There are artists who have been on the music scene for long time and you get the impression they have been here forever. Niall Connolly is one of them. Originally from Cork, Ireland, he is one of the most hard working musicians you will ever meet. As incredible as it sounds, Dream Your Way Out of This One is his 8th album in 16 years. But this collection of songs is as fresh as ever.
And Niall always surprises. Always comes with a breath of fresh air, this time in the form of the collaboration with his New York band.
The opening track Sacré Coer leaves us wondering what is going on with this world and if there is any way to do something with it. There is always a solution, the quickest might not be the best and the one that gets applied might not be the right one. The line " come on now people, we are unbeaten yet...." could be interpreted in relation with various terrorist attacks happening in the world with the meaning that if we give in and stay home, these crazy people win, that's what they want. But if we refuse to let them win and travel anyway, it's us who is unbeaten indeed.
Open Your Eyes brings the listener closer to New York City itself, its lights, sounds and smells. But on the other hand it literally asks us to leave our shells, our small worlds that we live in and see what's around us.
Leave the Wine in the Bottle calms everything down. With a gentle guitar and a soft vocal, this is one of the songs that we need to have in our lives. To stay sane, to appreciate what we have in life and what really matters.
One of the highlights of the album, May 12th,1916 - A song for James Connolly, combines politics and history again. 1916 was a very significant year for the Irish as they fought for their freedom during Easter Rising. Niall Connolly is joined by two special guests on this powerful track, Glen Hansard on vocals and Javier Mas, a guitarist who used to play with Leonard Cohen.
"it's a battle we won't win but a battle we must fight....it might echo a 100 years from now..."
What catches your attention immediately in Connolly's work, are the lyrics. Honest, direct, sad but hopefull at the same time. A truly gifted poet. A modern troubadour.