Chris Neal, 1972-2012



As some of you already know, Nashville-based writer and editor Chris Neal has passed away. As I understand it, Chris died in his sleep some time Sunday night at home. He was 40 years old.

Chris was a longtime contributor to the Scene and many other publications, and in a decade-long stint at Country Weekly established himself as a thoughtful, engaging music critic. More recently, he'd concentrated on his work as an editor at M: Music and Musicians.

I didn't know Chris well, but we worked together while I was music editor here. Maybe more than any other writer, Chris helped rid me of an allergy to modern pop country with his cagey analysis. But he was an omnivorous music fan, devouring everything from Jamey Johnson to Pearl Jam to Sharon Van Etten, whose Tramp he called his favorite album of 2012 so far in a recent Facebook post. He was deeply knowledgeable but never snobby. It's fitting that the last photo he posted to his Instagram account was of an LP sitting on a turntable.

Dan Milliken has a nice remembrance over at Country Universe — with a corresponding salutary comment thread — for a man known by colleagues and friends as a kind and intelligent spirit. Information on services follows.

Hibbett & Hailey Funeral Home
429 Donelson Pike
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 883-2361

Visitation 4-8 p.m. Thursday, June 21

Memorial service 10 a.m. Friday, June 22
(Visitation prior to the service from 9-10 a.m.)

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