In the last week or so, I have become really familiar with Hannah Connolly’s “Flying EP.” There is a sweet sadness that permeates the five song collection. I have found myself totally drawn in to the sadness in her songs. They are stories of intense heartbreak, loss, and hope. I wrote about these things at some length for the upcoming issue of Volume One, so I won’t spend time repeating myself here.
However, I had the opportunity to hear Connolly play live again last week at the Volume One Gallery as a part of V1’s Jingle Jams series. And, I walked away even more drawn into her music. The audience got to hear the five songs from her EP, as well as some other originals and a couple of covers. One of those covers was “Jolene,” the classic Dolly Parton song. Connolly and her accompanist, J.T. Viele, were great all night, but there was something different about their performance of that particular song. There was an intensity, a desperation, an edginess that grabbed a hold of me. I found myself wanting more of that.
The rest of the evening was filled with sweet but sad melodies, pretty guitar work, Connolly’s beautiful and distinctive vocals, and the incredible vocal and instrumental color that Viele added to the entire performance. That is what you can expect from Connolly’s EP and live shows. However, I walked away from that show after hearing that rendition of “Jolene” thinking we might only be seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the kind of art that Connolly can produce. I personally can’t wait to hear what comes next for her.