I’m Chris O’Connell…
I’m a singer. I measure songs by their ricochet power. I don’t want to bruise anybody; I just want an idea or a mood or a feeling to hit hard enough to rearrange your safe thinking for a minute. And then, as happens in audiences, the feeling moves on to the next person, and the next. This is where we’re at our human best. Music propagates our unity, our empathy. In those moments, strangers are as connected to one another as they ever will be.
I got my first pro singing job with a band of scruffs playing country music. They called themselves Asleep at the Wheel. They had the groove and it seemed old and new. They were maybe 20. I was 18. For the next fifteen years we hammered it out on the road the hard, hard way. We made hit records and worked with the greatest stars of every kind of music and saw every glorious and funky side of show biz. But that band always grew in ways that let me push all my limits and skills. I came to know that no matter what the style or beat or tempo, it’s always about the song; the story it has to tell, the connection it wants to make.
“Be Right Back!” is my first solo album. We started work on it in 2009 and spent about a year just picking songs. Some of my oldest friends happen to be some of the best old song writers, and we wanted to throw more light on them, have some fun with their work. We decided to connect certain musicians with each song, according to its tone and texture. We just put them in a room, tuned up and let the song breathe. These are all master players and each is a stand-alone star. It was a thrill to just see them together in a room, working their magic.
But it’s still just about the songs.
Every one of these songs has something that makes me either laugh or cry or dream in full color.
“Be Right Back!” is my return as a rider on the Melody Train. Let’s get connected – where’s your ticket?