Photo by John David Pittman.

Photo by John David Pittman.

Nashville-born singer-songwriter, guitarist, and mandolinist Forrest O’Connor has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists, including Kenny Loggins, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Alison Brown, Melissa Ferrick, Carl Jackson, and his dad, fiddler Mark O'Connor. A former Tennessee state mandolin champion, O’Connor has embarked on numerous national tours over the last several years with the critically acclaimed Appalachian Christmas program as well as with his own duo, Wisewater, featuring vocalist and fiddler Kate Lee.

O’Connor co-founded Wisewater with Lee in early 2014, and it wasn’t long before they got their first break. Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier (whose songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett and Tim McGraw, among others) saw Wisewater’s first music video for one of O’Connor’s original songs, “What Have I Been Saying?”, and invited them to join her on The Grand Ole Opry that spring. Since then, the duo has been touring consistently, headlining venues like The Station Inn (Nashville, TN) and Club Passim (Cambridge, MA) and sharing the stage with a variety of artists, including Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, and Judah & The Lion.

Wisewater’s debut EP, The Demonstration, was released in November 2014 and reached #13 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts. Hailed as “strong and memorable” by The Nashville Scene, the EP’s five original songs highlight O’Connor and Lee’s tight harmonies as well as catchy, accessible melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and a wide range of acoustic textures.

O’Connor and Lee have recently teamed up with Mark and Maggie O’Connor to form the O’Connor Family Band, which is set to record its first full-length album in spring 2016. The Family Band also features Joe Smart on guitar/vocals and Geoff Saunders on bass, banjo, and vocals.

O’Connor graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Sociomusicology from Harvard University. He is also a co-founder of the music webcasting company Concert Window, Inc., which has developed into one of the leading webcasting platforms for musicians and has been featured on TED as well as in The Examiner, TechCrunch, The Boston Herald, Complex, Evolver.fm, and BostInnovation.



Such a gifted musician...O’Connor delivers songs in such an aching, sweet voice.
— Rosanne Cash
Wisewater’s original acoustic pop remains grounded in ways that elude many of their less rigorously schooled contemporaries. Their songs may be moody, dark, or ethereal in ways shared with those peers, but the melodies are strong and memorable, and their finely detailed instrumental work gives them a wide-ranging and expansive palette.
— The Nashville Scene
[Wisewater] makes beautiful music. The sound of their combined voices is heavenly. The music pouring out of these souls is truly angelic, and it has been my great pleasure to have been able to play with them on several occasions. With them you get world-class musicianship, professionalism, and deep feeling.
— Mary Gauthier
I love it. Their songwriting is skillful, insightful, and evocative. Kate’s voice is both soulful and sweet and blends effortlessly with Forrest’s clear, clean tenor. Their music is joyful, beautiful, and intentional. Wisewater, I’m listening, I ‘hear you,’ and I look forward to hearing your singing, songwriting, and playing for a long, long time to come.
— John Cowan


"What Have I Been Saying?" (Forrest O'Connor), recorded by Wisewater, 2014

"Forked Deer" (traditional), recorded 2014

"I Wouldn't Blame You" (O'Connor/Jim Shirey), recorded by Wisewater, 2015

"The A Team" (Ed Sheeran), recorded 2013

To see more videos, be sure to check out...

Forrest's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/forrestoconnormusic

Wisewater's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/wisewatermusic




All photos taken in and around Nashville, TN.


Video shoot for April Verch, January 2015.

Video shoot for Mark and Maggie O'Connor, June 2015.