W.D. Neely



This website is a repository of the songs I’ve written over the years. They are an unruly bunch, given to absent-mindedly wandering off on their own — so I’ve decided to round them up and herd them together in one place where we can keep an eye (and ear) on them.

On the Songs page you can stream and listen to any tune in its entirety. And many of the tunes are downloadable if you choose to make a purchase.

If you’d like to be forewarned about updates and additions to the site, please leave your email address in the comments section and I’ll see that you are notified. I promise not to share your address or contact you needlessly.

And as always, thanks for listening.

About the Songs

I’ve always been interested in writing for voices other than my own. For one thing, I didn’t want my musical choices to be limited to one voice and one guitar — I find the model of “singer-songwriter” to be too confining.

Over the years I have been very fortunate to work and play with a host of talented musicians, including a small group of lifelong accomplices and dear friends who have been my musical partners-in-crime for decades. Their voices and musicianship are showcased here; I am most grateful for everything they’ve taught me and the steady stream of inspiration that they provide.

About W.D. Neely

I grew up in western Pennsylvania, and came of musical age around the time the first wave of the British Invasion crested the Alleghenies. Inspired by what I was hearing, I taught myself to play guitar and began writing songs shortly thereafter. Mistaking my friends’ patient forbearance for approval, I cheerfully persevered till I eventually got the hang of it.

In 1975 I migrated to New York City where I found work with a record label and pursued a number of musical projects. Together with Liz Emmert, Bill Bly, and Deborah Griffin Bly I co-founded the acoustic music group Left Field. The band became known for its mix of original tunes and obscure cover songs spanning a bewildering array of topics — delivered with offbeat vocal arrangements, tight harmonies and a healthy disregard for stylistic consistency. We performed often at the SpeakEasy in NYC’s Greenwich Village, a club that was the locus for the folk revival that briefly flourished in the 1980s.

Left Field produced two recordings: a live album, Left Field: Still A-Live! (1992), and Extra Innings (1998), a studio recording of original songs. We also placed several tracks on the Fast Folk Musical Magazine, a monthly album of original songs produced by The Musicians’ Co-op (a/k/a the CooP) in Greenwich Village.

These days I continue to write and produce new music for live performance and the studio. Recent releases include the album Ballads, Bromides and Broadsides: Songs by W.D. Neely with Liz Emmert and Bill Bly. Our long-time musical collaborator Mark Dann recorded, mixed and mastered fourteen original tracks at his studios in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY.

In 2021 Liz and I relocated to the west of Ireland. We’re currently working on a new collection of tunes with our colleagues Bill Bly and Doug Miles by way of remote recording sessions with Mark Dann in Woodstock, NY. The project, tentatively titled “Pith and Vinegar”, is still in progress but may eventually see the light of day in coming months. Watch this site for new songs as they are completed.