New Song 'Kitchen Wall' performed for first time at sold out Club Passim September, 2018

'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.



Music Video 'Suitcase and a Rifle" Directed and Edited by Paul Trainor


Boston Globe—Best local albums of 2015: “A marvelous collection of muscular, electric folk”

Worcester Telegram & Gazette—Favorite New England Albums of 2015: “At times whimsical, at times achingly beautiful, this album… has layers and depths to it that reveal themselves on every replay.”

Patriot Ledger—Best of 2015: Local music scene lush with talent: “Heart and soul enough to warm a winter’s day… it just may be Connolly’s best band album ever.”

The Alternate Root—Top Ten Songs of the Week: "Thick solid notes drop from the guitar as Kevin Connolly tries to free the forms in the darkness below the surface of his song. His voice gives the tale a chill as it makes its way slowly across a nearly frozen soundscape on the title track from his recent release, Ice Fishing."

Motif Magazine: "...Kevin Connolly’s seasoned and foreboding vocals drive the album every bit as much as a Stratocaster does Eric Clapton’s most renowned work. Connolly’s rich voice carries every emotion from pain to joy in such a way that elevates the lyrics from merely off the page, to directly into the heart of the listener. There’s real experience and integrity coming from them road-worn vocal chords... It takes a lot to get through to my cynical heart, but the following line actually set my lower lip a-quivering: “Your mother and me we see an innocent child… let the world be forewarned of your hurricane ways. You’ll blow them away.” Simply put, that is some great songwriting... The symbiotic musical relationship the Connolly men have is nothing short of magical." (Full review)

Worcester Telegram & Gazette—Kevin Connolly takes unlikely journey on 'Ice Fishing' by Victor B Infante
“...Ice Fishing starts at an old bus station and ends staring out at dusk on a broken pier: It’s an unlikely destination in an even more unlikely journey, an offbeat examination of isolation — what happens when it’s sought, and when it’s unwanted...The whimsy and the isolation intertwine here, allowing the persona to play the knowing outside observer with a sly wink. That whimsy falls away for a while as the album moves on to the title track, a stunning slow-burn still life of masculinity, brothers and fathers... One of the things that makes “Ice Fishing” an interesting album is that it doesn’t confuse isolation with alienation. Even when it’s poignant, this isn’t a sad album. And while it’s hardly unique that love is the thing that disperses that sense of isolation, Connolly handles it with a sweetness and lack of sentimentality that brings it to life...Throughout the album, everything hangs together like clockwork, with no discernable flaws...It’s a staggering moment of honesty, but as previously noted, this is not an album devoid of hope..." (Full review)

THE NOISE (BOSTON): "...This is basically a labor of love between two brothers on different coasts and it took three years of trading files to complete. Legendary local production ace Ducky Carlisle plays drums and produces the material. The voice is very personal and you get the feeling that Connolly is singing just to you.. Cool music for the heart and soul from a vet." (A.J. Wachtel) (Full review)


"Ice Fishing", Kevin's tenth CD is now available! Recorded with brother Jim Connolly on two opposite coasts. 

September 2, 2015 (BOSTON, Mass.)—Indie label Weathervane Records is pleased to announce the fall release of “Ice Fishing” by singer-songwriter Kevin Connolly, a “Best of Boston” winner, hailed by the Patriot Ledger as “a treasure worth discovering.” A 14-song compilation of all original songs (his first in five years), “Ice Fishing” has been a 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 for three years 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.”

“Ice Fishing” will be released digitally and in hard copy October 1st, kicking off a fall East Coast tour for Kevin and Jim that will culminate in a CD release party at Bull McCabes in Somerville, MA at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, October 17.

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