Jan 31 2009, 2h33From The End Of The World
Fev 11 2009, 21h33Eldorado Instrumental Medley
Fev 11 2009, 15h09Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac
Jan 31 2009, 2h33From The End Of The World
Jan 27 2009, 19h36I'm getting ready to hit 1500 plays for E.L.O. since I've been using last.fm. The song will be Evil Woman...unless my iTunes crashes before One Summer Dream finishes playing.
Jun 8 2007, 18h04Track Listing: Freeman, One Good Reason, Honestly, Overdose, I'll See You There, Tammy, Harry Lee, Feather, Stand Up Man, Comfort Home, Ever Want Me To, Catch Fire
I make no bones about it...I'm a fan of The Connells. I have been a fan since 1989, when I first heard Fun & Games. With very few exceptions, I love all of their songs. They are one of the few bands I can listen to over and over again without getting burned out. I have seen them live more than any other band and I probably wore out two or three concert t-shirts during the early 90's. One of the things I always loved about The Connells was the quirky guitarist (and sometimes vocalist) who wrote the odd, silly songs that peppered their albums. A lot of fans tend to skip over those little tunes but I find that they are some of my favorites. Imagine my joy when I found out that he had released an entire album. I quickly found it and it became one of my all time favorite albums...by anyone. So...why review it now? It's twelve years old and and he isn't even making music anymore. He sells real estate in Raleigh and works as an accountant for the UNC Music School. That's EXACTLY why I'm reviewing this album now...it's a crying shame that a songwriter of Huntley's caliber is totally unknown. It's a shame that he (and his band) had the bad luck to be signed to TVT Records (home of NIN) who had absolutley no idea what to do with them. It's a shame that only a handful of people have ever heard this album. I will now do my part to spread the love.
If you have never heard of The Connells, then this album is for you. If you are a fan of The Connells, then this album is for you. If you liked The Connells but didn't like George's songs...you need to get over it...this album is for you too. This album is for anyone who likes well crafted pop songs. I'm not talking pop in the Top 40/American Idol sense...I'm talking catchy, hummable melodies and excellent musicianship. The first band that comes to mind is Crowded House...George Huntley writes songs that are just as good.
The cover photo is a near-perfect visual representation of the music you hear when you press play. There is a lot of down home, Southern charm with a bit of grittiness underlying it all. George's voice is soft, yet has an earthiness to it. It sometimes sounds as if he's had one too many Marlboros but that adds to the magic of this album. The songs are a collection of stories that draw you in and make you feel good...even when the lyrics are somewhat cynical and tainted. Imagine Pedro The Lion if David Bazaan had grown up in rural North Carolina. The music isn't as abrasive, in fact, it's rather mellow and has a country tinge in places. 12 string guitar, slide, pedal steel and piano drip from the stereo speakers. George has produced an album that stands up alongside Wilco, The Jayhawks and others who make up the whole "alternative country" movement.
I can't pick a favorite song because the entire album is that good. I know that people are constantly saying that about albums but this is one that I honestly feel that way about. I realize that a lot of you reading this aren't into this kind of music but I would suggest that you at least give it a listen with unprejudiced ears. Yes...it is very mellow...yes...it is very quirky at times...yes...it even has a bit of a country vibe...but the songs are strong. The performances are honest, passionate and real. That's something that is hard to find in any style of music these days.
Jun 8 2007, 18h01Today has been non-stop music from The Connells, with a brief pause to listen to (and review) George Huntley's "Brain Junk."
I remember my t-shirts. I had three different designs and I wish they were still around...even if they wouldn't fit right now. My favortite one was the one with the album cover from "Fun & Games" on it. I actually wore out two of those. The next one would be the one with the colored silhouettes on it. I had two of those...with different colored wording on the back. The other one was weird and had puppet/mask faces on it. I don't have a clue what happened to that one.
So...why am I rambling on about old concert t-shirts? I don't know...I guess it's because the summer is just around the corner and I remember all the time I spent hanging out. This music (and the photos of me in those t-shirts) really brings out the memories. The Connells were MY band. Not many of my friends listened to them because they were into other things. There were only a handful of people I knew that were hip enough to be in on the secret.
I've lamented the fact that they really should've been huge...but looking back on it...I probably would've been a bit disappointed had they taken off and evolved into one of the untouchable superstar bands. I remember seeing Hootie & The Blowfish and The Dave Matthews Band back when they were doing the college circuit. At the time...The Connells were actually bigger than either one of them. Then they both hit big and became megastars. The Connells, Dillon Fence and countless other North Carolina bands continued to play on to their devoted fans whose numbers seemed to get smaller with each show.
Yeah...I wish (for their sakes) that they would've made it...but for my own selfish reasons I'm kind of glad they didn't. It's like I belong to a secret club and we're the only ones who know the truth.
Jun 8 2007, 2h49I have a really hard time deciding who my favorite band of all time is. If I'm backed into a corner I'll usually say Electric Light Orchestra and that's probably fairly accurate. From time to time Rush and King's X will climb near the top of the list as well. However, as I get older I'm really starting to believe that Crowded House and The Connells are probably tied for second place right behind E.L.O. I don't know that any band will ever take that spot...there are just too many memories and too many great songs.
The Connells were hitting the peak of their local popularity right about the time I graduated from high school. I think my younger brother (who was just entering high school) probably turned me on to them. The first album I picked up was "Fun & Games" and I was immediately hooked. I was starting to come out of the whole hair metal thing and The Connells just happened to drop one of the greatest albums ever right as I was looking for something new. I had already started discovering R.E.M. retroactively and The Connells were cooler because they were North Carolina guys and their Dad actually lived in my hometown.
I don't know how many times I saw them live between the years of 1989 and 1993...it was a bunch. I saw them in small clubs and theaters and I was there the night they became the first band to play at Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh. I was always expecting them to explode and become huge. I remember seeing the video for "Stone Cold Yesterday" on 120 Minutes and thiking that they had finally made it. Unfortunately that didn't catapult them to superstardom. When "Ring" came out and the video for "74-75" came out I was SURE that they were going to be huge...but it never came. I can imagine that they were probably a little frustrated and baffled by their inability to break through here in the U.S.
A good friend of mine saw them a year or so ago at a thing in Raleigh and his younger co-worker didn't get it. Ken (my buddy) tried to explain to him the scene in the late 80's and early 90's and that The Connells were quite possibly the biggest band in North Carolina. It's a shame that so very few people remember that time. I really miss it. I miss going to a club and seeing the guys just hanging around, being normal guys and then going up on stage and rocking it out.
I really wish they had gotten their due.
Mai 24 2007, 20h08I don't know what it is...but when I pop in Dillon Fence's "Rosemary" or The Connells' "Fun & Games"...I just feel like hopping in the car, rolling the windows down, having a couple of beers and hitting the beach.
Mai 8 2007, 23h08My Recently Listened To chart hasn't recorded anything in over a day and I've been listening to music constantly. I wonder what the deal is?
Current Musical Obsessions:
Snakes & Arrows - Rush