Eddie Gallagher is a familiar name on the local music scene and after the release of three albums, numerous stage performances and much air play on radio the voice has become equally well known.
And now, with his fourth C.D. set to enter the public domain, and a tour to the United States confirmed for next month, he’s all set to push his claim as one of the county’s foremost artists.
The Termon native’s latest release, ‘Eddie Gallagher - A New Collection’, is in the music shops and has been, and will be, the subject of a double launch in Carndonagh and Letterkenny respectively.
As he settles himself in the foyer of the Station House Hotel which will host the latter launch on Saturday night May 5th, he cites the influence of his mother, Cathleen, as the key to his own involvement in music.
“My mum’s a great singer and her whole family would have been very musical,” Eddie relates.
From the age of five he would perform in front of family and friends - “at weddings and the like” - and occasionally would be called up for a song at his local on a Saturday night.
“But it was only in my late twenties and early thirties that I realised the direction I wanted to go. I wanted to perform on stage and to record albums.”
Appearances as support to the prestigious likes of Louise Morrissey, Mick Flavin, Philomena Begley and Brian Coll aided the dream and between 2005 and 2006 he recorded and released his debut album ‘Country and Home’.
That was backed up by another C.D. ‘From Ireland to Chicago’ but the breakthrough album, ‘Harvest Moon’ was the one that he believes set him on his way. “It really took off and was played on radio stations all over the country.”
It’s a sure thing that his new release will take his status to further heights - and an international arena.
It was late in 2011 that he was invited to undertake a five show tour in Chicago, three of them at a musical festival in the company of his outstanding singing partner, Dymphna McBride.
Along with family members, they’ll fly out to the Windy City on May 21st and the luggage hold will include copies of the newly released C.D. “A promoter called Frank Bradley, who I believe has Donegal connections, invited us to perform there on the strength of radio plays and after all the details were finalised it was confirmed.
“I couldn’t believe it and it’s obviously brilliant timing with the release of the new C.D.,” Eddie points out.
That twelve track album - it was launched in Tully’s Bar in Carndonagh last Friday night and will be again in the Station House Hotel in Letterkenny this Saturday - features two original songs, one of them ‘I Am The Lord’ composed by Eddie himself (he describes it as an “uptempo Gospel” offering) and the final track, ‘A Generation On’ jointly written by the singer and Frank Breslin. “It’s an emigration song which is appropriate for the times that are in it.”
Eddie has written songs before, seven of them featuring on his initial three albums, and indeed well known performer, John Glenn, has recorded ‘Across the Blue Sea’.
“I write a lot of stuff, some of it I record and some of it I don’t, but I’ve also written for other artists.”
His latest album was recorded at Valley Studios in Ballybofey under the expertise of Terry McGinty and at Church Brae Studios in Fahan. Musicians involved included Aidan McLaughlin, John Dolan, Al McQuilkin, Terry McGinty, Patsy Gallagher, and Sean Kerrigan.
Now firmly resident in Letterkenny, Eddie is married to Angela with the couple having three children, Bronagh, Darren and Sonia. His mum, Cathleen, and dad, Hugh, reside in Termon.
“A New Collection”, not to mention his forthcoming trip to the U.S., will surely help enhance a reputation that has already earmarked him as a performer with nothing left to prove but still keen on proving it.