September, 2020- Like a lot of people, I went dark at the beginning of March. You probably did too.Everyone is okay here, thankfully. And I hope you and your families are safe despite the turbulence and virus.
After my germaphobic paranoia boiled to a simmer, I went down in the basement. And after deciding to confront my aversion to recording technology, fell face first into creating a new album that will be released in a few weeks called ‘Invisible’. I’m not the only one. Musicians have been busy as you know on social media writing, recording, doing streaming shows. Meanwhile music clubs are closing, disappearing. Our favorite bar Bull McCabe’s the latest casualty. And sorry to say there will be more. Being creative is the only alternative.
The big change in recording this record is that I had to learn how to record without Ducky and Chris. Without ridiculous access to amazing vintage and cutting edge gear. I figured it out on my own with endless tutorials with Uncle You Tube, what I had kicking around, and trial and error. As it turns out, the endless turning of the knobs is actually quite soothing.
Then I asked for help. Frank in Australia recorded drums with a couple of mics in his snake infested dirt basement. My brother in his SoCal Piano Kitchen making sounds. Rival re-inventing himself as a B3 mad scientist. And many other good friends near and far helped out with tracks downloaded from a cloud (the ultimate social distance).
I wrote about half the songs in the last six months and half were dangling around from before. When I started to write titles like “Lost”, “Gone” and “Invisible” I knew it was time to stop, go surfing, and finish it up.
And it's good. And different. Tell you one thing, I don’t think I’ve ever checked the “parental advisory” box on so many song lyrics before, but hey you only live once. And things are pretty messed up right now. And that's how it came out. We should have 'Invisible' ready to be listened to and purchased sometime in next month.
I wanted you to be the first to hear about it and stay tune for more updates and leaks.
The Connolly family sends love to you all and hope that there are some big positive changes soon in the world. I'm counting on it.
INTRODUCING: MULE VARIATIONS! November 2019
My new side project is getting taking off! Mule Variations was originally a trio project with Marc Hickox on bass and Jeff Allison on drums, and now includes a weekly guest. We're calling it 'lo-fi, blues, groove'. While there are some reinterpreted originals the majority of the material is a mix of Tom Waits, JJ Cale, Pops Staples, Al Green, Van Morrison and many of my other musical heroes. The result is a muscular stripped down bar band, with a ton of soul. Excited to see where this goes as I continue my recording of another original album. In the meantime having fun haunting the local hangs again and playing with friends.
NEW SONG PREMIER AT CLUB PASSIM IN CAMBRIDGE!
Music Video 'Suitcase and a Rifle" Directed and Edited by Paul Trainor
'Freshman Year' Blog
Freshman Year- Right around now, almost 40 years ago, I quit the college football team where I was supposed to play quarterback and joined a different family. The gospel choir got me through freshman year. I met the director Tyra Bryant (front right) in the music library the day after turning in my helmet and pads. I was listening to The Clash’s green album and she was listening to something magical and meaningful bleeding through the headphones. I needed to know what it was. So I leaned over and tapped her on the shoulder. We started talking and she invited me to a rehearsal. I went and joined. The warmth and passion of the group was a buoy that I would cling to when I felt like I didn’t belong, and was overwhelmed with challenging classes and shameful lack of preparation. Since I don’t know exactly what religion is, I’ll paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut who said “if there was any proof that there is a God in the world, it would be music”. Music fills me up and makes me feel connected to the world and for that I am grateful. Freshman year is tough. Any beginning is. We are reminded because we have another one now. Just keep your ears open I guess.