Vocalist, Guitar, Percussion
Music has always been a major part of Neil Byrne’s life. The son of a professional musician, Neil by the age of 5 was instinctively drumming on anything in front of him. He began learning the guitar when he was 7, and also began playing piano from an early age. This skill was to become a positive writing tool for him in the future. By the time he turned 11 Neil, had started a band, performed regularly at school concerts, and won an All-Ireland Music and Arts competition beating out over 33,000 participants. Neil’s band also appeared on Irelands national television station RTE and played numerous open-air summer festivals around Ireland.
At 15 Neil began playing with his father’s band, and the following year Neil’s father retired from the music scene and handed the reigns over to Neil. He was fortunate to be playing (and studying) alongside one of Ireland's most renowned jazz bass players, Frank Hess, and Frank began teaching him about musical arrangements. At the same time Neil was playing base guitar and lead vocals of a retro funk band, performing a lot of American classic 70’s music, from artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder and George Benson. He performed at O2 in the Park Festival in Dublin to an audience of 100,000 people. He has had his songs play listed on Irish radio in the Top 10 in the Irish Charts.
A mutual friend invited Neil to play at a function for one of Ireland’s most renowned songwriters and producers, Phil Coulter. He began working with Phil and was honored when asked to play bass guitar in his backing band. From here Neil was picked to record backing vocals for the Celtic Thunder debut DVD, and subsequently play lead guitar in the live show. Since then he has toured America and Canada extensively with Celtic Thunder and has now stepped forward to join Keith, George, Damian, Emmet and Daniel as a lead vocalist. In Voyage Neil performs the contemporary Irish hit Past The Point of Rescue, and joins with Ryan and Emmet in the beautiful a cappella number Lagan Love, while joining the ensemble for the Maid of Culmore, Song for the Mira and Dulaman.