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Nine Songs

Nine Songs

  • By Con
  • Release 23/08/2005
  • Music Genre Rock
  • Media Format CD
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CD 
Price: £14.88

Product Notes

The results are finally in. Local Irish rock band Con has decided on a winner for it's Web-based 'name the CD' contest. The entries ranged from high-brow musical terms like 'Con Motto' and 'Con Espressione' to the well-meaning but rather bland 'Pride' to the intentionally deviant 'O'Lingus' and 'Stipated.' Understandably, the members of Con chose none of the above. Rather, they allowed fate to lead the way. So, with the band slated to unveil it's new compilation of nine original songs during a CD release party at Finnigan's Wake on Wednesday night, Aug. 10, the label will say, simply enough, 'Nine Songs.' The four members of the year-old lineup, led by singer-songwriter Frank Daly, hope that the new recording - regardless of it's name - will help them revive a rock 'n' roll spirit not often seen on Philadelphia's live circuit. After all, original acts around the city are definitely a minority. And those who sound straight off of late-1980s, early-'90s alternative college radio are rarer still. 'From what I've seen in Philadelphia, it's going back to the garage sound mixed with 'eighties metal,' Daly said. By contrast, Con's four-piece combo is more reminiscent of acts like REM (the old version), Dave Matthews Band and Pennsylvania's own Live. In fact, Daly's voice is a dead ringer for the latter band's front man, Ed Kowalczyk. Daly, 30, is a Mayfair native and Roman Catholic graduate who also plays electric guitar. The rest of the lineup includes South Jerseyans Wes Mekosh, 24, on acoustic guitar, and James Duffy, 21, on bass; as well as Kennett Square native Sean Callaghan, 32, on drums. The foursome defies definition. 'Everybody asks you what kind of band you are, and I can never say,' Mekosh said. 'We get booked as an Irish band, but I think of us as a rock band,' Daly said. 'If the Pixies learned to place Clancy Brothers songs, they might sound like us.' The Irish label is not a misnomer, however. All band members have Irish roots, while Daly's lyrics are largely pro-Republican. 'On the CD, of the nine songs, more than half are Irish themed - though they may not sound like it - and something political,' Daly said. 'That's where I come from.' The prose often refers to the fight for a free Irish state historically and the ongoing relationship between Loyalists and Republicans in Northern Ireland today. That's nothing new for Daly, who cut his teeth on the local live scene fronting the now-disbanded Spirit of '16. He's been to Ireland several times and has seen the human suffering caused by decades of conflict. The Irish Republican Army's recent pledge of disarmament held special meaning for Daly. 'I never thought I'd see that from being over there and knowing people,' he said. The upbeat sound of Con's music belies the underlying politics, however. After seven years with Spirit, Daly decided about three years ago that he wanted to play more than all of the old 'rebel' songs. 'Irish music is fun, but there's so much (other) music around. We said, 'Let's try to do some covers, write some songs, mix it all together and see what happens,'' the frontman said. Con was born. After two more years of lineup shifting, the current foursome settled in last September. The band still refuses to explain the meaning of it's name, but it's methods are self-evident. 'We have a lot of fun on stage,' Mekosh said. 'Ninety-nine percent of the time (at our shows), ninety-nine percent of people had a good time,' Daly said. 'We can play a college bar and have a really great night and we can play an Irish bar and have a really great night, and they're totally different crowds.' During their usual four-hour shows, they offer a variety of originals, along with popular covers and traditionals. 'You could hear a traditional Irish song, a Black 47 song. Or we could be doing a Cyndi Lauper song,' Callaghan said. The band admits that recording the album was not all that fun, however. It began in January. Studio sessions occurred weekly and were scheduled around weekend live gigs around the region. There's one song in it that the band describes as a ballad. Otherwise, the sound is your basic tight four-piece rock ensemble with contagious rhythms and pure guitar melodies. It's mature, yet contemporary and alternative. 'For the most part, it's pretty energetic and upbeat,' Daly said. They have no particular aspirations attached to the production, which is being released independent of any label. The group plans merely to keep up it's schedule of five or so live shows a month and perhaps make an overnight trip or two to New York, Boston or elsewhere. Besides Finnigan's Wake, at Third and Spring Garden streets, Con regularly appears at Kildaire's in King of Prussia and Brittingham's in Lafayette Hill. 'We didn't do (the disc) with an endgame goal, like we want to get signed and tour the world,' Daly said. 'It seemed like the next step for us.' Added Mekosh, 'We're real happy with the way it turned out. That's all we wanted.' **.

Details

Artist: Con
Title: Nine Songs
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 23/08/2005
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 837101077606
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Credits

  • Artist(s)
    Con