Andrew Neil & Code Purple

The Code Purple Story

“Code Purple” Front-man, Andrew Neil, is celebrated as an "Outsider music artist," following in the footsteps of iconic figures like Daniel Johnston, Roky Erickson and Syd Barrett. Despite never learning to play cover songs and lacking knowledge of even basic chord shapes, he developed a unique and hauntingly emotive guitar style, reminiscent of Nirvana's iconic unplugged concert in New York in November 1994. Andrew has penned an astonishing 450 original songs since surviving his life-changing car accident in 2009, establishing himself as a fiercely independent and compelling force in the world of outsider music. His music serves as a raw and unfiltered channel for his innermost emotions, transcending his personal struggles to create something truly extraordinary.

The Andrew Neil Story:

Born in Colorado Springs in 1988, Andrew Neil Maternick was once a promising high school athlete and was heavily recruited by The US Military Academy for Lacrosse.  Following High School graduation in May 2007, He attended the he attended the US Military Academy Prep School (USMAPS) and earned his appointment to the US Military Academy, West Point as a member of the Class of 2012. During his Plebe year, Andrew began to encounter difficulties and was diagnosed with Adult ADHD and resigned from West Point in late December 2008.

Upon his return Home to Northern Virginia on Christmas Eve, 2008, Andrew had no idea what his future would hold.  He was depressed and felt like a failure.  For the first time, he was not able to finish what he had started.  In 2009, He decided to enlist in the US Marine Corps.  He passed all the cognitive and physical tests and was set to be bussed to Paris Island on May 2009.  However, a month prior to his scheduled departure for Paris Island, Andrew was involved in a car accident resulted in a traumatic head injury.  This accident triggered a profound struggle with serious mental health issues, including diagnoses of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and debilitating psychotic episodes. In the midst of his personal turmoil, Andrew found solace in an unexpected place – his parents' basement, where he began to lead a reclusive life.

In this seclusion, he discovered a hidden talent for songwriting, initially on a keyboard and later on a guitar. Andrew began writing songs out of nowhere and declared himself a songwriter. Despite never learning to play cover songs or basic chords, his unique guitar style emerged, reminiscent of Nirvana's unplugged concert in 1994. Music became not only his creative outlet but also a lifeline during his tumultuous battle with mental health challenges.

In 2013, Andrew experienced a severe psychotic episode during which he injured his brother by stabbing him in the arm. After being found not guilty by reason of insanity, he spent seven months in isolation at Central Virginia Regional Jail before being committed to the Virginia State Hospital system for over three years. During his hospitalization, he gained access to a guitar and a small recorder, leading to the creation of numerous songs.

Upon his release from the hospital in 2017, Andrew aimed to share his music and story with the world, releasing an album titled "Code Purple." This unique album featured 11 songs recorded in his hospital room, making it the only full-length album produced entirely within a State Psychiatric Hospital.

In 2018, Andrew crossed paths with music producer Andy Waldeck. Under Waldeck's guidance, he recorded and released his first studio album, "Merry Go Round." The album gained recognition on college radio stations, reaching #59 on the unweighted College Radio Charts and #134 on the weighted College Radio Charts. It maintained a presence on these charts from November 2018 through mid-January 2019. Andy Waldeck continued to produce and engineer Andrew's subsequent studio albums, including "Freak" in 2019, "Sunny Side" in 2021, and “Alien” in 2022.

In June 2019, while working on his second studio album titled "Freak," Andrew received a diagnosis of aggressive Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cancer. Despite enduring intensive and exhausting chemotherapy treatments, he remarkably summoned the energy to complete the album, which was eventually released in October 2019. Fortunately, Andrew achieved remission in December 2019.  An member of the Recording Academy, Will Stenner, heard about Andrews story, and after listening to the Album, "Freak", he submitted for Grammy consideration in the Alternative Music Album category for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, but it did not receive a nomination. Of note, the Album cover art was done by Andrew’s brother Kyle.

In June 2021, Andrew unveiled his fourth album, "Sunny Side," a remarkable fusion of grunge and folk elements that resonate with the spirit of artists like Daniel Johnston. The album's percussive acoustic alternative rhythms and straightforward yet profound lyrics garnered praise from fellow musician Kathy McCarty, known for her involvement in the mid 1980’s-1990’s Art-Rock Punk Band “Glass Eye”, and also a longtime friend of the late great Daniel Johnston. She penned the following liner note for the album: “Andrew Neil’s Sunny Side is a revelation. The outpouring of melody and counterpoint is deeply affecting, seeming to come directly from a heart so genuine that it is too pure for this world. His simple lyrics can seem too plain; but then you find them reverberating in your mind for days afterward. This songwriter will find his audience, as Daniel Johnston did.”

