Born in Scotland, Bob McNeill began playing in his teens, gravitating to the music of the Scottish Highlands and the west of Ireland. Playing bouzouki and open tuned guitar, he made most of his mistakes in other people's lineups before releasing a series of solo albums in the 2000's, two of which won Best Folk Album at the New Zealand Music Awards. His three year collaboration with Kenny Ritch, Ben the Hoose, resulted in the album The Little Cascade, which also won Best Folk Album. In 2010 he released the retrospective Me and Mary Ann, and moved on to non-music projects. People thought he'd died.
After an extended sabbatical he returned to music in 2016 when he ran into Cape Breton fiddler Gillian Boucher, who had just moved to New Zealand but neglected to bring an accompanist. The two had played together briefly, 10 years before, and soon found the groove, playing festivals in New Zealand and Australia. They are working on their first album release which will be out in 2019.
Bob plays with the Irish music collective Criu in Wellington, when somebody will hire them.