Thursday Jan 17, 2019
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It all started with a crash.
After gathering enough courage to look at his mangled hand, the very first thought that went through Jack O'Connell's mind was, "I won't be able to play guitar anymore".
The terrible motorcycle crash had crushed his left hand, resulting in two amputated fingers, and severed tendons that couldn't be repaired. It could have been the end of his music career. It would have been a valid excuse.
Jack O'Connell had honed his skills playing lead guitar in a variety of bands for 15 years. The accident changed everything. The missing fingers on his fretting hand, sharp nerve pain, phantom limb pain, and non-functioning tendons made returning to the guitar a tedious and painful undertaking, but he was determined.
In the midst of countless hours of strengthening, stretching, and fighting through the pain, he developed a new, unique playing style that mostly uses two fingers. Having spent so much time playing by himself in recovery, he also began to focus on his own songwriting. It was in this time that Closest Relative was born.
Ditching the electric guitar for an acoustic, he went to work recording his first EP "Messes" (released 2017). "Messes" is largely about personal struggles. It's carried by intricate guitar work, progressive structures, and earnest lyrics.
His follow-up EP "This Tree is Base" was released in the fall of 2018, and saw Closest Relative push his songwriting in new and unexpected directions. Drawing inspiration from both childhood memories, and recent changes, "This Tree is Base" is a clown car of emotions and intensity packed into 5 little songs.
With the release of "This Tree is Base", Closest Relative is traveling the country for his first national tour. His "Everywhere all the Time Tour" is stretching out into every region of the United States for an entire 365 days.