Lady in Pink
Colorado singer-songwriter Nick O'Connor describes the songs on his latest record, Lady In Pink, as "an emotional expression of both the beautiful and harsh truths we face today, with underlying tones of hope and motivation." Released in May 2010, the dozen song set encapsulates all things Americana, from the opening notes of the Nashville-tinged "If I Tried," to the piano pop anthem "Freeze Out," to the acid jazz of "Spiritual Seasonings." At his core O'Connor considers himself foremost, a poet. "My poetry is rooted in blues, jazz, folk, and natural country. I then bring undertones and influences from the beatniks, hippies, rappers, and new millennium rockers." To shape the sound and feel of Lady On Pink, O'Connor enlisted veteran Nashville producer Clark Hagan, best know for a 1990s Grammy winning collaboration with Chet Atkins. On "Don't Stray," Hagan creates one of the record's signature tracks, masterfully melding infectious pop melody to folk sensibility, adding a hint of country compliments of John Macy's (Macy Sound Studio's owner) remarkable pedal steel playing. Lady In Pink's all-star production crew also includes guest mixer Mark Guerico and mastering engineer Jonathan Russell. Guerico engineered multi-platinum records for Elton John, Chicago, Jeff Beck, and others, with his brother Jim at the fabled Caribou Ranch hidden in Colorado's mountains. Russell is a Nashville veteran with Masterfonics Mastering, and coincidentally, Chet Atkins' grandson. While recording Lady In Pink, O'Connor was also making a name on the Denver singer-songwriter scene as a solo artist, occasionally performing with his band Pilgrim Road. He was featured on the Strings & Wood 1st Anniversary Show at Denver's Walnut Room, along side scene stalwarts Rob Drabkin, Megan Burtt, and Dave Preston of Matt Morris' band. With the release of Lady In Pink, O'Connor is positioned to join an elite group of local songwriters who have recently showcased Colorado's talent on the national stage, including Nataniel Ratleiff, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Drabkin. Colorado radio program directors seem to agree, as the Paper Thin Feelings (2009) EP received substantial airplay. KBCO even included "Where Does the Road End?" on the 2009 Bolder Boulder Compilation CD. In 2008 O'Connor assembled Pilgrim Road (bassist Tim Kohler, saxophonist Brent Bond, drummer Paul Christophersen, and singer Leah Druzinsky) as a response to the breakup of his first band, the O'Combo. Despite the low budget production on the sadly overlooked lone O'Combo record, ... Back to the Sensitive Grounds (2007), the eighteen year-old composer's twelve original songs foreshadow greater things to come. On standout tracks like "On My Way," "Sensitive Grounds (I'm Bound)," and "Can't Be Tamed," we are given glimpse into the depths of Colorado's most promising new songwriter. Raves "Nick O'Connor is a Colorado singer-songwriter with a poetic heart and the voice of a true folk musician. With his latest album Lady In Pink, O'Connor has fleshed out his sound to create something truly inspiring...catch a local artist before he hits the national scene." -Boulder Daily Camera "Nick O'Connor has been raising his profile with preternatural songwriting abilities...and a voice that soars!" -Sean Morse, Talent Buyer "Nick O'Connor is a rising star from Colorado that is sure to make a splash in big music soon. With soul- filled lyrics and an infectious blues/folk blend, O'Connor is destined to be something special. Don't be a band-wangoneer later, become an indie fan of Nick O'Connor now, and feel like you are seeing a star rise. Surprised by this upcoming legend! 5 Stars" -iTunes Fan Posting At his core Nick considers himself foremost a poet, having quietly spent the past several years honing his songwriting skills by immersing himself in the ageless art. "My poetry is rooted in blues, jazz, folk, and natural country. I then bring undertones and influences from the beatniks, hippies, rappers, and new millennium rockers. It is a mixture of the past and beyond, "says Nick. "I don't just communicate my interpretation of my world...I strive to objectively observe and report what I see, both from an external and internal perspective." The evidence of which is apparent on Nick's sadly overlooked 2007 album, Back to the Sensitive Grounds with his first band, the O'Combo. On tracks like "Sensitive Grounds (I'm Bound)," "Can't Be Tamed," "Answer Room," and "You Will Never Know," the then eighteen year-old gave us a glimpse into the depths of Colorado's most promising young songwriter. On Lady In Pink Nick further reveals his recipe for viewing the world as both participant and observer. On tracks like the country-tinged "If I Tried," the majestic "New Birds Flight," and the album's first single, the piano driven rock anthem "Freeze Out," he offers a delicious array of wise-beyond-his-years poetry, laid upon a hearty bed of folk, blues, rock and country, finished with hints of spicy melancholy and a garnish of tasty pop hooks. This formula proved too much of a temptation for Colorado radio programmers after the three song sampler EP Paper Thin Feelings, released in spring 2009, received substantial airplay from KBCO, KGNU, KRFC, and KCSU among others. KBCO even included the track "Where Does the Road End?" on the 2009 Bolder Boulder Compilation CD.