several of the festival’s after party shows. Most notably this included sitting in with the Carolyn Kelly Blues Band, with whom Minet remains great friends and a frequent substitute. The following year the Blues Fest asked Minet to return to the main stage with his band for their 25th anniversary festival, making them some of the youngest performers ever in its history.

The following year, Minet and Patterson crossed paths with two of Syracuse’s most acclaimed players, Byron Cage and Morris Tarbell. Though Tarbell was one of Minet’s early local guitar influences as part of Built for Comfort, and Cage, a Grammy nominated, internationally touring drummer, the thought of having the two become the primary calls for the road did not become possible until both willingly accepted to fill in as last minute substitutes and the four found they had a great “hang” amongst themselves. From then on Minet, Patterson, Tarbell, and Cage have comprised the band’s primary form.

Later on that summer, now having a rock solid backing band, the thought of recording an album continued to creep in on Minet. The song selection was easy as Minet had several standards that he sought to capture his take on and had honed playing live, but the album’s direction was still lacking. However after one distinct conversation with a friend asking him how he learned to play, Minet realized that although he had “taught himself” (as he would’ve previously responded), this was anything but the truth. If it weren’t for the incredible music scene in Syracuse and the numerous musicians that nurtured and encouraged his growth, he would’ve likely never pursued the guitar to the extent that he did. This realization, along with the provision of the name ‘Shades of Blue’ from his father, solidified the album’s direction.

‘Shades of Blue’ would be both Minet’s debut album as well as his opportunity to thank his home town for all that it had done for him. To do so, several of the Syracuse area musicians that were particularly influential for him were featured on various tracks. Such include the crying tone of guitarist Phil Petroff on Peter Green’s “I Loved Another Woman,” the “big fat tone” of harp player Tom Townsley on John Németh’s “Country Boy,” and the soaring Latin style of Grammy winning guitarist Jose Alvarez on the band’s original “Làgrimas de la luna.” In addition, the stripped down trio of Minet, Patterson, and Cage are also showcased on T-Bone Walker’s “T-Bone Boogie,” Magic Slim’s “Key to Your Door,” Henrik Freischlader’s “Keep Playin.’” All together the album displays a full extent of the band’s musical style and shows that, though young, Minet and Patterson can hang with the best of them.

Following a packed house release show in early January, Minet’s live interview on WVBR’s Crossroads program, and a nomination for Best Blues Album from the 2019 Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMY's), the band is optimistic about their future. Nevertheless they are well aware that none of this would be possible without the support of their fans and the direction of their mentors, both of which they are incredibly grateful for.

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Contact

Syracuse, NY
Neil Minet
Phone: (315) 481-2024
Email: neilminet@gmail.com

New York, NY
Kelly Drake
Phone: (908) 875-7965
Email: kelly@kmdartists.com