Brian Connell is a songwriter and a performer living in Birmingham, AL. The Sordid leans musically toward Americana and Alt. Country, but also features pop-organ, New Orleans horns, and a demure French woman. The songs on The Sordid are at once recognizable and unfamiliar, like something you forgot but then remembered while walking the streets of your hometown after having been away for a long time. There is jangle, and quiver, and rollick, all in the right measures, and there are stories and pictures instead of just sounds. The harmonica, here, is an actual instrument instead of a wheezy metronome. Connell grists and delights in language; his lyrics go from spare to sinuous, and each song achieves emotional depth and resonance without using tired parlor tricks. This album isn't all heart-it's head, too, thankfully. The Sordid is the first album to be released on Connell's label, Looky Here Records. The idea for the title track came from the comic "The Sordid," which was drawn and written by Connell's friend John Dermot Woods. The artwork for the album includes drawings from the comic. ___ From the article 'Howlin' After Midnight: Harp Man And Songwriter Brian Connell Gears Up For His Debut Album's Release' By Mike Andrews, The Flagpole (Athens, GA) ...Early listens to the album's rough tracks show Connell and his guest house band moving in a loose, very meat-and-potatoes direction that sometimes recalls such no-nonsense influences as The Band and Big Al Anderson-era NRBQ. [Randall] Bramblett's funky organ fills and [Davis] Causey's chicken-pickin' guitar are suave touches that complement Connell's raspy vocals and well-executed harmonica work. A few songs have a classic steel-guitar country feel to them, but the geographical influences that populate the album are all across the map as New Orleans hot licks, Texas roadhouse blues and classic analog-helmed rock and roll are all used as stepping stones by Connell and company. [...] "I guess that I wanted to put all of those musicians that I grew up listening to and all of the ones that I listen to now into one big pot, and then get in there myself with them. It makes me so damn happy to be able to do that," says Connell of his newer material. "It's like when you meet a stranger who looks really familiar, but you can't for the life of you place how you know him or where you saw him before. This stuff sounds like that stranger looks."
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