Composer of the Soul

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Musician

My love affair with singing, playing, and composing music began with love: not with seeking it, but arising out of the joy and sorrow of finding it. Out of love my first expressions of music came forth as if they were children asking to be born.

Although I have studied classical guitar under a master who learned under the renowned Spaniard, Andres Segovia, and voice with Benedictine monks holding doctorates in music theory and performance, all of this is pretense and artifice. The fact is I have simply been compelled to sing and to play and to create music as naturally as I learned to walk: by instinct more than by training.

Yesterday

Highlights

By the time I received my first recording contracts with Columbia and Epic Records in New York when a teenager, I hadn’t received one formal lesson in voice. Thus, was born the teen, “white soul” singer named “Shane Martin,” the silly pseudonym my producer and manager gave to me, fully intending to drop it by the time I reached adulthood. Today there is a movement in England of teens and college students who are playing some of my “records” (those strange vinyl discs of yore), thinking I’m a 1960’s black soul singer from Detroit, part of a music style they’re calling “Northern Soul.” In actuality, I’m half-Swedish and half-Italian.

Ultra Rare – Shane Martin (“You’re So Young” – written by Jimmy Webb)

Shane Martin (“I Need You” written by Jimmy Webb)

In this YouTube video you will hear and see people dancing at the Granite City Northern Soul Club in Aberdeen (United Kingdom) to the Jimmy Webb tune I recorded, “I Need You.”

Shane Martin (“I Need You” – written by Jimmy Webb)

My second major recording contract was with Capitol Records, on the west coast, with the American Roots band, Manchild.

Manchild

This is a music blog dedicated to obscure rock from the 60’s and 70’s. We played mostly our own original music and I composed all of the songs on the album, Manchild 1, with the exception of a lovely and poignant folk-hymn written by David Bankston (“One Fine Morning”), an up-tempo American Gospel tune (“Stop, Still, and Listen”, earlier recorded by the Blackwood Brothers & the Dove Brothers) and the American Folk song, “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”

Read More → Manchild 1 (1972)

Song for A Deadman – mp3

Although we had negotiated a second album deal with Capitol, I left the band for seclusion in a Benedictine monastery after a disturbing dream of being a middle-aged rocker playing my old hits in theme parks and an inspiring vision that I answer to the deeper call of my soul.

During my years at the Abbey in Minnesota, I was deeply influenced by a variety of styles and centuries of inspired music, from Gregorian chant and Bach to the 18th-19th century hymnody of Europe and Britain. Before leaving the monastic life I recorded an album of songs I’d written during my tenure there called Time of the Harvest.Songs for Three Voices.

The Anointing – mp3

Read More → about Time of the Harvest by Neale Lundgren

After completing an integrated doctorate in philosophy, psychology and religion I began a long stint as spiritual director of an addictions treatment center. I was so moved by the profound notion that many addicted folk were misdirected, wounded mystics, I composed an album of songs — Breaking Open.

Morning Light – mp3

Each song was inspired by the 12 Step recovery movement and my work with struggling souls, focusing on transformational and universal spiritual themes. Sam Broussard, one of my earlier bandmates in Manchild was the music arranger for this work and also provided highly-skilled acoustic lead guitar accompaniment.

Returning from a pilgrimage to India I was inspired to make accessible to Western ears the pure music of the heart performed by devotees of Meher Baba. I was introduced to Daniel Ladinsky, the renown English transliterator of the 14th century Persian mystic Hafiz, Meher Baba’s favorite poet.

Setting music to Daniel’s poems, I began a collaborative effort with Cypress (Eric Peterson on South American udu and Egyptian tar and Sheila Gamble on background vocals and Egyptian tar). The result was Pouring Light (original musical portraits of spiritual longing by the illuminated masters Hafiz, Rumi, and Mirabai) and Diamond or Stone (incorporating the transformational poetry of Rilke and mystical poetry of William Blake).

Forever Dance – mp3

Great Lions – mp3

Music Available on iTunes

Time of the Harvest
Neale Lundgren (with monks of St. John’s Abbey) 1982

Original compositions exploring Judaeo-Christian mysticism. Neale Lundgren (composer, vocals, acoustic guitar) with monks from St. John’s Abbey (Timothy Backous, OSB & Paul Richards, OSB)

Description:
– contemporary, progressive folk -up-tempo
– inspirational & devotional

Purchase Here →     Time of the Harvest. Songs For Three Voices—St. John's Abbey - Neale Lundgren
Breaking Open
Neale Lundgren, 1992

Original songs inspired by the 12step recovery movement with transformational & universal-spiritual themes. Neale Lundgren (composer, vocals, acoustic guitar) and Sam Broussard (arranger & acoustic lead guitar accompaniment)

Description:
– contemporary, progressive folk
– up-tempo & inspirational

Purchase Here →     Breaking Open - Neale Lundgren
Pouring Light
Neale Lundgren (with Cypress), 2003

Original musical portraits of spiritual longing & transformation by the illuminated masters Hafiz, Rumi & Mirabai performed by Neale Lundgren with Cypress: Neale Lundgren(composer, vocals, acoustic guitar), Eric Peterson (South American udu & Egyptian tar), Sheila Gambill (Egyptian tar & vocals)

Description:
– world fusion
– poly-rhythmic, inspirational, and up-beat.

Purchase Here →     Pouring light - Cypress
Diamond or Stone
Neale Lundgren (with Cypress), 2004

A departure from their debut work, “Pouring Light,” this music of fresh, upbeat originals incorporates the transformational poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, William Blake, and Neale Lundgren. Eric Peterson also adds a rich texture of percussion instruments from around the world and Sheila Gamble offers pleasant background vocals.

Description:
– world fusion
– poly-rhythmic, inspirational, and up-beat.

Purchase Here →     Diamond or Stone - Cypress
Manchild 1
Capital Records, 1972 – Recorded by Manchild

The album was recorded in Nashville under the auspices of Billy Sherill and is a strange but delightful mixture of progressive folk and American Roots rock, vocally similar in style to groups such as America or Loggins & Messina or instrumentally to “Shady Grove” era. Some nice tracks here from “High Tailin’ Blues” and the yodeling vocal of “Love Dance” to the fifty-ish “City Lights” and howling “Song For A Dead Man”.
(review by Prairie Prince Minsky)

The Band:
David Bankston: lead vocals, high harmony, acoustic & electric guitar
Sherman Bernard: piano, bass, accordion and percussion
Sam Broussard: lead guitar, bass, mandolin and middle harmony
Neale Lundgren: lead vocals, acoustic guitar, fife, drums and percussion.

The group was also joined by Kenny Malone (drums-percussion), Frosty Horton (bass on “Landlady,” “Live Right, Die Right” and “One Fine Morning”) and Buddy Spicher (viola-violin- fiddle).

Manchild 1 – Music from Album
Listen or Download Songs
1. Live Right Die Right

→ Download Song

2. Cotton Eyed Joe

→ Download Song

3. HiTailin’ Blues

→ Download Song

4. Love Dance

→ Download Song

5. Dancing People

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6. Song for A Deadman

→ Download Song

7. Goin’ Home

→ Download Song

8. Landlady

→ Download Song

9. City Lights

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10. Daddy

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11. Miss Mississippi

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12. One Fine Morning

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13. One Fine Morning Bonus Track

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Today

I have recently written and recorded a compilation of my own poetry put to song.

Painting “Lovers in Moonlight” by Marc Chagall

On Lovestreet – mp3

Tomorrow

In collaboration with Deborah Quibell, I intend to put musical settings to mystical love poems I’m presently co-writing with her.