My Top 1000 Songs #204: Scotty's Lament

I've adored the Connells since the mid-80s, when they were playing college parties on campus (yes, at our "eating club," if you must know). The North Carolina-based quintet slotted in nicely among the jangly guitar bands that I'd been in love with ever since discovering R.E.M.; much like another favorite I recently posted here, Winter Hours, their music was particularly sweet and melodic, an inherent prettiness that made it stand out.

Their sophomore LP, 1987's Boylan Heights, became an instant favorite when it came out, and while it's consistently great throughout, the album-opening single was particularly noteworthy. That opening jangle and bagpipe-like lead guitar line grabs your attention before the song shifts into the first verse, a smoky call-and-response motif followed by a catchy chorus. Lead vocalist Doug MacMillan has a winning croon, but it's a fine introduction to the band on all fronts. I think it still sounds delightful 35 years later... though as I prepare for my 35-year college reunion this spring, it can't help but conjure up personal memories of hanging out with the (incredibly nice) guys in the band late into the night back in school.

The video (a little clipped at the beginning):

Live, just a few weeks ago!