Jim Conroy | Magical Door

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World: World Fusion Pop: California Pop Moods: Type: Vocal
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Magical Door

by Jim Conroy

Magical Door is perspective of songs recorded while living on the Central Coast of California for 30 years from 1989 - 2018. it is all original compositions written in a variety of styles including Jazz, Celtic, World and R&B with many guest artists.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Gypsies by the Sea
5:35 album only
2. Heart of the Man
6:10 album only
3. Keep on Goin'
5:09 album only
4. Dark Side of Love
4:44 album only
5. Inspiration
3:04 album only
6. Uninvolved
5:58 album only
7. Coffee in the Morning
1:21 album only
8. Mystery of Life
3:48 album only
9. Leavin'
3:31 album only
10. Lifedance (Live)
4:19 album only
11. What Are We so Afraid Of (Live)
8:06 album only
12. When the Heart Is Home
4:19 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Magical Door

In the late spring of 1989, I visited Cambria for the first time where a magical door appeared and I entered. It’s now been thirty years since moving lock, stock and guitar case to that oasis by the sea just two weeks later. I went back to LA, turned in my notice at the smoke filled naugahyde lounge where I had played for the last three years, kissed my mother goodbye and headed for the uncertainty of the Central Coast of California.
Thus ended the first 25 years of my musical career, which began at 15 singing in a garage band that turned into the ride of my life and ended in the above mentioned smoky dive. In between were incredible musical adventures with all kinds of memorable characters, some famous and some forgotten. There were groups with future legends like Vince Gill and Steve Berlin, but always the best local cats most of whom I grew up with. There were 7 years, as part-owner of a 300-seat nightclub in Redondo Beach where all sorts of greats and wannabes appeared. There were escapes into the Sierra Foothills and the Bay Area, but mostly it was with music, as my muse and companion.
Usually, one doesn’t move to a town of 5000 to further one’s career, but to my surprise it wasn’t long before I was working 7 nights a week as a musician. Additionally, there were neighbors like Red Holloway who was in the Jazz Who’s Who, as well as Charlie Shoemake. We introduced the two jazz giants at a dinner party held in their honor, and in return they both played on a song I was recording “Uninvolved.” On the other side of town was Jay Graydon who would sit in with the band for fun. The soloist on Steely Dan’s recording “Peg” also agreed to play on my tune “The Dark Side of Love” from my first central coast cd release “Convinced,” in ’96. By the mid nineties, jazz had become a major endeavor especially the singing of Johnny Hartman. He was an “Inspiration” to me and in ’99 I released a cd that was dedicated to him called “The Heart of the Man.”
The end of the Twentieth Century found me touring my ancestral home of Ireland with the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble. There I ran into my own inner Seamus and began a journey into the source of traditional Celtic music. On 9/11, I was in the midst of moving to an even smaller town, Cayucos 12 miles south, as I was literally packing my things when the phone call came to turn on the TV and watch the towers fall. A short while later, at a local Irish session in Morro Bay, I met Stu Mason of Molly’s Revenge who guided me deeper into the world of pure drop reels and jigs. Songs of mine like “When the Heart is Home” and “Coffee in the Morning,” which were Celticish became part of a production I was working on called “Espiritu Vagabundo,” a techno-multi-media dive into world music. Perhaps I should’ve looked before I made that dive because although I accomplished my vision, it almost killed me. Two years later, after recovering from that obsession, which involved hauling around two tons of equipment, I woke up back in Ireland with only an acoustic guitar. This time I was searching for and finding my Irish roots, which included the delightful discovery I was cousins with Chief Chieftain Paddy Maloney.
The cosmic glow of that experience lasted a few years, but eventually I drifted back to my own roots and was playing in a jazz rock band called the Mystery Brothers. There are two cds that have come out of the Mysteries 12 year existence, which are “Heart Searches” and “Get On Board” live at D’Anbino’s, a club in Paso Robles. “Heart Searches” took a long detour filled road of seven years and includes: “Gypsies by the Sea,” “Mystery of Life,” and “Leavin’.” I felt pretty lucky to have mon ami Gilles Apap play violin on two of those tunes. “Get On Board” took one night and I’m proud of very lively versions for old chestnuts of mine “Lifedance” and “What Are We So Afraid Of.” The brothers still live but everyone is so busy with their own projects it takes a special force to come together.
Back in 1989, the music scene on the central coast was fairly small and close knit. There were gigs and groups, but nothing like there is today. At the time, there was literally no place for major acts to perform, now there are venues all over and you can see famous musicians any weekend. There were only a few wineries and no breweries that I remember. Now there are 400 wineries and a brewery on every other block with lots of opportunities for gigging. The quality of musicianship has also grown throughout the county, as well as the audience. It amazes me how much music is performed in these here parts and that I am still a part of it. Today, I live in Los Osos and enjoy my trio Burning, Bad & Cool with Burning James and Bad Billy Baxmeyer. The plan is to “Keep On Goin’” as long as I can, but right now take a moment to celebrate 30 years on the Central Coast. Care to join me?


Special Thanx: Shim & Boonie, my gals Inga & Julia, Bruce Beck, Edd, the sesh, Id, Steve Crimmel, Mel and all the folks that have showed up at a gig or two.



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