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The Story of
‘Ghosts of Hope & Magic’

I’ve made a scrapbook of events and memories over the recording and release of my debut album ‘Ghosts of Hope & Magic’. There were some real learning moments for me along the way, lots of thrills and exciting happenings. I just wanted to record it for myself and anyone else that might be interested.

Recording The Album

Dec 2020 – June 2021

The album was recorded at Audioland Studios just outside Dublin in Leixlip, Co Kildare. We began in December 2020 just as the world was beginning to deal with a little thing called Covid. Anthony Gibney was our host at the studio and also our engineer and co-producer.

We had some amazing musicians with us for this one and it’s fair to say the album would not sound the way it does were it not for their impressive talent and experience.

On Keys/Piano we had Max Greenwood who has played with many great artists including, Jack L, Mundy, Jerry Fish and Tom Baxter. On Bass we had Keith Duffy, a very familiar name to anyone in the music industry on this island, working with such artists as The Corrs and Van Morrison.

On Drums we had Adam Marcello who has played with everyone from Brandi Carlile and Tim Burgess to Katy Perry. On Backing Vocals we had Naimee Coleman who apart from having her own impressive solo career has worked with Robin Gibb from the Bee Gees and Howard Jones.

We got the basic tracks down in the first week and then recording took another 5 months due to the world ending temporarily and also a lack of direction on my part. We got a few extra musicians to contribute remotely over the following months, Tom Portman on Lapsteel, Katherine Atkinson on Violin, Adrian Murphy on Flute and Dave Duggan also on Lapsteel. Finally we had the mixes completed by Summer ’21 and then the final step of mastering was provided by Pete Maher and Simon Francis.

The First Single ‘Strays’

September 2021

‘Strays’ was released on 26th September 2021, the first single from  the album campaign. The reaction and feedback to the single was quite unexpected, I am a DIY musician with no PR or Managment company behind me so to get such positive praise and radio coverage was a real thrill and testiment to the work we had put in during recording process. Credit goes to Anthony Gibney for always pushing for perfection in the songs during recording and mixing.

‘Strays’ received a slew of plays over the coming weeks on RTE Radio1, Today FM and many regional stations by DJs such as Fiachna ó Braonáin, John Creedon, Ronan Collins, Lilian Smith and Cathal Murray. I managed to get myself a feature article on the recording of my debut album on the RTE.ie website www.rte.ie . The single was picked for the RTE Radio1 Recommends Playlist three times over the next few weeks, reaching No.2 in the RTE Radio1 Airplay charts!

Another thrilling suprise moment popped up months later on a random Saturday in May when actor Robert Carlyle tweeted ‘Strays’ as part of his pick of indie artists for the day. Robert has long been a supporter of unsigned or independent artists on twitter.

Releasing The Album

October 2021

‘Ghosts of Hope & Magic’ dropped on October 26th 2021 for digital download and streaming. My very own album was released out into the world! For someone who grew up with the thrill of buying and treasuring new releases this was a big thing. To celebrate I did a livestream launch on Youtube. I had wanted to do a real live gig but Covid had other plans, I would have to wait ’til Feruary 2022 to do a proper launch gig at The Bello Bar in Dublin, its was a great night – here’s a clip.

Youtube Livestream Album Launch October 26th 2021

The Album was reviewed a few weeks later by non-other than Tony Clayton Lea in The Business Post on Sunday 7th November – Link here. This was a first for me and a real pinch myself moment, one of those times that I wished my parents were still around to see it. Thankfully it was a good review, nestled in between reviews of Abba and Ed Sheeran.

‘Brighteyes’ Single Release

February 2022

‘Brighteyes’ was released on 24th February 2022, getting some great airplay on RTE Radio1 and regional stations and even getting a few plays as far a field as Atlanta, Georgia USA.

A few months earlier we were very kidly invited up to Derry by Donal Scannel to perform ‘Brighteyes’ for a TV show called ‘Ireland in Music’. Myself, Max Greenwood and Naimee Coleman frolicked among the trees in St. Columbs Park on a beautful sunny day as the cameras danced around us, you can watch it here (39 mins in). It finally aired in April ’22.

‘Sleeping Giant’ Single Release

May 2022

‘Sleeping Giant’ was released on 27th May 2022, again getting some great airplay on RTE Radio1 and regional stations, making the RTE Radio 1 Recommends Playlist and making it to No.7 on the RTE Radio 1 Airplay Charts.

Most of my videos are self-made, sometimes using stock video and sometimes my own footage and graphics, the video for ‘Sleeping Giant’ was a mixture of both. The rabbit in the video is not a real rabbit! it’s me with a mask on, filmed by my daughter in our very own back garden.

‘September’ Video Release

September 2022

I wanted to do something different for this song, it’s a very visual song and I felt that the video should reflect that and also maybe amplify the feelings behind it. I approached a friend of a friend – Síona O’Connor who’s videos and pics I had admired on Instagram for a while. She loved the song and was excited to try and come up with something fitting. I’m so happy with what she captured for the video, it’s so peaceful and relays a hidden part our natural surroundings that we often don’t see, all filmed around the outskirts of Dublin. Thank you Síona!

‘M50 Song’ Single Release

October 2022

‘M50 Song’ was released on October 26th 2022, exactly a year after the album was released in 2021. It was received very well by radio stations getting plenty of airplay again on RTE Radio 1 and again making on to the ‘RTE Radio 1 Recommends Playlist’.

I’d like to mention some of the regional and digital radio DJ’s that have always been so supportive of independent artists in Ireland – Highland Radio’s Jimmy Stafford, Paul Cullen on Charity Radio.com, Mike Mulvihill on Northern Sound, Ann Marie Kelly on Midlands FM, Dave Dee Moore on Blues&Roots Radio, Nessy on 2XM, Ann Marie Walsh on 8 Radio, Roddie Cleere and Martin Bridgeman on KCLR FM, and finally Fergus O’Keefe in WRFG Atlanta.

And so we come to the end of what was my album release and promotional journey and what an adventure it turned out to be! I’m sure I’ll never forget the twists and turns this album brought me through, I’m very proud of what I achieved from piecing  the songs together in my head to recording them in the studio with world class musicians to hearing those same songs beamed back to me live on my kitchen radio, there really is nothing quite like it.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped me to get this over the line, Max Greenwood, Naimee Coleman, Adam Marcello, Keith Duffy, Anthony Gibney, Katherine Atkinson, Aidan Murphy, Tom Portman, Dave Duggan, Will Wilde, Simon Francis and Pete Maher. Thank you!

your very own copy of the album

Limited Edition Compact Disc

Grab yourself a piece of this personal history of Gerr Walsh, The first batch of ‘Ghosts of Hope & Magic’ on Compact Disc, signed by myself with a personal message if you so wish. I will post it out to you as soon as my feeble little Irish hands can get to work packaging the whole thing together for you, so far I’ve posted everywhere from California to France to Japan. The link below will bring you to my Bandcamp site where you can order, so get in touch!

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