Stephen Connella – River of Rain

Over a three year process alternating between Kauai and Bellingham, Stephen Connella recorded River of Rain. As stated on the cover, it features songs of life, love, living and loss. A feel good album, 10 percent of all proceeds go towards theaurorafoundation.org. This album is definitely worth a listen to determine if it appeals to you, Connella clearly put his heart and soul into it.

River of Rain possesses lots of variation, genre-wise. Some tracks are heavily country-influenced while others take a more bluegrass feel. They’d all be perfectly comfortable playing in the background of a barbeque or neighborhood gathering. I particularly enjoy the purr of the banjo that is scattered throughout the album. A female accompaniment occasionally emerges in tracks and provides a delicate presence that makes ears perk up. “End of Love” is a particularly nice track, a favorite on the album.

Connella has a soothing, if not especially unique, voice. His tone is steady and his pitch is clear. Like a childhood blanket, this album is inviting and begs to be cuddled. However, be careful! The easy going attitude of the album makes it easy to drift away and snooze. In fact, writing this review led to a brief catnap. River of Rain is definitely a nice album to wake up with, however. It is always nice to hear a heartfelt labor of love from local singer/songwriters.