John Connolly - The Wind
2010, John Connolly
Prince Edward Island, Canada singer/songwriter John Connolly began travelling to Nashville in 2008 to develop his song craft. Connolly developed a friendship with producer Brian Ahern (Emmylou Harris, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash) over the course of time, and in early 2010 called on his friend to produce Connolly's debut album, The Wind. While the process of recording in a Nashville mansion amongst vintage gear and a sense of the city's history may have been daunting for some, it appears to have provided Connolly with deep inspiration.
The Wind opens with "Unfinished Business", a simplistic secular parable about learning to live life for yourself. Connolly is folk singer/songwriter with a smooth sheen and an amazing voice; drawing you in with a purity of sound that makes you want to listen. "Here You Are" captures both the surprise and sweetness of finding love unexpectedly and or reality passing expectation. The folk/country arrangement offered here is very mellow and features a melody you won't be able to escape. "The Wind" is a song of comfort that sounds like a blend of traditional country and an almost Eagles-style California country sound. "Country Stars" is an ode to old-time country and a lamentation that the country stars of yesteryear are nearly forgotten nowadays. "Does It Show?" is a halting love ballad that is a study in musical aesthetics while providing an equally adept vocal line. Connolly closes with "Ancient City", recollecting a youthful love affair far from home. Connolly is masterful as a story place, building a time and place in song and inviting the listener in to be a part of the experience as memory recalls it.
The Wind introduces John Connolly as a riveting story-teller with a mesmerizing voice and an almost magical ability to feed the listener's senses beyond sound. John Connolly's songwriting has a timeless quality that can't be bought; a gift that will likely keep on giving as Connolly continues to pursue life in music. The Wind is the sort of album that keeps you coming back, and chomping at the bit for whatever else Connolly might have up his sleeve. If The Wind isn't on year end critics' best of lists, it's because they haven't heard it.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about John Connolly at www.johnconnolly.ca or www.myspace.com/johnnyprovince. The Wind is available digitally from Amazon.com and iTunes