Coun­try mu­sic win for Neil

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Mauger Neil Macken­zie-Hall at the 2018 En­ter­tainer of The Year awards.

‘. .‘.

I love coun­try rock through to strong bal­lads .’’

..

Neil Macken­zie-Hall

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.

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