A long-time favorite of mine to improvise over, recorded live at the legendary (but questionably named) downtown Los Angeles venue, The Smell. Appropriately, the quality of this recording is not up to snuff.

Long Island Pulse Singer-Songwriter Series
At The Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington NY, March 2011
By Alan Semerdjian, Long Island Pulse Magazine, April 2011

“When I asked Neil Cavanagh to play the series and paired him up with John [Flor-Sisante], I figured that the audience would witness a night of “super looping” because Neil is incredibly adept at the loop himself. His compositions with the loop are often percussive and almost mathematical in this totally warm and spacey way. Neil is a stellar guitar player (think Jeff Buckley live at Siné – improvisational and constantly seeking the sublime), and his looping really highlights his dynamic playing. But he chose to go without the loop this evening, and what happened was really magical in its own right. Neil Cavanagh returned to earth in songwriter form. He channeled a little Zimmerman and got, dare I say it, a little folkie. He proved again that he is one of the finest musicians out there today. Totally present. Totally idiosyncratic. Totally soulful. The stuff, at least in this curator’s mind, that greatness is made of.”

Read the full article on www.lipulse.com.

Great Songwriters From Long Island You Probably Have Never Heard Of
By Alan Semerdjian, Long Island Pulse Magazine, March 2008 (Excerpt)

Thirteen Seven Ways of Looking at Neil Cavanagh
I. A man and a guitar are one.
A man and a guitar and Neil Cavanagh are one.

II. I’m not sure which I like more,
The beauty of what is
Or what might be -
Neil Cavanagh’s song or
Neil Cavanagh playing a song.

III. Someone’s playing Jeff Buckley.
No, it’s Neil Cavanagh.
No, it’s the score to a really cool movie.

IV. He once mistook the quiet of the room
After a conversation as an improvisation
By Neil Cavanagh.

V. People are getting together at the Pisces Café.
Neil Cavanagh must be coming to town.

VI. O, commuters of Babylon
Why do you imagine retirement
When Neil Cavanagh is an earphone away?

VII. Neil Cavanagh hit the note.
He was a big part of everybody
Hitting a note everywhere.

This piece is inspired by Wallace Stevens’ ubiquitous poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.”