I thought I'd post a couple of nice reviews of our gig in Lerwick, Shetland Islands on July 26, 2016:
I thought I'd post a couple of nice reviews of our gig in Lerwick, Shetland Islands on July 26, 2016:
Here's an interview my wife Gretchen and I did with music journalist Jeff Miller for his Flashpointarts.org website. It's in two parts.
I was recently interviewed by the US Department of Health and Human Services about my experience with the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
I'm honored that I've been invited to join Elizabeth McGovern's band Sadie And The Hotheads for their first US tour. I'll be replacing my friend, the great keyboardist Nick Lacey, who had a prior commitment in London and could not make these US dates. The dates are listed on my tour page, but I'll list the whole tour here:
USA TOUR DATES
9- Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head On Stage
10- Albany, NY - Sawyer Theatre @ Empire State Plaza PAC
12- Norfolk, CT - Infinity Hall Norfolk
13 - Pawtucket, RI - The Met
14- Hartford, CT - Infinity Hall Hartford
Here's a nice piece on how this band came about. Again, I'm so honored they asked me along. They are all great people and I cannot wait to hang out with them!
Yes, yes, Sadie and the Hotheads are Elizabeth McGovern’s band. But despite the transatlantic, Oscar-, Grammy- and Golden Globe-nominated star of Downton Abbey being the central figure, this is far from simply being time off from the day job.
Sadie and the Hotheads are a real band, quite simply, one of the most fascinating acts around today playing… well, it’s difficult to say exactly what they play. Elizabeth’s sometimes winsome, sometimes sultry vocals – and quirky, off-the-wall lyrics – front a world of musical influences, from 60s pop to country, esoteric folk to jazz, Celtic to torch songs. But nothing for very long – just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s going on, they’ve swished and swirled and danced on to something completely different.
And while Sadie’s found fame of late, thanks to the global appreciation of Downton, this is no hastily put together group of individuals. The band have been gestating, creating, and imagining their curious and thoroughly engaging brand of world music for a number of years. “I’m not a solo performer,” she insists. “Without these musicians I wouldn’t exist.”
Yet McGovern is the poster girl of fiftysomething women (happy to declare that it’s the decade when a woman is at her sexual peak) and has worked single-mindedly to create something new at a time when it would have been all too easy to sit back and simply enjoy her Downton fame.
It all started in 2007 when Elizabeth, long given to writing and strumming, responded to an ad for a guitar teacher and engaged the services of Steve Nelson. Steve was – and, indeed, still is – one of the Nelson Brothers, along with Simon, a much admired act in the British country-roots scene.
The pair hit it off and soon Steve was not only helping with Elizabeth’s playing but also her writing. It wasn’t long before Simon, a breathtaking guitarist himself, was on board along with chums, including drummer Rowan Oliver from electro-pop act Goldfrapp, and created the extraordinary album I CAN WAIT. The record received lavish reviews such as “a great pop record” and “intriguing and very catchy”.
Elizabeth’s film credits include Robert Redford’s Ordinary People, and Ragtime, for which she was nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actress but she’d moved to England from the US to start a family.
“I had more time on my hands,” she reflects. “I wasn’t working quite so much, my kids were a lot younger – there was an empty space there for me to live in and fill up. That’s why it happened.”
But she, and Sadie and the Hotheads, hadn’t bargained for the astonishing rise of Downton Abbey. The band played occasional dates but hung on in there as their singer worked tirelessly and, against all the odds, five years later came up with a second album, HOW NOT TO LOSE THINGS, featuring guest vocals from Downton co-star Michelle Dockery. The same unusual instrumentation remained (Simon and Steve playing all things stringed, including dobro, mandolin, banjo, ukulele and even bouzouki) yet the band had progressed, becoming more assured while still retaining their playful and intelligent outlook.
More shows followed and a stable line-up, with the Nelsons, original member Ron Knights, pianist Nick Lacey, percussionist Terl Bryant and vocalist Danica Chapman, a line-up that between them has worked with everyone from John Paul Jones to Joss Stone, Walter Trout to Faith Hill, Mavis Staples to Roddy Frame.
The band toured in 2014 with Mike Rutherford’s Mike and the Mechanics (Elizabeth sometimes making a mad dash from Downton set to stage), have appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival twice, have played a string of dates at the Edinburgh Fringe and opened for Sting at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Elizabeth fronts the band on stage with a girlish enthusiasm combined with a rock ‘n’ roll style that puts her up there with any of the bright young things of the music scene – and all a beguiling world away from her persona as the dignified Lady Cora in Downton
A third album, STILL WAITING, in 2014 had Grammy and Emmy award-winning producer Kipper Eldridge (a veteran of several platinum-selling Sting albums) at the helm, featured guest appearances from guitarist Mike Rutherford as well as Nashville star Gretchen Peters.
