Stephen Neal gets OU buzzin’

Country artist Stephen Neal puts on show at SPB’s Hoedown

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Stephen Neal gets OU buzzin’

Artist Stephen Neal performs on stage Friday night at SPB's Hoedown event.

Artist Stephen Neal performs on stage Friday night at SPB's Hoedown event.

Elyse Gregory

Artist Stephen Neal performs on stage Friday night at SPB's Hoedown event.

Elyse Gregory

Elyse Gregory

Artist Stephen Neal performs on stage Friday night at SPB's Hoedown event.

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Country artist Stephen Neal put on a performance at the Student Program Board’s Hoedown on Friday. He played multiple songs off of his EPs, including  “Baby’s Got Me Buzzin” and “Lay it On My Lips,” as well as other popular songs like Smash Mouth’s “All Star.”

Neal has been writing songs since he was a freshman in college in Indiana. After realizing his passion, he moved back to his hometown of Joliet, Illinois, and started taking classes at the University of Saint Francis. He began working on his career as a country singer.

“I had a really rough time my first year in college and I found writing songs helped me express my emotions,” Neal said.

During his performance, Neal shared the heartfelt story behind his song “I Just Drive.”

“I was dating this girl and we were planning to get married, but one thing led to another and we broke it off,” Neal said. “Now every time I drive past a place we used to go together it always hits me.”

Neal only has two EPs out at the moment, but said he has major plans for next year.

“I’m working on a big project right now that we are hoping to get out by May, but until then I plan on releasing some acoustic tracks in February,” Neal said.

Neal said he particularly enjoyed his visit at OU, and was thankful that people still came out to see his show despite the cold and rainy weather.

“OU is awesome,” he said. “The campus is great and the town is really nice.”

His fans were pleased with his performance. Lauren Whitlock, a freshman, had a great time at the Hoedown.

“I was a fan of Stephen Neal’s before I knew he was coming to OU, so I am so excited to be here and I’m having a great time,” she said.

Despite the timing of Michigan’s weather, everyone had a great night doing the “Hoedown Throwdown,” enjoying the free barbecue food and, most of all, jamming out to Neal.