LIVE PERFORMANCE Galway singer-songwriter Ultan Conlan. Pic: Pawel Bebenca
Ultan Conlon will perform in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, this Saturday night, September 19. The Galway singer-songwriter recently found a haven for his unique style in Los Angeles, CA, where Nickel Creek’s Grammy Award-winning Sean Watkins produced Conlon’s recently released record, ‘There’s a Waltz’.
The pair gelled creatively as soon as they met. “When I met the musicians that Seán brought on board to record my songs and we played the first few bars, I knew this record was gonna make itself, under the influence of Seán navigating us all ever so gently,” says Conlon.
That formidable group of musicians includes Watkins on numerous instruments; Don Heffington (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Ron Sexsmith) on drums; Sebastian Steinberg(Iron and Wine, Neil Diamond, KD Lang) on bass and double bass; Gabe Witcher (Paul Simon, Beck) on fiddle; Rich Hinman (KD Lang, St Vincent) pedal steel; Sara Watkins (Nickle Creek, I’m With Her) on backing vocals; and Tyler Chester (Jackson Browne, Andrew Bird) on piano.
Conlon’s voice has been likened by many music writers to Roy Orbison and his writer’s voice brings forth original songs that combine depths of feeling, introspection and modesty. The title track, ‘There’s a Waltz’ surprisingly starts out in 4/4 time, saving the shift into waltz-time only towards the end. As with all of Ultan’s songs on this new collection, the rewards, be they deferred or right at hand, bittersweet or joyous, are always reaching to connect to the listener’s heart and soul.