As well as breathtaking original material, there are also covers that say much about the band’s breadth of vision – an ethereal take on the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive and beautiful, dreamy rendering of the Rolling Stones’ Wild Horses. The record crosses more borders than ever before, being at once a cutting edge creation while never likely to offend her TV followers
And given Elizabeth’s celebrity status, the band has celebrity fans, including former BBC1 controller Alan Yentob and actor John Malkovich, who were both there to see a packed but low-key performance in West London’s Troubadour. The band are now set to conquer America with PBS – which screens Downton – ready to record them in concert for a TV special.
Ask Elizabeth what Sadie and the Hotheads are about and she admits: “Even I find it very difficult to describe – it doesn’t slot into any one thing, but that’s what makes it special.”
Recently, my wife wrote a post for CD Baby that's received a lot of attention. I think it's such great advice for young artists I want to post it in its entirety. Here's Gretchen Peters:
My friend and videographer Bluematter1969 has created a stunning video of my song "Years May Go By" from The Crossing. In case you missed it on my home page, here it is:
Ireland duo tour with Gretchen Peters is confirmed for 16-26 October. Tickets on sale soon. For dates, see my tour page.
I just finished putting together our walk-in music disc for the upcoming "Woman On The Wheel Tour 2013". It's one of my favorite parts of the touring process.
Gretchen's Theme, the first track off my latest release, Paradiso, was recently licensed for use in a Dutch film called "The Sex Police".
I seldom blog, but this year the accolades coming in about a CD I co-produced warranted a response. The recognition for my wife Gretchen Peters' Hello Cruel World CD has been gratifying. It's her career album, and a singular artistic achievement. This little recording, without a large Music Biz budget or record label machine behind it, has really made its mark in the world, for which we are grateful. But don't take my word for it. Here are some of the great mentions we've gotten about it in the last few weeks of 2012:
Here's the Proper Records page for Paradiso: http://www.propermusic.com/product-details/Barry-Walsh-Paradiso-143328
Happy to announce that Gretchen Peters and I will be opening a few shows for John Prine next month. October 26th in Tuscaloosa, AL, and October 27th in Jackson, MS.
Scarlet Letter Records
An accomplished collection of mainly piano-led, melodic instrumentals.
Here's a beautiful blog I just read from a friend in the Bay area, Kelly Reiterman. She writes beautifully, and is an original thinker. Proud to call her a friend.
The video you see on my homepage was produced by Eric Temple of Highway 89 Media, out of Salt Lake City, Utah. He's done great work in the past for my friend Tom Russell and also for my wife, Gretchen Peters. The song, Koblenz, is from my new Paradiso album.
Gretchen Peters and I are leaving soon for the 2012 Hello Cruel World Tour. We'll be traveling all over North America and also through England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Germany and Holland, between now and June. If we get close to your town, I hope you'll come out and see us. Below is the tour schedule as it now stands. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year!
Three days after it's release, the first review of Paradiso has come in, and so far, so good. Editors Pick on CD Baby:
Musician, producer, and recording artist Barry Walsh is releasing his follow-up to 2008’s critically acclaimed The Crossing on November 29, 2011.
Here's the song by song description of Paradiso, to be released this coming Tuesday, November 22:
The search for a cover for my new album, “Paradiso” is an interesting story. Here’s how it unfolded:
After 7 months of work, my new release, "Paradiso", is now finished! I'm planning on releasing it on Tuesday, November 22nd.
I could not be more proud right now of my wife, Gretchen Peters. I first met her over twenty years ago when I was called to play on a song demo for her.
Last year Tom Russell asked me to co-produce his next album with him. I had played on his last three albums in Austin and Tucson and we developed a great working relationship over those last six years. We worked on this new one - called "Mesabi" - for almost a year, in a series of recording sessions that took place all across America.
I could not have said it any better, so I didn't even try. This is my partner Gretchen Peters' tour journal for the just completed German/Dutch Tour, Posted on Artist Data on March 28, 2011.
I've started work on the follow up to "The Crossing". I've recorded about half of the-as yet untitled-new CD. Here's what it looks like so far:
We are slowly getting our 2011 European Tour together. We've got firm dates now for Germany and Holland.