Andrew continued his musical journey with the release of his sixth full-length album, "Alien," in June 2022. This album featured tracks exclusively written by Andrew and recorded live in his home studio in Gordonsville, Virginia, under the production and lead mix engineering of Andy Waldeck. The album's captivating cover art was crafted by the talented Bostonian artist Daniel Benayun.

The Formation of Andrew Neil & Code Purple:

In the midst of 2022, Outsider songwriter and artist, Andrew Neil was presented with a unique opportunity to open for the Raelyn Nelson Band, originally planned for Hershey, Pennsylvania. However, owing to a series of show cancellations brought about by the challenges posed by COVID-19 and other unforeseen circumstances, the location was eventually shifted to the vibrant city of Nashville. Andrew hastily assembled a dedicated band exclusively for this momentous occasion. They were simply called The Andrew Neil Band, or as Andrew referred to them, “The Band”.  On St. Patrick’s day (17 March) 2023, they took the stage at the Glen Campbell Museum's Rhinestone Stage to open for Willie Nelson’s granddaughter’s Band.

In preparation for this pivotal performance, the band dedicated numerous hours to intense rehearsals held in the basement of their lead guitarist's residence in Staunton, VA. Equipped with an eight-microphone setup, they diligently recorded these practice sessions. A decision was made to release one of these recordings as a trial track, aptly titled "I Like." While the song possessed a raw and slightly rugged quality, the deft mixing skills of Andy Waldeck transformed the eight separate tracks into a coherent musical piece. "I Like" made its debut on the 15th of May 2023 and featured the original lineup: Andrew Neil (Rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Daniel Houser (Lead Guitar), Alan Warren (Bass), Rich Shaw (mandolin), and Zach Bullock (Drums).

Following the resounding success of the show in Nashville, the band engaged in discussions about their collective future. Regrettably, their drummer, Zach Bullock, opted not to continue on this musical journey. Over the next couple of months, Andrew auditioned several drummers and, eventually, through the connection of Rick Shaw, discovered a talented young drummer named Logan Wayne. Simultaneously, the band faced the departure of their bass player, Alan Warren, due to personal reasons. As fate would have it, Rick Shaw, the mandolin virtuoso, also possessed proficiency in playing bass as his primary instrument, making for a seamless transition.

The summer of 2023 was dedicated to rigorous rehearsals and the creation of fresh, original compositions for the band's revamped lineup, which now consisted of Andrew Neil, Daniel Houser, Rick Shaw, and Logan Wayne. With their reinvigorated sound and newfound synergy, they proudly adopted the moniker "Andrew Neil & Code Purple." The term "Code Purple," harkening back to its usage at Western State Hospital, where Andrew Neil was a patient for 3+ years, to signal a patient's disruptive behavior necessitating immediate security intervention, symbolized the band's unapologetic and dynamic approach to their music.

Between the 21st and 24th of August 2023, Andrew Neil & Code Purple embarked on a creative odyssey, converging at the White Star Sound Studios in Louisa, VA. Here, they channeled their collective energy into the recording of an impressive catalog of 12 original tracks. Steering the ship of this sonic voyage was none other than the seasoned producer and mix engineer, Andy Waldeck, assisted by Sound engineer John Trainum.   Eleven of the tracks were written by Andrew Neil; “Resurrection”, “Ride or Die”, “More”, “Monday Blues”, “Kiss”, “Blue Moon”, “Arizona”, “Free”, “Somewhere Under the Rainbow”, “Let’s Get High”, and “Houston”.   The 12th track, “Doctor Please” was written by drummer Logan Wayne.  The Album title is “Resurrection”, and it is scheduled for release in February 2024.  It will be released on all digital streaming platforms as well as limited press vinyl and CD.

On the 4th of November 2023, Andrew Neil & Code Purple took the stage at the Madison House of the Arts in Lynchburg, VA, marking their first performance since their memorable debut performance in Nashville. This is just the beginning, as more live shows are on the horizon, with dreams of becoming a fixture in the vibrant music festival circuit.

As the band's journey continued to unfold, they are poised to make an indelible mark on the world of music, armed with their inspirational story, unwavering dedication, and a fresh new original music that promises to resonate with audiences far and wide.


Meet the “Code Purple” Band:

Daniel Erskine Houser, (Lead Guitar, Electric Banjo)

Daniel Erskine Houser hails from Staunton, Virginia. His deep connection to music traces back to his upbringing, where he was surrounded by diverse musical influences. His mother's enthusiasm for attending rock shows and his father's role as a bassist in local bands exposed him to a wide range of sounds, including those of iconic bands like Little Feat, Commander Cody, The Supremes, Elvis, Country Top 40, and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.

