b. England. Hastings-based singer-songwriter McNiff started recording in the early 00s, but he has a sound that harks back to the great folk rock troubadours of the late 60s/early 70s.
Influenced by classic American songsmiths such as Tim Hardin, Townes Van Zandt and Bob Dylan, McNiff purveys thoughtful ballads full of carefully crafted imagery and emotional subtlety. These qualities were present right from the start on McNiff’s 2000 debut, Off The Rails, produced by Andy Allan of the Hank Dogs, and only developed further as he went along. The 2003 follow-up, Nobody’s Son, continued in much the same spirit and included contributions from members of both the Hank Dogs and Grand Drive. For all his skill at concocting strikingly evocative lyrics framed by elegant acoustic guitar work, McNiff has also shown a noteworthy way with cover versions, turning the Beatles psychedelic volcano ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ into a Bert Jansch-like folk blues, as well as a fine interpretation of the Jackson C. Frank classic, Blues Run The Game. In 2011, he signed to Fledg'ling with ‘April Cruel', which picked up a nomination for best alt-country album at the Independent Music Awards and in 2017, a double CD retrospective, 'Rain Dries Your Eyes', was released. 2018 sees a new label and a new album, Joy and Independence, and McNiff returning to his Troubadour folk roots.