John Connolly

John Connolly is a gutsy singer/songwriter with a strong stage presence.

In the spring of 2010, John travelled to Nashville to record an album with legendary Nova Scotia-born producer Brian Ahern (Emmylou Harris, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash). This album, The Wind, is now available.

Recounting the story of the album, John says “I started going to Nashville in 2008 to work on the craft of songwriting. When I was there, I approached Brian Ahern because I love his work as a producer. We struck up a friendship and when the time came for me to record, I called on Brian. He opened the doors of his studio to me. It was an incredible experience working with Brian and his longtime engineer, Donivan Cowart. Surrounded by vintage gear in a funky Nashville mansion, we recorded The Wind.”

He has received three Music PEI awards and shared the stage with likes of Joel Plaskett, Cuff The Duke, and Gordie Sampson. He has showcased at the ECMAs, Contact East, and the Music PEI International Showcase.

How do you describe your music to people?
It's rootsy.  I think it has a lot to do with the music that I grew up with....50's and 60's music, folk music, rock n' roll, and songwriters

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I grew up in a songwriting culture on Prince Edward Island, Canada.  It's a beautiful crescent shaped Island on the east coast of Canada.  Music is and always has been a way of life there.  
Songwriters and songwriting is a part of life there and I was always drawn to songs, the stories behind them and the people behind the songs.
I took piano lessons and played in the school band, but when I got a guitar in junior high, I just started writing songs naturally and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  It's been an incredible learning experience, and I'm always just trying to write better songs and be clear about what I'm trying to say.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Tie between being onstage and going sailing.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Maintaining my focus.  There is always so much going on that there are many days when I spend more time on the computer than working on my craft.  So I'm trying to use my time effectively and I'm learning not to sweat the small stuff.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I had an inkling that I was going to do something that I just really enjoyed.  I always felt drawn to the stage so I'm not suprised that that's where I ended up.  But for many years, I was sure that I would be a fireman.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
I've been blessed with incredible support from my community.  I've been inspired by the musicians, been encouraged by people on the street, and heartened by the support of my friends who started out as my core group of fans.
More than anything else, I'm a product of "The Island."  A little place with 135 000 people in the middle of the ocean where music has always been a focal point of the community.  I'm honoured to be a part of that tradition.

What other artists out there do you love?
Neil Young
John Hiatt
Jose Gonzalez
Irving Berlin
Cole Porter
Roy Orbison

What does your future hold?
I'm on tour across Canada in November and this month my musical based on the life of Terry Fox entitled "Marathon Of Hope" is being workshopped at The Shaw Festival.

I hope to create and work on projects that excite me.  That's all I can really hope for.  Creativity is most important to me.  If people are interested in what I'm doing, that's a real bonus.  I really seem to thrive in the creative process - working with other people and making things happen.  Long may it continue.