Information and downloads for press and festivals/venues:
High res promo Photos:
Where possible please credit photos to Allan MacDonald
Please note: our duo is always named ‘Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal’ (and in this order) in any publicity
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“Eilidh Steel & Mark Neal are leading lights of the folk/roots movement. Their charm on stage is as effortless and accomplished as their musicianship” – Masham Town Hall
”Traditional and contemporary Celtic music genuinely doesn’t get any better than the work of Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal. Simply put, they are players of astonishing quality, the length of their combined and separate CVs alone would be enough to impress the most jaded of critics. This will be one of the greatest gigs
of the entire year” – Leith Folk Club
“Both mature and deeply rooted in tradition” …”She [Eilidh] beautifully demonstrates her command of the fiddle and ability to ooze a tone so often associated with the sophistication of the North East style of playing or classical music” – Karen Steven, Box and Fiddle Magazine
“Eilidh is one of the most respected fiddlers in the business” – Helensburgh Advertiser
Reviews of ‘Imprints’ album:
“When not performing or teaching, Eilidh Steel is Artistic Director of the Scots Fiddle Festival, so the listener has every right to expect some pretty impressive playing. This album doesn’t disappoint, whether its on the passionate tunes or as a complement to Mark Neal’s rich vocal delivery. Neal himself, as well as being a guitarist and singer, runs the recording studio at which the album was made so, naturally, the sound is quite immaculate.
For my money, it’s on the tunes that the duo really takes off. As well as Steel’s compositions – already being widely covered by other musicians in Scotland and beyond – there are tunes by John McCusker, Aidan O’Rourke and others, with Karen Steven’s slow air, ‘The Breck’, being a poignant highlight. While the fiddle may grab the limelight, he empathy between the two players, forged through tours throughout Europe, is a thing of beauty in itself, with Neal’s guitar both Supporting and augmenting the melodies.
Neal is an undoubtedly fine singer, and on his songs Steel slots very neatly into the supporting role he occupies on the tunes. The songs themselves are well crafted, too, but its the tunes that I find self humming the next day, particularly the valedictory ‘Glasgow Willie’s Welcome’ set which is guaranteed to make your head spin.”
– review of ‘Imprints’ by Oz Hardwick, R2 Rock ‘n’ Reel magazine
“What a wonderful Celtic duo! Eilidh Steel & Mark Neal (love the rhyming by the way) tick all the key boxes for a good Celtic sound. Mysterious guitar and strong, dominating fiddle with enough tempo to get you swaying and foot tapping but without making you fear for your life from a super aggressive ceilidh (Apart from ‘Tiree Girls’, that tune is fit for a ceilidh bludgeoning). You can certainly feel the strong Scottish roots in their music. There are a wide range of varying instrumental tracks to show off their talents with their instruments and also quality vocal songs thrown in for those who love the sound of Celtic songs on their ear drums.
Mark certainly uses his voice to his advantage, whether it is a slow Celtic song like ‘Gloomy Winter’s Noo Awa’ or a faster paced English sung ‘So Blue’, you certainly get to appreciate what a range his voice can achieve. In regards to the instrumental tunes there is also a nice mix thrown in. Aforementioned foot tapping tunes , such as (Helen’s Reel) ,to slow, gripping songs (Cruachan Bheann) that sooth you and give you goose bumps. I am always a fan of artists who show off different styles in their music and not just giving you twelve tracks of the same thing. Variety is certainly a skill that this pair has down.
My favourite of this album, which everyone on the planet should hear at least once, is ‘The King’s Shilling’, a perfect sum up of vocals and instruments that really displays the harmony of the duo.”
- Paul Rawcliffe, review of ‘Imprints’ in Fatea Magazine
”This debut album from fiddle player Eilidh Steel and guitarist/singer Mark Neal is a treat for traditional music fans. The album showcases the strong tune and song writing of both artists, sitting these new tunes and songs seamlessly alongside traditional Scottish repertoire. Eilidh Steel & Mark Neal clearly show their grounding in Scottish musical traditions, always staying innovative and exciting” – Music News Scotland”Eilidh is a clear, crisp fiddler with a fluid style and a beautiful tone. The album starts with Eilidh’s own march, Pipe Major Bobby Coghill of Wick, which showcases her skills perfectly. An album highlight for me is Cruachan Bheann, the air of an old Gaelic song, where the melody line is shared between the guitar and fiddle and its majestic simplicity makes it stand out. Mark’s sensitive fingerpicking here, along with the tone he gets from his guitar, is particularly worthy of a mention” – Michael White, Living Tradition Magazine
Eilidh Steel & Mark Neal’s album ‘Imprints’ – BBC Radio nan Gàidheal album of the week, January 2015