12th Annual Blues Festival June 10th, 2023 Springfield MO

Eliza Neals

Eliza Neals started out singing and performing with her sisters and eventually was told, “you have to get a degree to live under this roof.” So Eliza chose Opera studies and graduated from Detroit’s Wayne State University (WSU) with a Bachelor of Arts degree, minor in piano. Touring with WSU concert chorale performing in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium and UK’s Glastonbury as a Mezzo Soprano Opera singer was thrilling but not enough for Eliza Neals, eventually the blues chose Eliza.

Back in Detroit sitting in and performing at clubs like: Floods, Old Detroit, Burt’s Warehouse, The Rhinoceros, Soup Kitchen, Bakers Keyboard Lounge and more, honed her voice, signature style and piano chops. A chance meeting with the Motown Legend Barrett Strong Jr. led to Eliza signing to his record label, learning to produce and arrange (vocals to strings) in his multi-million dollar studio. Eliza and Barrett became good friends; he showed her the many hidden secrets of a Motown trained singer, songwriter and performer. The previous artist’s Barrett Strong produced were Marvin Gaye and Gladys Night making Eliza Neals the last Motown trained R&B vocalist from Detroit. Eliza Neals has credit as co-songwriter and co-producer on “Stronghold II” Barrett Strong’s latest album.