Writing and performing for over twenty years, Kevin Connolly has carved out his own way of writing American songs and earned a reputation as a passionate performer. Connolly has toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe while maintaining a strong presence and tie to his New England roots. Working the college and coffeehouse circuit solo, Kevin has also played major festivals including Newport Folk, SXSW, Kerrville Folk and Bumbershoot. He has opened up for a long list of notable artists including Indigo Girls, Huey Lewis, Todd Rundgren and Joan Osborne. Kevin’s songs have also appeared on network television shows and in major motions pictures as well as independent films.
Raised on Boston’s South Shore, Kevin comes from a musical family with composer/brother Jim Connolly, a fixture of the West Coast “New Music” scene. Early influences like John Prine, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan remain inspirations and guiding forces. Writing descriptive songs that capture something about regular life in America today has been a running theme and preoccupation.
ICE FISHING EXPLAINED
The winter of 2014/2015 was one of the worst ever in Boston. Huge snow drifts and unpredictable storms left school children stranded, power lines cut, and a couple of brothers heading out on a dangerous mission called 'Ice Fishing.'
This 14 song compilation of all original songs (his first in five years), “Ice Fishing” has been an extended labor of love between two brothers who live on different coasts. Kevin in Boston and his brother, renowned “New Music” composer Jim Connolly in Santa Barbara, CA, traded files to make a collaborative recording with 3,000 miles between them.
Says Kevin, “What started as an experiment very quickly turned into a serious recording project. As brothers we play intuitively when in the same room—the trick here was getting that same feeling in the recording.” While Kevin provided the guitar and vocal tracks, Jim would provide the borderline avant-garde upright bass, banjo, piano and percussion tracks. “I never knew what I was going to get back and we never really needed to talk about it other than letting him [Jim] go and have free reign,” says Kevin. “Ducky [co-producer] and I just picked and chose when mixing, which was really fun.” From the upbeat “Bus Station” to the raw and eerie title track, “Ice Fishing” represents a departure from a songwriter-with-a-band approach that Connolly has used on his last two releases. Swampy cuts like “Suitcase and a Rifle” set a certain outsider tone, while “Istanbul” is a character study of a man walking around in a Turkish desert. Direct personal songs like “Blow Them Away” about a daughter’s coming of age and the quirky “Thinking Bout Love” balance the tone of the record making it both personal and intimate. “From a musical tone and texture, I very much wanted this to be sort of my ‘Astral Weeks’ and I think we did it!” says Connolly. “And just to keep it light I also threw in a brother song (‘My Brother and Me’) to tie it all together.”