A cherished tradition in Daniel's family involved weekly visits to the CD and record store, where his mother allowed him and his siblings to select a new CD every week. These outings were eagerly anticipated, and the store's staff added to the experience by expertly unwrapping CDs upon request, leaving no sticker residue and demonstrating blade work with a straight razor that rivaled the craftsmanship of the artists whose music lay within.

Daniel's passion for music led him to teach himself to play lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and electric banjo. He delved into various music genres, including Americana, Blues, Hard Rock, Outsider Indie Thought Rock, Metalcore, and Powergroove.

Since 2003, Daniel has been an active member of the Staunton music scene, participating in several local bands. In 2003, he founded "Shaded by Trees" and released an LP titled "Whatever it Takes." In 2011, he formed "Bluerock," which released a self-titled album in 2012, followed by a second album, "Bluerock 2," in 2023. In 2020, he embarked on a journey with the metal band "Black Market Jesus." Early in 2022, he collaborated with two other artists to release an EP titled "Erskin, O'Brian, and Kindig."

In August 2022, fate brought Daniel together with Andrew Neil when he received a message on "Bandmix" about an audition for backing musicians for an upcoming show, opening for The Raelyn Nelson Band. Recognizing the opportunity, Daniel quickly connected with Andrew's unique songwriting style and music, setting the stage for their collaboration.


Rich Shaw (Bass Guitar and Mandolin)

Rick Shaw's musical journey began at the age of 15 when he acquired his first instrument, a bass guitar. He swiftly immersed himself in the local rock and metal music scene in the Virginia Beach area. Rick's dedication to music deepened as he started taking lessons and delving into music theory and composition at the age of 17 at the Virginia Beach Music Academy. During this time, his musical horizons expanded when he fell in love with Motown and Jazz music, leading to his successful audition for his high-school jazz band.

At the age of 20, Rick embarked on a new chapter by joining the worship team at an international ministry, playing in churches throughout Virginia. It was during this period that he was introduced to the music of the Grateful Dead and bluegrass, transforming his musical perspective. Intrigued by these new sounds, Rick picked up the mandolin, setting the stage for a musical journey that transcended any single genre.

Throughout his life, Rick's passion for music has led him down diverse musical paths, and his collaboration with Andrew Neil has been a particularly exciting and unique experience. Their musical partnership has allowed him to explore new dimensions while remaining grounded in his musical roots, creating an unforgettable and enjoyable musical adventure. The music of Andrew Neil is like nothing I've played before. And it's been a whole lot of fun.


Logan Wayne (Drummer, Percussionist, Backup Vocals, Songwriter)

Logan Wayne is a young, versatile musician specializing in drumming, all types of percussion, vocals, and songwriting.  Logan Wayne is from Andreson, Indiana and has been surrounded by music from an early age.  Starting at age three. Starting at age three, his father taught him how to play percussion instruments of all sorts ranging from hand drums/Latin percussion to drummer and regimental marching snare.

As a teenager, Logan competed with his High School Jazz band against the top jazz bands in the country for five years, playing charts at both a collegiate and professional level.  During this time, he was classically trained to play a multitude of genres, including jazz, samba, merengue, funk, blues, R&B, bossa Nova, and experimental fusion of all kinds.  With no background in vocal training, Loga has taught himself to sing in a unique lead style and as a harmonizing voice.  Logan continued to play with many different artists and groups during his time in Indiana, such as the Urban Renewal Jazz Band, Chocolate George, D-Rae and the Bulletproof Band and many other solo projects in between.  All the meanwhile honing his songwriting and arranging skills/techniques. 

In November of 2022, Logan moved to Virginia to seek out a fruitful music career and met Andrew Neil and Code Purple by chance, via Rick Shaw, the Bands Bass Player. After the first audition, everyone knew Loga was a great fit for the band.  It did not take long for Logan to become a driving force in the band.  The Code Purple band has come together like a band of brothers and became tighter and tighter with each practice. The band also accepted Logan’s debut songwriting effort, “Oh Doctor Please” and recorded it for their Debut Album, “resurrection” which is due out for release in early 2024.

Despite his young 22 years of age, Logan is a confident and incredibly versatile percussionist and drummer, with a maturity level far exceeding his age.  He’s been playing drums for 19 years of his life so far!!  “Over the years, I've honed my craft, developing a wide-ranging musical repertoire. My roots are deeply embedded in jazz and soul, spanning various sub-genres. I possess a wealth of experience in live performances, embracing the spontaneity of improvisation while also benefiting from formal concert training.” Logan Wayne