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When the Lights Go Out

Johnny Nolan was one of Buffalo’s favorite downtown draws. He spent his evenings exhaling rock’s greatest lyrics, grinding out covers on guitar while basking in the adulation of devoted fans and revelers.

To Nolan, those nights under the lights meant everything—until he needed to walk away.

But what happens to a musician when his life strays from the stage? Does he settle into his marriage to a barroom waitress? Does he try to smooth past friction with the city’s most prominent bluesman? Or does he lean on the scene’s only garage band-leading Catholic priest to find his voice with or without the microphone?

Throughout his journey from rock clubs to familial crisis and rediscovery of music’s revelatory meaning, Nolan will find out how life unfolds—when the lights go out.

When the Lights Go Out is a moving, gritty and sometimes funny look into the life of a man struggling to find himself. It’s easy to imagine yourself in Nolan’s audience, a Budweiser in hand, your own deferred dreams doused in smoke. Farrell is the guy you want sitting next to you—a trusted regular who can tell you the whole story.” –Tanya Whiton, author of Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine

“Farrell’s fine-tuned tale is sure to be a hit among those who love Buffalo, music or stories about people who dig in and overcome, regardless of adversity.”
– Timothy Bohen, author of Against the Grain