Country music win for Neil
I love country rock through to strong ballads .’’
NEIL Mackenzie-Hall was always a fan of country music . . . but he never intended to get up on stage and sing.
After being elbowed into it by his country music peers, Neil’s first time in the limelight crooning From a Jack to a King by Ned Miller was “pretty terrible,” he says.
“I definitely wasn’t good. But the others [at the Helensville country music club] gave me pointers. I just had to work hard at it.”
Now he’s happy to take to the stage every now and then, and sometimes he wins country music competitions l.
Neil, now living in Omanawa, was runner-up at lastweekend’s 39th New Zealand Country Music Association annual Entertainer of the Year Awards, his fourth time as runner-up and he has performed at the event nine times. He qualified for the finals by winning the Waikato Country Music Awards senior division earlier this year, which he’s won three times.
He has also represented at Trans-Tasmin Entertainer of the Year Award eight times. Neil is a member of the Coastal Country Music Club.
Country music runs in the family. Neil is a distant relative of Patsy Riggir and Rusty Greaves. Niece and nephew Hannah and Daniel Cosgrove have both previously won Entertainer of the Year title.
Neil was up against four others and sang Little Bit of Life by Craig Morgan and I’m Already There by Lonestar.
“I love country rock through to strong ballads . . . modern country.”
Neil performs when he can. His day job is at Environ NZ as waste minimisation manager and he’s also an international sports official.
“If I have a free weekend I enter awards,” he says. “I amjust an amateur. I lead a busy life so to get runner-up is absolutely brilliant because I am am never going to do anything more with it.”
Ainslie Allen won the title at the Baycourt event which included performances from last years’ winners.