Music Road trip in New Jersey
Buddy Connolly is first generation Irish American. He’s traveled the United States and the world as a band member and side musician with Tim O’Brien, Kathy Mattea, Ceili Rain, Jo-el Sonnier, and others, and you can hear his work on accordion, keyboards, and backing vocals on their recordings, as well. Most recently, he’s been working with fiddle player and composer Eileen Ivers. One of their recent projects has been the Beyond the Bog Road tour. The music, both original and traditional, traces Irish history from the famine times to the crossings to America, through the happy and sad times of immigrant life up until the vibrant interactions of Irish music with urban energy today.
“I loved hearing comments after the show, that people learned something, maybe a fact about Irish history, or maybe about the similarities we share with African American, or Cajun folks, or other immigrants,” Ivers said. Connolly’s musical experiences in the melting pots of New Jersey and Nashville made him well suited for the project. A recording of the music is in the works, and you may also get an idea of what the band’s music is like on Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul.
John Gorka takes a rather wry view of things in his home state. One of his signature songs begins “I’m from New Jersey, I don’t expect too much.” He’s been making his living as a musician and well respected songwriter for several decades now, though, with songs that have both lighter and darker sides to them, so even if still he doesn’t expect it things could be going right.
There are more of his reflections on New Jersey life in his album Pure John Gorka.
This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. Check out what's on tap at A Traveler's Library for this visit to New Jersey. For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins
you may also wish to see
Music Road: now playing: Eileen Ivers: An Nollaig
Music Road: Music road trip New York City: Irish Musicians
Music Road: Voices: Cherish the Ladies