We hope you enjoy Nolan McKelvey’s new release, "Forward".
McKelvey started recording as a founding member of Onus B Johnson (with Dave Desmelik) in Arizona, moved to Boston and was a founding member of The Benders (with Bow Thayer, Jabe Beyer, Steve Mayone, & Tim Kelly), returned to Arizona and released 3 recordings under Nolan McKelvey and 33, then founded his bluegrass band Muskellunge, and the Nolan McKelvey Trio. This is the 3rd release in his own name.
Emerging from the shadow of covid 19, the tragic loss of a dear family friend who died by suicide, the death of McKelvey’s father, and within also 6 months his mother, Nolan McKelvey steps into the light with his release, "Forward".
The opening track,and also the opening on the album, was something of a mantra through it all. An anthem of positivity, the only way, "Forward". The rest of the songs touch on hope, positivity, and reflect on loss, life, and living.
On track 2, "Tir na nOg", McKelvey enlisted old friend Dana Colley (Morphine) on sax for this ode to those departed.
Track 3, "Pretending", is a fictional anti war story born from McKelvey’s time as a rehabilitation counselor and working with Vietnam veterans.
Track 4, "Phoenix Rising", highlights McKelvey’s relentless vision that we will rise from our depths.
Track 5, "Tears In The Dells (Yarnell)", is a studio version of a tribute to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters perished in a fire Yarnell, Arizona. This version features Phoenix steel guitar legend Jon Rauhouse (Neko Case, Grievous Angels).
Track 6, "I Can’t Breathe", was written shortly after the death of Eric Garner and shelved for a few years. McKelvey was inspired to revisit and release the song after similar deaths occurred including the passing of George Floyd.
Track 7, "The Other Side", was written after McKelvey’s mother was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). She lived far away, and the song was forged from a longing to visit and care for her during covid travel lockdowns.
Track 8, "Mother", draws on the parallel paths in McKelvey’s mother’s disease and the earth’s current condition.
Track 9, "Sweetest Dream", is a song written for McKelvey’s daughter. He dares her to not get pulled down by the undertow of tragedy and to chase horizon’s line. This song features steel player Ryan Stigmon (Stig, Town Mountain).
The final track, track 10, "New House", focuses on tearing down the walls of divisiveness and building a new home where all are welcome. "New House" serves as a bookend to the opening track emphasizing the premise that we can, and will, be better.
Nolan McKelvey wrote, played acoustic guitar, and sang these songs. He was executive producer and played upright bass and sang harmonies. They were recorded and mixed by Ron James and Jeff Lusby-Breault, who also contributed guitars, drums, percussion, and bass.