By profession, James O'Malley of Center Moriches is the rigger supervisor for Brookhaven National Laboratory.
"A rigger is somebody who knows how to move extremely things, tons at a time," O'Malley explains. "Machinery. It could be anything of heavy weight, with cranes and forklifts and things."
But once in a while, O'Malley puts on a different hat, straps a guitar around his shoulder, and becomes a singer-songwriter, too. On Friday, he will perform at Grounds & Sounds, the monthly coffeehouse music venue at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stony Brook. The show – which is a make-up show for an event that was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy – starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $12.50, and light refreshments are available for purchase.
He will perform original pieces from his repertoire of contemporary acoustic/folk music, along with some new material that he has not yet recorded.
"They're relationship based, story songs. ... It’s personal stories that the general public certainly can relate to right off the bat," said O'Malley, 62, who has been writing songs and performing since he was a child.
Within his performances, he said he hopes to be able to share his experiences with the audience – and hopes to relate to the audience in kind of a mutual exchange of thought and feeling, as well. "The goal is that everybody kind of leaves feeling that they had a good night out, and that my songs touch them in some personal way," he said.
O'Malley's work has been praised widely. According to Mark S. Tucker of the Folk Acoustic Music Exchange, "Ya can't help but feel good just listening to his stuff, it can't be avoided, there isn't an ounce of doom or existential despair to be found, just honest insights and contemplations."