Hailing from Cork, but now a regular on the New York live folk scene, Niall Connolly is a fine example of 21st century musician, who doesn’t hang around for record companies to make his career happen. Brother The Fight is Fixed, his fourth record to date, will warm the hearts of anyone who likes a good old fashioned song with melody and soul.
From the first song, ‘Don’t Go to Canada’, it’s evident that Connolly hasn’t gone for a polished sound, instead what we get is a songwriter who opts for something perhaps a little more pure. While Connolly spends most of his time as a solo acoustic artist, there is quite a bit of collaboration from fellow folk artists on this new record. ‘Jesus is Coming’ and ‘I Can’t Pay the Rent’, an up-tempo bluegrass number, is about the most uplifting song you’re likely to hear all year, while ‘Skin and Bones’, a slow burning acoustic number that descends into what sounds like a gospel choir from the deep South on a Sunday morning, is possibly the finest tune that Connolly has ever recorded.
Although Connolly classes himself as a singer/ songwriter, he moves in the full backing band, horns and strings for the poptastic, ‘Sum of our Parts’. If there is one downfall of this album, it might that the protest songs such as ‘America’ and ‘A Child is a Child’, may fall into the trap of cliché and become a little bit preachy. That said, Brother the Fight is Fixed is a positive record that will give you hope coming into the winter months.