John Munnelly is an Irish singer-songwriter living in New York. He has an infectious enthusiasm for music and has been likened to Neil Young and the Beatles among others.
As well as being a solo performer, Munnelly has also played with many bands including the Would Be’s and Silent Note. He sometimes appears as LaughJohnLaugh with his band Genna Johnson, Kevin Reilly and Andy Weintraub.
Traditional songs and ‘future classics’
His fans describe his shows as fun, intense, entertaining and even hilarious. He plays many styles of music but is best known for performing contemporary acoustic folk.
He is comfortable with a traditional song or an original ‘future classic’.
Munnelly has several influences from many different eras and genres of music. He says: “I am influenced by something that moves me, it’s usually grounded in something real and organic. Irish folk songs a la Paul Brady, African Poly-Rhythms/Talking Heads/ Hip Hop beats. The organ sounds of the 60’s and 70s a la Deep Purple, the attitude and guitars of Punk and new wave like The Undertones. Pop culture and classic Beatles.”
‘Song with a social conscience’
This shows in his writing and performances as he likes to mix it up in the studio and on stage. Many of his songs are about spiritual and social justice and he has won the ASCAP Songwriters Award for ‘Song with a social conscience’.
He says:” I strive to be professional at my art and craft to write catchy somewhat complex and well developed tunes with depth and substance. Maybe most importantly – I have a sense of humour!”
A studio version of a song will usually be more powerfully and professionally packaged with full arrays of guitar sounds and keyboard/organ backing.
Troubadour Dylanesque solo performer
However, when he plays live in intimate venues, the performances are more stripped down and acoustic. While when he performs without his band he says: “The solo performance is more of the classic troubadour Dylanesque man singing about the meaning of life (and fighting fascists) with an acoustic guitar.”
He released the album Hello World, which is available on iTunes, in 2013 and has released a number of singles since 2012.
Different shows in different venues
He has several strings to his bow and can adapt to different kinds of venues. For example when his band are playing in what he describes as ‘listening’ venues they will play more acoustic and original material.
However, when they are in a more rowdy atmosphere they will play anything from any era or genre including souls, Celtic, Americana, ballads, rock and blues originals.
Their shows often last three hours and their set includes classic songs, quirky covers and original material.
Munnelly is also an actor and has performed serious and comic roles and has appeared in several music videos.