Neal & The Vipers – Young Neal & The Vipers




Members of the Historical Archive Committee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame are researching and documenting the career of these important Ocean State musicians. When work is completed, we will be posting an in-depth biography and complete discography on this page. In the meantime, please enjoy this introduction to their work.

Guitarist Neal Vitullo of Warren and vocalist/harmonica player Dave Howard of Warwick formed Young Neal & The Vipers in the early 1980s to concentrate on performing the hard-driving Blues-Roots material they’d begun writing together. They quickly became a local sensation and released their first single in 1985. The Vipers popularity exploded in the Northeast and they soon became regulars at Manhattan’s prestigious Lone Star Cafe. The band signed with Atlantic Records in 1989. In 1990, The Vipers had their first international feature in Guitar World and Neal was hailed for his vituosic playing. The Atlantic deal failed to bear fruit and The Vipers released their first album, Hooloovoo on Big Noise, in 1991. It sold an astounding 10,000 copies. Despite that success, the band drifted apart. Dave moved on to his own band, The High Rollers, then joined Roomful of Blues. Neal took over the lead vocals and became the sole frontman for the band. He stepped onto the international stage when he signed with King Snake Records for a four-album run beginning in 1996. The band toured extensively internationally and all over the U.S. Dave Howard rejoined in 2009 and the group dropped the “Young” from their name. The band’s latest album at the time of their induction, One Drunken Kiss, was released in 2018 to international critical acclaim and excellent sales, and Neal was recognized by Vintage Guitar as one of the finest guitarists of his generation.