SEATTLE (Aug. 12, 2022) — Erstwhile working class troubadour John O’Connor is bringing his songs, poems and stories of unions, revolution, hitchhiking and love to the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. He will perform at the WSLC Seattle meeting hall, 321 16th Ave. South, on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
O’Connor was a mainstay of the Seattle music and political scene in the heady days of the 1980s, when his debut album release brought him to national attention. He and the singing quartet he was associated with, Shays Rebellion, were regularly heard performing throughout Puget Sound for a wide range of causes, from labor to anti-apartheid, to solidarity with revolutions in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
His album, Songs for Our Times, was named by numerous publications and radio stations as one of the year’s best when it was released, among these, the Washington Post, which wrote:
“(O’Connor’s songs) replace… the broad editorializing of too many political songs with sturdy portraits of working people. O’Connor trusts his subjects and respects his listeners enough to let each story stand without a moral tacked on. [He] has written about people with such unassuming authenticity that his songs could have been handed down from the characters themselves through generations of singers.”
Over the decades O’Connor, who now lives in New York state, has continued his career of singing for labor and general audiences alike, recording five full length albums, most recently, Rare Songs. He has added to his performances his award winning poetry, capturing the universal and ordinary of working people with narrative flare.
All are invited to join O’Connor for an evening of stories, music and inspiration, with a special appearance by Susan Lewis and Janet Stecher of Seattle’s Rebel Voices.
Admission at the door at the WSLC on Sept. 8 is a suggested $20, but no one will be turned away for inability to pay.