" From the Beginning " 1/1/2005

" From the Beginning"  released  January 2005  pulled from Michaels roots in the Folk Rock  to Country  .............








Here's a sample of what others are saying about Michael ONeill's From the Beginning:

  • "He’s toured with U2 and Stevie Ray Vaughn, written with Bob Weir and Steve Cropper … he’s lived the dream and survived the nightmare. His once brown hair has grayed and his new release, “From The Beginning,” is a testament to fresh starts and a wisdom that comes with age." Mark Wehner, Americana Tonight
  • “. . . sounds great. It helps to have some very cool songs/melodies, and he does. Good stuff.” Buzz McClain
  • "I have a high respect for artists like him who give the listeners the feeling that the artist's goal is the search of quality. Each song is so good and I love his voice!  His music is true."  Mike Penard, American Roots Music, ISA Radio, FRANCE
  • "O'Neill brings depths to his music that few can match. Here By Me, Goodnight My Sweet and Indigo demonstrate the unstoppable force of simple expression."  Michael Mee, Americana UK
  • “Michael ONeill has a trademark Texas charm to his vocals . . ."  Matt Merta, Twangcast
  • “ONeill’s “From the Beginning” album showcases his skill at writing rootsy songs best classified as Americana.”  Rick Nelson, Tacoma News Tribune
  • “. . . the song (Run To Make It) is solid.” Robert K. Oermann, columnist for Music Row magazine



April 18, 2005, Mike Penard "American Roots Music" ISA Radio, FRANCE

I have a high respect for artists like him who give the listeners the feeling that the artist's goal is the search of quality. Each song is so good and I love his voice! His name now means a lot for me and probably for many, many music lovers. It is the kind of music you are proud to have in your collection. His music is true. I would like to tell you more and in a better English but I guess you understand the general feeling. I have selected tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to be on the air from May 1st. Once again, thanks again for the good music.

March 2005, Don Grant (Freight Train Boogie)

From the biography posted on his website, it appears that Michael O’Neill has wrestled with more than his fair share of demons, but, as the old aphorism goes, if it ain’t killed you, then it’s made you stronger. O’Neill has that weathered and time-worn look that harsh experience imparts, and the same is true of his music. The opening cut, “Tell Her”, has an aura of wistful regret over lives in divergence, while the next, “Run To Make It”, celebrates the grit and determination that gets one through the hard times. There’s some good and understated, (in that it doesn’t overwhelm the songs), lead guitar by Gary Ballard throughout the disc, and I think that therein lies the strength offrom the beginning: there’s not a lot of flash and glitz here, those days “weren’t that pretty at all”, and are now safely in the past for this Cascadian. What you’ve got here is a collection of solid tunes from a survivor who has made his peace with his demons. They provided the inspiration for much of his music, but they no longer have the power to drive him. Lucky guy, lucky us: we get to listen to the denouement.


Michael O'Neill “From The Beginning”(Sleeping Trout Music 2005)  Review by Michael Mee 

There's a veneer of normality spread over Michael O'Neill's From The Beginning. The opening track, Tell Her is the kind of pleasant, lonesome country song that you'd find on any one of a dozen top quality country rock albums, it's an honest, rugged, square-jawed love song. That veneer is reinforced by the gentle melodies and homely rhythms that run through From The Beginning. The sea change begins with Punta Mita which is full of sunny rhythms but also has a definite darker undercurrent. However at this early stage the suspicion is that this will be long on appeal but not particularly challenging. But that really is just a facade because a peek behind the curtains reveals that From The Beginning has been wrenched from bitter experience. Life certainly hasn't broken O'Neill's spirit but it's given it a dent or two. The benefit for the listener is that all the best art is born out of suffering. Even at an early age O'Neill appeared to be destined for great things. At 24 he opened for a then unknown U2. He was then signed by legendary manager Don Arden and spent a decade learning and honing his craft on the road with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and writing with Bob Weir, Steve Cropper and Jason Scheff, Then, not unlike a character you'd find in one of his songs, the upward curve took a downturn. A string of brawls and lawsuits, lightened by the odd hit, seemed destined to deny him his rightful place at the top table. But like a true country musician adversity has been harnessed and used to good effect, giving From The Beginning a razor-sharp edge. Having lived the life, O'Neill brings depths to his music that few can match. Here By Me, Goodnight My Sweet and Indigo demonstrate the unstoppable force of simple expression, no fuss, no frills, just straight from the heart of Michael O'Neill. His brand of country music comes not only with the cracks showing, they are an integral part of its appeal. It's all about what's going on inside the man himself. Without resorting to outward signs of rage, O'Neill sits alongside the very best of the flawed, hard core troubadours. While some use music as an expression of anger O'Neill, having been through the mill, doesn't allow himself to wallow. He has come out the other side a wiser man and a complete musician.



KindaMuzik - The Netherlands -

Maurice Dielemans

CD, Sleeping Trout

From the Beginning van Michael ONeil is zo'n plaat waarvan we er al zo'n paar honderd hebben zien langskomen. U kent het wel: plaatje van uitgestrekt landschap op de hoes, liedjes over de liefde en een Amerikaanse cowboyhoed die met banjo's en andere snaarinstrumenten in de weer is. Hij dankt ook nog eens God en zijn hele familie in het uitklapbare doosje. Het moet maar. Neemt natuurlijk niet weg dat het tien tracks tellende schijfje weer eens volstaat met vriendelijke, soms best vrolijke en meestal gerijpte countryrock, hevig geïnspireerd door vaderfiguren als Steve Earle en Rodney Crowell. Onder de beste songs vind je onder andere de single 'Run to Make It' en het exotische 'Punta Mita'. Dit zal vast en zeker niet de laatste keer zijn dat we iets van Michael ONeill horen. Volgende keer heeft hij gewoon weer een andere naam.

tekst: Maurice Dielemans 

Bezoek Michael ONeill's website

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Twangcast review by Matt Metera