You couldn't ask for a better poster girl for SYF's Chicago Week than Nora O'Connor. She may not be as well-known as some of her musical collaborators--Andrew Bird, Archer Prewitt, Neko Case, Jeff Tweedy, Kelly Hogan--but this South Side Irish lass is as pure a product of this city's music scene as you'll find. In fact, you could probably play one-degree--two at most--of-separation with O'Connor and hit every Chicago musician of the past 15 years.
Former member of legendary alt-country group, The Blacks, sometime participant in Andrew Bird's Big Bowl of Fire, she also has a lovely solo album, Til The Dawn (US, UK) on Chicago's premier roots/Americana label Bloodshot Records. It's an eclectic sampling of original songs and covers, highlighted by her pristine, unaffected voice. "Nightingale" may be the best cut on the record--a spicy bluegrass-inspired number featuring Bird's distinctive fiddling. "Down Here" is a poignant cover of a Lori Carson original.
Nightingale - Nora O'Connor
Down Here - Nora O'Connor
Tracks from just a few of the albums O'Connor plays/sings on:
I'll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning - The Blacks
Tables and Chairs - Andrew Bird
Two Can Play - Archer Prewitt
The Mattachine Society - The Aluminum Group
Dolly Horrowshow - The Blacks (US, UK)
The Mysterious Production of Eggs - Andrew Bird (US, UK)
Three - Archer Prewitt (US, UK)
Plano - The Aluminum Group (US, UK)
Reminder: If you haven't already, enter our contest to win The M's fabulous self-titled CD. (It doesn't hurt to guess . . .) See yesterday's post for details!