Musician, producer, and recording artist Barry Walsh is releasing his follow-up to 2008’s critically acclaimed The Crossing on November 29, 2011.
In the four years since his first release, Walsh has been a busy man. In between tours with long-time musical partner and now wife Gretchen Peters, he co-produced recent albums by Peters (Northern Lights, Hello Cruel World) and singer-songwriter Tom Russell (Blood and Candle Smoke, Mesabi). He recorded with Nanci Griffith and Rodney Crowell, and now has written, produced, and engineered his own second album, Paradiso.
Once again using an album title as a metaphor for life changes, Paradiso implies a period of happy stability in the life and career of the artist.
Broadening the palette from his mostly solo piano first effort, Walsh enlisted help from among his wide circle of musical friends. Producer-guitarist Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin, John Hiatt) layers his vibe-filled guitars on the atmospheric “There’s Been an Incident”, which also features Peters’ Renaissance-like choral arrangement. Dobro star Rob Ickes of Blue Highway duets on “Marathon Motor Works”; and turning things upside down, it’s Peters who plays piano while Walsh plays guitar on a track they wrote together, “Seven Weeks”. Walsh’s son Brennan Walsh co-wrote and adds guitar to “Youth and Age”, and David Henry, who has mixed both of Walsh’s solo efforts, adds his cello to “Youth and Age”, as well as the Philip Glass influenced “Koblenz” and “Marathon Motor Works”.
Included in this album is a new recording of a piece that was originally used in two parts on the Gretchen Peters with Tom Russell album One to the Heart, One to the Head, the cinematic “North Platte”.
Continuing a tradition he began on The Crossing, Walsh again covers an obscure Erik Satie piece as the only outside material, the whimsical “Son Binocle” (“His Monocle”). The album closes with an atmospheric re-imaging of this piece.
This is an instrumental recording that sails effortlessly between genres and across the lessons and influences of a forty year career of music making.