About the Artist
Danny O’Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter, guitarist and bandleader. Born in Ballyshannon in the Northwest of Ireland, stations of his journey as a musician include Dublin, his current home Berlin and countless venues he played in Europe and the U.S. with different live bands or solo. Interested in a variety of genres ranging from Folk and Irish traditional music via Country to Rock and Alternative and armed with a healthy disrespect for the whole concept of “genres” and any supposed boundaries defined by them, he invites listeners on what is a journey in its own right.
Engaging, charming and always up to a bit of banter at live gigs, but also emotional, reflecting and deep, he is most of all always authentic and life-affirming. Real music by real people and for real people with all their ups and downs, strong and weak sides, lives, laughter and love – expect nothing more and nothing less from this young artist whose solo debut you are about to listen to.
About the Music
Some of Danny’s known influences are Luka Bloom, country godfather Johnny Cash and Indie-Folk-Rockers The Decemberists. Other, less conscious ones, might include something he heard from his brother’s band, at a concert he was visiting with his Mom, or why not a traditional tune played at some pub in Ireland or elsewhere. As a young musician touring Europe, he would listen to known (Arcade Fire) and less known (Semisonic) Alternative artists, an influence audible in early recordings with Inuendo, Danny’s first band that made it past regional gigs. He never forgot his Folk and Country roots though, and visiting Nashville and the Opry (that is, the real thing at Ryman Auditorium!) has clearly left its marks on some of the songs on “Black Sheep”.
As an artist, Danny cares little about labels such as “mainstream” vs “alternative”, “old” vs “modern”, so you’re definitely in for some “we got Country AND Western!” ; and much, much more than that. You might run into him at a Bruce Springsteen show, but also at a gig of the local guitar man no one quite remembers the name of and where he might fall for just one song – just as long as the music’s good. And where other musicians claim they have “outgrown” pub or rock classics played more than a million times, he will always treat you to his own interpretation of, say, “Whiskey In The Jar”, make it a memorable moment for you and be happy because you are – all of it without ever losing his own musical ideas out of sight.
The idea of performers and audiences being separated is, in relation to the history of humans making music as a way of interacting and communicating, quite a knew one, and Danny’s live performances are your chance to forget about it and “be in it together”. While this part-of-the-experience-notion is harder to bring on on a record, “Black Sheep” may be as close as you can get.