The new partnership stems from an instant connection with the lyrics of Neeson’s new song Broken Wing. In 2014, his son Dabhóg was born three months prematurely and with Down’s Syndrome. The impact of that life changing experience had such a lasting and profound effect that Neeson sought solace in penning an autobiographical and emotional account of his inner thoughts and what it’s like to bring up a child with disability.
Commenting on the track, he says “I’ve never written a song like Broken Wing before. Even though I’ve heard it hundreds of times now, I still get emotional every time I sing it back because of just how relevant the lyric is to my life and my family’s life. It’s my hope that maybe when people hear this song they can relate to the message. I can’t speak highly enough of the Mencap Children’s Centre who have provided invaluable support and advice to us and played a major role in my son’s development”
Cormac’s son Dabhóg attended the Mencap Children’s Centre in Belfast when he was two years old. The Centre is a unique specialist learning environment for children with a learning disability, autism and developmental delay, which is run in partnership with the Belfast Health Trust. The charity also provides programmes and family support services to help parents and carers of young children with a learning disability.
Margaret Kelly, Director of Mencap NI and the team at the Children’s Centre were immediately taken with the power of the song, Margaret said: “We are very excited to be working with Cormac Neeson on this new project, the very emotional song ‘Broken Wing’, inspired by his son Dabhóg who attended the Mencap Children’s Centre last year. The song and Cormac’s family story will help raise awareness of learning disability and Mencap’s early intervention work to give all children the best start in life. The lyrics in this song are very special and will connect with so many parents, we are delighted to be involved.”
Co-written by Neeson and Tennessee legend Blue Miller, the track was recorded in Nashville and mixed in Belfast. It features an emotional arrangement that combines the best of both those rich and diverse cultures, including beautifully crafted Nashville pedal steel by John Heinrich (who has performed with artists such as Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and Tammy Wynette) to a magical blend of choral backing vocals from some of the finest Northern Irish singers, hand-picked by Neeson. The production and sound of the finished recording conveys the vulnerability that such a delicate subject matter demands.
In support of the single, Neeson has also made a short mini documentary about the making of Broken Wing in which he himself gets the extra chromosome 21 that forms the genetic ID of Downs Syndrome, tattooed on his shoulder. The documentary, lyric video and main music video for Broken Wing will be released in the lead up to World Down’s Syndrome day, March 21st 2019.
In the reprised words of the chorus, Neeson captures his feelings with the very powerful lament “Perfectly beautiful, Beautifully perfect….I wouldn’t change a thing”.
Crow Black Chicken
This power trio combine elements of folk and hard rock with the blues rock of bands like Gov’t mule, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. The band was formed in 2009 in Cork city when lead singer Christy O’Hanlon met the former rhythm section of Clonmel Punk Rock outfit Aural Ammunition, Stephen McGrath ( Bass ) and Gev Barrett ( Drums ). The band immediately jelled and went on to perform on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2011. The band released their first raw blues rock and roll album in 2012 which was produced by Producer Philip Magee ( Kodaline, Aslan, The Blizzards ). The bands second album Rumble Shake was released in 2014 and debuted at number 12 in the Irish album charts. Recorded in Westland Studios Dublin, this album was a more roots and blues affair than the first record, heavily influenced by the bands work with Texan Americana singer Ray Wylie Hubbard and legendary Austin Producer the late George Reiff. In 2015 the band went on to release their first live album entitled Deep South which was voted top 5 live albums of 2015 by Classic Rock Blues. In 2016 Crow Black Chicken opened for ZZ Top at the Marquee in Cork which brought them face to face with the Texan compatriots whom they often drew so many comparisons to. Always determined to create a sound all of their own the band continues to tour all over Europe and have since released a 4th studio album Pariah Brothers in 2017. The bands is currently working on a 5th studio album and the release of another Live CD in 2018.
“These guys do the nasty blues like the devil hisself was hurting and rock like they’ll skate come judgement day” Ray Wylie Hubbard
“CBC could save rock and roll” Alvin Youngblood Hart
“With their debut album Electric Soup the band shows steely intention to throw away comparisons and make their own mark.” Classic Rock Blues Magazine
“Loving the album, Rumble Shake is stunning”. Classic Rock Blues Magazine
“It is not often these days for a band to lay down a complete track as a track but that’s exactly the approach taken by Crow Black Chicken. This is a very honest album with a lot of feel and solid playing throughout and is a strong promise of things to come.” Guitar Techniques.
“Electric Soup is not only a promising debut, it’s a savage beast of a record: grimy, lean, mean, and soulful.” Allmusic.com