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The Kicker

by Christian McNeill

Golden 03:53
The Kicker 06:35
Devil's Luck 04:06
Be Somebody 03:41
The Optimist 03:59
Dark Happy 04:43


The Kicker, the second of the two Hybrasil albums, came out twenty years ago in March, 2002. Long out of print, it is available online for the very first time, right here on Bandcamp.

So much had changed since the release of "Friendly Destroyer" in the spring of 1999. The Boston music scene had been devastated by the loss of Mark Sandman of Morphine that summer. By the time we started recording "The Kicker" in the Autumn of 2000, I had been touring and playing regularly with Orchestra Morphine. That experience forever changed me, both personally and musically. My songwriting was evolving because I was beginning to hear music in a different way, and as a result I was singing better.

All the recording sessions for this album felt magical. Tracks 1, 2, 4, and 10 were recorded in Seattle at the legendary Jon & Stu's in November, 2000. Produced by my very good friend, Steve Fisk, and engineered by Bruce MacFarlane. We recorded the remainder in Somerville, MA with Chris Rival. Additional recording was done at Q Division and Fort Apache. Matthew Ellard was at the helm for those sessions and eventually mixed the entire album at Fort Apache in Cambridge, MA.

We worked so hard on this collection of songs over the year or so it took to make the album. Jeff Berlin, Jeremy Dryden and I, were joined by Duke Levine on guitar, and Morphine's Dana Colley on saxophones. My Orchestra Morphine bandmate, Tom Halter, played trumpet on the title track, which is one of my personal favourites. That song took me a year to finish writing, having first come up with the melody on Mark Sandman's grand piano at his home studio, Hi-N-Dry.

We hope you enjoy this collection of songs by a Boston band that had found its sound. Personally, it is one of my most complete albums, and I'm so happy to finally share it with you, right here.




released December 2, 2022

Words and Music by Christian McNeill © 2002 BMI
Except Track 2 "Golden" - Words by Christian McNeill / Music by Christian McNeill and Jeremy Dryden. And Track 6 "Be Somebody" - Music by McNeill, Dryden and Berlin.

Tracks 1, 2, 4 and 10 - Produced by Steve Fisk & Engineered by Bruce MacFarlane.

Tracks 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 - Produced by Christian McNeill & Engineered by Chris Rival.

Mixed by Matthew Ellard at Fort Apache, Cambridge, MA.

Mastered by Colin Decker at M Works, Cambridge, MA.

CA McNeill: Vocals, Guitars, Hammond B3
Jeremy Dryden: Bass Guitar
Jeff Berlin: Drums and Percussion
Dana Colley: Saxophones on tracks 4, 6, 7, 8
Steve Fisk: Hammond B3 on tracks 4, 10 / Mellotron on track 1
Tom Halter: Trumpet on track 3
Duke Levine: Electric Guitar on tracks 3, 5, 9 / Guit-organ on track 8
Jimmy Ryan: Hungover Mandolin Space Echo on track 3


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Christian McNeill Boston, Massachusetts

Christian McNeill is an underground legend whose music demands to be experienced. Longtime Boston journalist, Nate Dow, describes him best, "..his blend of styles and influences is intoxicating, turning elements of soul, gospel and R&B into a cocktail that rocks. McNeill’s stage presence is natural, unaffected and powerfully evocative, almost overwhelming. It is part of the entertainment package." ... more

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