Is Ruben Neeson Reviving A New Wave Of Country Blues Rock In Sydney’s Live Music Scene?

Ruben Neeson’s new single ‘Fill Your Glass’ sings a boozy romantic tale of a torn down relationship shredded in roots rock. 

Rubeen Neeson photo credit: Life Without Andy

When I never thought I could get into the roots rock genre Ruben Neeson has proven me wrong.

If you have been a fan of his or his recently departed band Hunch, Neeson has not been shy in the Sydney live music scene. Neeson’s solo project which kicked off in 2018 has seen him performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the Secret Sounds Festival.

After having released singles such as ‘Moonlight Spell’ and ‘Cut The Branch’ in 2019, I caught a glimpse of these songs for the first time with his backing band in Newtown’s The Vanguard back in December.

If you also caught him and his band last Friday at Waywards Live at Newtown’s Bank Hotel, Neeson boiled down original ballads with poetic ease. There was an immensely filled youngish audience witnessing an alternative country blues rock gig which was a surprise. But within that crowd of Stetson cowboy hats and indie Wrangler fashion there was a purity there in Neeson’s lyrical talent connecting with the young crowd.

Neeson’s new musical direction of showcasing country styled guitar licks paired with a modern storytelling of relationships gone wrong and the individual battling ill tainted addictions shows a newfound or reignited trend in the genre of country and blues.

The gig marked off the single launch of ‘Fill Your Glass’ and a Sydney farewell for Neeson who will be heading to New York for the next six months to record a full length EP.



The gig at Waywards  was a free event but there was an opportunity to donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service and WIRES (The Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation) which demonstrated how many participating  younger generations of well known and underground Australian musicians have been instrumental into contributing aid for those affected by the recent bush fire crisis.

Don’t underestimate this young muso, allow him to showcase some old fashion country blues which laments his woes. In his own way, Neeson is an old soul,  channeling a vigour of Tom Waits and there lies a definite gravitas of ominous feels and swagger bottled up in ‘Fill Your Glass’.

On giving an account on what the song is all about Neeson said to Pilerats Magazine:

It’s a pop song about two people who love boozing every day as much as they love each other. They both work in bars, have a lot of free time and very little to worry about. After a while things get sloppy, all they seem to do is drink and fight – but hey, after a fight, what better way is there to chill out than a nice cold drink? Rinse and repeat,” Neeson told Pilerat Magazine.

For his plans in 2020, Ruben Neeson continues to explore his new direction in alt-country roots in the land where it was born and fans or newcomers will look forward to the EP’s release later this year.

Have a listen to ‘Fill Your Glass’ below!

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