Longtime partner in life and music, songwriter Gretchen Peters and I got married on October 2nd in a churchyard near our home in Nashville, TN, with our family and close friends surrounding us. We are very happy to be starting this new chapter in our lives.
We had a great UK tour last month, with many highlights including Terry Wogan's "Weekend Wogan" show in London with his great house band; the Cambridge Folk Festival; the Trowbridge Festival; and a great gig (and great shopping) in Bristol, which is fast becoming one of our favorite UK haunts.
Artist:Gretchen Peters & Barry Walsh Venue:The Sage Town:Gateshead Date:17/05/10 Website:www.gretchenpeters.com/ & barrywalshmusic.com Over the past fourteen plus years, Gretchen Peters has become one of the most revered artists to play in the UK, year after year.
Gretchen and I are leaving tomorrow for London, and the start of our next UK tour; the all request, "WITHOUT A NET UK Tour 2010". We've had to go back and relearn a lot of songs that have been requested in the last few months that we haven't been playing lately.
I wanted to post a news item about our recent flood here in Nashville, but when I read Gretchen Peters blog on it I realized that she had written exactly what I wanted to write about it. So here is her blog on the great flood of 2010, and on the city that I moved to in 1969.
The news of Alex Chilton's death has hit us hard. It was 9 years ago, on a cold January morning in 2001, when I first got a call to play a string of dates in Canada with The Box Tops. I met Alex that morning at the airport in Minneapolis, where we all met for the connecting flight to Winnipeg. I learned the Box Tops songs that day on the airplanes, writing out charts while listening to a Walkman. Through the last nine years, I came to expect the unexpected whenever I was around Alex.
11.22.09. Bush Hall, London:
Gretchen and I are looking back at the last month in wonder. From Boston on 10.24.09 to London tonight on the anniversary of the death of JFK, 11.22.09. We've managed to survive flight changes, driving ourselves around for 2 weeks in Northern Ireland (on the wrong side of the road), torrential rains in both England and Holland, great meals and bad meals along the way, great hotels and some not-so-great hotels along the same way, and most importantly, great audiences throughout.
I'm in Albuquerque on the way home after an amazing week in the Southern Rockies, riding the narrow gauge railroads of Colorado and New Mexico. Tom Russell, Gretchen Peters, Wylie Gustavson, Sourdough Slim, Paul Zarzyski and I spent the last week entertaining the 60 or so music lovers on the trip.
The Train trip (Roots On the Narrow Gauge Rail) was a resounding success. Everyone had a great time, and the artists on the trip (Gretchen Peters and myself, Tom Russell and Thad Beckman, Wylie Gustafson, Paul Zarzyski and Sourdough Slim) all had a great time.
I'm privileged to have worked on a whole raft of CD's that either have come out recently, or will come out soon. Some of these include:
ONE TO THE HEART, ONE TO THE HEAD REVIEWS Here's four early reviews of the new Gretchen Peters with Tom Russell CD "One To The Heart, One To The Head", currently climbing the Americana charts.
Starting the year out in San Diego on Jan 1 by visiting with journalist Kenny Weisberg and going to the San Diego Zoo after playing New Years Eve with the Box Tops.
Here's a youtube clip of Gretchen Peters, Janis Ian and myself doing Wild Horses in Winters, CA on 9/12/08 at The Palms Playhouse
My good friends, The Amber Rose Guitar Duo (Martin Nockalls and Steve Merrett), from Doncaster, UK, have released their tastful version of my song "Exeter Cathedral" on their new CD, Acoustic Axis.
Barry Walsh has been making music professionally for more than thirty years. Most of that has been spent in Nashville recording studios.
Barry Walsh The Crossing (Scarlett Letter Records, 2008) Terrific sidemen are the unsung heroes of the music world.
Artist:Barry Walsh Album:The Crossing Website:http://www.barrywalshmusic.com Barry Walsh has been a professional musician for more than three decades, and in that time he's performed with Roy Orbison, Jimmy Webb and Al Green, and he's written songs that were recorded by Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and the Amazing Rhythm Aces.
Helen Mitchell - FATEA UK: http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/barrywalsh.html World traveler and musical explorer Barry Walsh has done many things and made music with some extraordinary figures, but only now has he composed and recorded a solo instrumental album.
From Maverick Magazine (UK), May '08: Barry Walsh The Crossing( Scarlet Letter Records 207141-2)