BORN at a time that witnessed the birth of Punk, when Leonard Cohen was being played on bedroom stereos and Cork’s emerging music scene was spawning legends, Glanmire-born Niall Connolly entered the world with his ears piqued and no choice but to follow a musician’s path.
Now residing in New York, Niall rounds up a month-long European tour with a performance at The White Horse in Ballincollig. He will be accompanied by long-time collaborator Karl Nesbitt, renowned Cork poet Billy Ramsell and Irish tunesmith Ian Whitty.
Connolly is a compelling live performer with infectious melodies and engaging lyrics. His songwriting encompasses his observations of the vibrant city of New York, where he has spent the last ten years, the lives and personalities of the strangers he has encountered on the road, and the sights and sounds of tours across Europe. Connolly has accumulated influences in his adopted homeland, juxtaposing sparse, finger-picked moments with the gigantic sonic swells of the band at full flight. All the while his lyrics retain their reverence for the poetic, the literary, and all that is emotionally honest. Connolly writes intelligently and with extraordinary clarity and curiosity.
On his latest album, All We Have Become, Connolly traverses the landscape of his travels. Sublime trumpet lines and atmospheric guitar riffs lay alongside surging beats and harmonies. Each lyric creates a cosmos in miniature; memoirs from his youth to the imagined lives of others, nostalgia for young wonder and the struggle for the survival of the human heart.
Niall has had the great pleasure of playing festivals, embassies, theaters and dive bars all over the world, including Glastonbury, the Prague Fringe Festival, and CMJ. He has had the privilege of sharing the stage with the luminaries in his band and in the Big City Folk music scene, as well as MisterWives, Lambchop, Evan Dando, Mick Flannery, Glen Hansard, and John Spillane, to name a few. He has also collaborated with such poets as Neil McCarthy, Stephen Murray, and Billy Ramsell in various Voice and Verse projects.
At the core of every Niall Connolly song is the story, one that unfolds a layer with each listen as he blends a riveting sound with layered, literate lyrics that generously reward the listener.
Niall Connolly plays The White Horse, Ballincollig, December 21