Musical Biography

Björklund got his first guitar from his beloved Grandma Helen when he graduated from high school in Portland, Oregon. He spent the next few summers learning some of the music he grew upHelen Sammons on: the Limelighters, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, and the classic American folk music they made popular.

He would go on to play coffeehouses, festivals and grange halls in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the early '80's, where he worked for "A Prairie Home Companion," and sang in the Lake Wobegon Community Choir. In the mid-80's, the green, green mountains of Oregon called him back home. Back again on his home soil, he began to write the first of his own songs, which he sang at local festivals and coffeehouses. During those years, Björklund was the host of the weekly folk music radio show, Friends and Neighbors, broadcast every Monday night from KLCC 89.7 FM.

Neil at KLCCIn early 90's, Neil attempted to leave music behind for a career in counseling. For several years he tried and just couldn't do it. "After traveling in east Africa, these songs started coming out of me" he explained. So, he quit his counseling practice, and started writing these new songs down. In March of 1995, he joined Eugene favorite Laura Kemp for a show, singing the first of the songs that would later become the album "Flying Canoe". Neil would later tour with Laura and share the stage at numerous shows in Oregon, Washington and California.

Then he met multi-talented music and dance artist Allison Rickenbaugh (now Alli Bach)--little did he know they would soon form Flying Canoe, which would later grow to a five piece band and winNeil & Alli an army of fans with high energy performances at venues and festivals throughout Oregon. The album Flying Canoe came out in 1996. The final splash of Flying Canoe was the headline show at the New Year's Eve First Night Festival in Eugene, with live TV coverage and a throbbing mass of several hundred revellers ringing in the New Year.

Neil's next band project came after a year of solo touring and performing, when in 2005, he met drummer Carrie Jahde and her bassist partner Mike Schaller. Together with vocalist Christa Flores, they formed the Wild Elfin Band and put on some fine shows until Carrie was called away to Boston with a scholarship at the Berklee School of Music (Mike, being a bright young man, followed her).

Solo performances and songwriting were sporadic until 2007, when Neil took a rafting trip Grand Canyonthrough the Grand Canyon, on the mighty Colorado River. Something mysterious happened during that epic wilderness journey, as if the river itself became his muse. Songs began to pour out at an almost alarming rate. Perhaps it was the nightly singing sessions in that awesome canyon wilderness. Maybe it was it was surviving being tossed from the boat in North America's largest rapid.Neil on Broadway in Nashville.

After a couple of years of steady writing, it was clear that there were more than enough songs for a new recording. The question was when, where and how to make it. Neil met Nashville producer Nomad Ovunc through Laura Kemp, when Ovunc and his partner Mare Wakefield passed through town on tour. By the end of the evening, he knew that he and Ovunc would collaborate on the new recording. And, indeed, that effort culminated with Neil travelling to Nashville to complete the recording and mixing in July 2011.