Tim O'Connell - It's My Song, Dammit!
2010, Tall Man Records
Tim O’Connell has been a songwriter living on the fringes of Nashville since the 1970’s. O’Connell is perhaps not well known amongst the Music Row establishment, but he was good enough to gain the attention of Johnny Cash. A version of O’Connell’s “A Singer Of Songs” appeared on the Cash Unearthed box set not long after his death. The song was written by a 29-year old O’Connell and showed a maturity and depth surprising for his stage of life at the time. O’Connell has continued to mine the highways and byways of middle Tennessee for inspiration, and returned earlier this year with his latest album, It’s My Song, Dammit!
O’Connell opens with “Without You” a simplistic run of similes that expresses what a lost cause he is without the love of his life. It’s a cute tune in an early country/folk arrangement with an almost conversational singing style. “Little Radio” is a bluesy rocker all about the inspiration for O’Connell’s muse. It’s an entertaining tune, and while O’Connell doesn’t have the prettiest voice, it’s full of character and O’Connell always seems to sing from the heart. “Talking ‘Bout Love” is a good nature love song, an old-school duet with the incomparable Jill Walsh. “Us Old Folks At Home” displays an old school family attitude about a miscreant child. There’s a touch of humor here balanced with a touch of disgust; an entirely human and vaguely crotchety feel that’s entertaining.
“This Must Be Love” is a straightforward and simplistic love song with a classic feel. “Thank You For Being A Friend” and “There’s Nothing You Can Do” have similar feels, dealing with friendship and the inevitability of love, respectively. “The Righteous Road” is a dynamic gospel tune with a non-traditional perspective. The song is irreverently reverent; fun and entertaining and dancing on the slippery line between misunderstanding and well-intended blasphemy. O’Connell closes with the anti-climactic “its Hard To Believe That It’s Over”.
Tim O’Connell is certainly an accomplished songwriter. Writing from the heart, honesty and integrity of thought and emotion inform O’Connell’s songs throughout It’s My Song, Dammit! Even where O’Connell doesn’t quite manage to connect it’s certainly not for questions of heart. It’s My Song, Dammit! Is a solid singer/songwriter album, worth spending a little time on.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Tim O’Connell at www.talldarkranger.com. It’s My Song, Dammit! is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download. The album is also available via iTunes.