Resilience and renewal. Dotts O’Connor’s emotive folk quest

"I ensured that we didn’t do too many takes of the song and tried to keep the recording process fresh and immediate"
28 April 2024

Alternative Irish folk artist Dotts O’Connor, born in Co. Roscommon and currently based in Co. Cavan, is gaining recognition in the music industry for his emotive tales of resilience and renewal. Rooted in his personal experiences and musical influences, Dotts’ songs are characterized by intricate guitar fingerpicking and uplifting melodies, offering listeners narratives that strike a chord.

His latest release, Brushing Off The Rust (BOTR), explores themes of resilience and renewal. The song follows two individuals leaving behind adversity, embarking on a journey of rejuvenation and reflection. With lyrics urging each other to “dream all you can, they are yours alone,” the track embodies the spirit of newfound hope and freedom.

Recorded live at The Meadow recording studio in Wicklow, Brushing Off The Rust features a talented ensemble, including Paul Kenny on drums, Brian Dillon on guitar, Ken McCabe on bass guitar, and Liam McCabe on saxophone. Embracing a spontaneous recording approach, Dotts aimed to capture the raw emotion and joy of the protagonists as they emerge from hardship.

Reflecting on the recording process, Dotts emphasizes the importance of authenticity and immediacy in the music: “I wanted to capture the unfeathered joy of the couple as they emerge from hardship and put all sorrow in the rearview mirror so I ensured that we didn’t do too many takes of the song and tried to keep the recording process fresh and immediate without giving too many directions to the musicians”

Having gained experience as a member of the Choice Music-nominated band Come On Live Long, Dotts found inspiration in the vibrant tradition of Irish singing sessions, where he absorbed the nuances and styles of fellow musicians. This immersion in folk music laid the groundwork for his distinctive songwriting approach, characterized by the portrayal of relatable characters navigating unfamiliar journeys.

Dotts’ recent single, Coney, received acclaim after being featured on RTE Radio 1’s recommended playlist and receiving regular airplay on esteemed shows such as The John Creedon Show, Folk On One with Murieann Nic Amhlaoidh, and Late Date with Cathal Murray.

In Brushing Off The Rust, Dotts O’Connor captures audiences with his evocative storytelling and stirring melodies. With each note, he weaves tales of hope and resilience, providing solace and inspiration amidst life’s challenges.