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Errol Walsh & Ted Ponsonby Maverick Magazine Dec/Jan 2017
“JUST SAYIN …”
“Veteran musician explores many of the genres that have influenced him.”
Errol Walsh has had a rich and varied career across Europe, Canada, America and Australia. His many awards include a BCMA ‘Album of the Year’ award for 1997 with his band ‘Coyotes’ and he has worked with many renowned musicians in a variety of genres. Walsh has recently teamed up with Ted Ponsonby – a song-writer, producer, engineer and instrumentalist from Donegal to produce a retrospective journey across some of the genres and styles he has worked in.
Walsh himself says of the project, “My usual baseline of Americana style Country music is there but I’ve also re-visited some other styles that most of my friends would recognise.” He couldn’t be more succinct – this is a largely laid back, reflective, tender at times mixture of Americana, of picking and strumming augmented by piano, fiddle, dobro and saxophone that very often hits the spot in that Vince Gill /Kris Kristofferson, Sunday morning groove.
Album opener ‘Portstewart’ is a nostalgic ode to Walsh’s birth town, full of delightful rich vocals and evocative lyrics. John Dinny Waltz is driven by strings, a tale of two people falling in love during a dance. Seventeen evokes a bygone time and a yearning for lost love whilst a piano weaves in and out, and Matchbox Billy tells a tale of a boy removed from his family who has a ‘raging need to burn everything he could’. All the songs are delivered with Walsh’s trademark smooth, syrupy rich vocal tones and stretch effortlessly across all aspects of Americana from smooth LA style 70’s Country (Deep Sea Diving) to an almost Celtic infused mood (Queen of the Glens) to quiet fiddles and picking (Heavy on my Mind).
Special mention must be made of Long Way Down in which, by using a piano and saxophone, Walsh channels his inner Michael Buble, and Running out of Road which has an 80’s / Miami Vice / Glen Frey vibe, reminiscent of some of the music that used to appear on Bruce Willis’s TV show from that era, Moonlighting.
What started out as an idea to produce something that Walsh and Ponsonby could sell at their gigs has turned into a project of real quality. There is a thoughtfulness and level of musicianship on display here that is seldom found on independent releases. Even the level of production and sound quality is comparable to those found on a major label release, leaving JUST SAYIN’ a worthy and worthwhile addition to Walsh’s already bulging body of work.
Errol Walsh & Ted Ponsonby Maverick Magazine Feb/March 2017
“JUST SAYIN …”
Wise, thoughtful and compassionate Americana-style songs from Irish veterans.
Errol Walsh’s band The Coyotes’ self-titled album won the 1997 British Country Music Best Album award and “JUST SAYING …”, recorded with sometime Frances Black guitarist Ted Ponsonby and other musicians, shows that his ability to write sensitive, emotive lyrics and to deliver them with warmth and character remains undiminished.
All thirteen songs are Walsh originals and the tone is predominantly reflective.
On opening song Portstewart, for example, he reflects nostalgically on his home town, mercifully avoiding sentimentality by bleakly concluding, ‘Nothing much remains of the things I loved and the things I knew.’
On Queen Of The Glens he reflects on the beauty of the Glens of Antrim where he lives while on Heavy On My Mind he reflects helplessly on the passage of time. ‘It’s all over in a flash,’ he sighs, ‘All the dreams we left behind, all the truth we couldn’t find, weighs heavy on my mind’.
Not every song is personal, however. John Dinny Waltz is a romantic, third person narrative, for example, and Walsh sings compassionately about an emotionally damaged child on Matchbox Billy.
Walsh’s characteristic Americana sound is varied by occasional funk, folk and jazz elements with Ponsonby contributing several perfectly judged acoustic guitar and dobro solos.
“No instruments were harmed in the making of this album” proclaims the CD cover so ethical consumers can buy with untroubled consciences!
“A very significant country album that can stand proudly on its own two feet with the best in the business... This body of work from a true master will long be remembered after much of the imitations have faded into the mists of time....
A wonderful collection of great songs!”
Niall Toner - "Roots Freeway" RTE Radio One, Dublin
Niall is an international recording artist whose material has been featured in the hit US TV series “Nashville”
"This album from Errol Walsh has been a long time coming but the wait has been worth it. He explores many of the genres that have influenced him down the years and tells wonderful stories within those genres. If you like Texas Swing - it's there. If you like funk and soul they're there too.
But if you like great songs sung well they're there in abundance."
Charlie McGettigan - Singer/Songwriter/Broadcaster
"Thirteen songs move around from heartbreaking ballad to jazz grooves and country....... wonderfully evocative songs of almost cinematic quality with a talented musical cast featuring Ted Ponsonby's masterful instrumental skills in support of Walsh's rich ‘lived-in’ vocals."
Steve Kennedy - Northern Light Music
"Now I've been addicted to "Just Sayin....." for a week and it's ripening with each listen and I'm uncovering little nuances and stuff I missed on the first few listens which is always a very good sign with a new album. The laid back, beautifully controlled, story telling singing style of Errol Walsh (with echoes of Don Williams and John Prine) is just a perfect foil for the classy guitar playing style of Ted Ponsonby and they combine sublimely, lifting these songs to an emotional and soulful level that only a lifetime of musical experience can achieve. I can tell just by listening that these guys are totally invested, heart and soul, in these 13 hook laden mini ear movies. Invested to such an extent that I couldn't help but be drawn into each songs narrative."
Brian Forbes - Presenter - The Graveyard Shift