The musical journey of Fred O’Neil began at a very early age. Even as a toddler, Fred’s mother encouraged him to sing. It was a musical household. Fred’s father, James, loved the Clancy Brothers, while his mother favoured classical orchestral pieces. His older sisters played the popular music of the day and so it is little wonder that Fred developed such an eclectic taste in music. This has been reflected in his repertoire, both live and recorded.
During his student days, Fred’s teachers were often aghast that their classical vocal prodigy could be found at night singing in a smoke-filled jazz club!
Hungarian opera diva Eva Marton and UK soul singer James Morrison rank among Fred’s favourite artists, along with jazz star Nancy Wilson and Irish folk legend Liam Clancy.
The O’Neils were a close knit family. When Fred lost both of his parents within six weeks of each other, he retreated from public performance for a while, concentrating on his work as a voice teacher. However, his recording work continued and there is a back catalogue of songs which it is hoped will be fully released in 2012.
Fred has a love of tape machines and analogue recording. He has a studio full of vintage machines fully restored and serviced and it is in this classic environment that Fred chooses to record.
The summer of 2011 has seen Fred rehearsing with the Celtic-influenced musicians Buachaill, for the show Celtic Fire, which will tour for the rest of this year and 2012.
Fred has also been working on an album entitled ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’ which will include some of the songs performed in Celtic Fire and five original songs he has co-written.