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Danny Walsh getting back to his roots

The broadacre farming land of the Wimmera-Mallee is worlds apart from musician Danny Walsh’s home among Melbourne’s city streets.  

But for the lead singer of band ‘Danny Walsh Banned’, the duality of growing up amid the Wimmera’s broadacre fields and later spending his early adulthood in the city is exactly what inspired his band’s latest album, ‘In the Wimmera’. 

The diverse six-piece is well-known in Melbourne’s bars and clubs for its ‘rock ’n’ roll infused ’70s boogie’ backed with soulful ‘Australiana narratives’. 

Walsh, originally from Donald, describes the newest addition to the band’s repertoire as a ‘romanced notion about growing up in the area’. 

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“It’s a reflection of living in the city for 20 years and still yearning for the area where I grew up,” he said. 

“There’s a lot of stories coming from that area which have fallen out into this album.” 

He said the nine tracks on the album strung together elements of the Wimmera’s awe-provoking landscapes, cleverly interwoven with Walsh’s recollections of his Donald upbringing. 

“It’s an insight about how I feel about the area, looking at it from the outside, from being away for so long,” he said. 

“It’s telling a bit of a homecoming story, but definitely reflecting on the wide open landscapes. One of the songs, ‘Pride of Erin’, with the lyrics ‘you don’t need a mountain to see a long way’ speaks to that – you can see for miles up there.

“If you get those images from listening to the album, I think that’s a pretty special thing.” Walsh said his aunties from Donald, Anne Walsh, Bernadette Clark and Joan Adams, better known as The Walsh Sisters, provided backing vocals for part of the album. 

He said his aunties played a big part in his musical journey.  

“It’s been a special thing to have them part of it as well. We had a big, extended family growing up and music has always been a big part of our lives out there,” he said. 

“My three aunties used to perform a lot around Donald. Bernadette taught me guitar in primary school, Anne taught piano to all of us cousins, and Joan was the music teacher at the high school.”

The album artwork for ‘In the Wimmera’ is a photo taken by Walsh’s wife, Emma Peel, at a farming property in Litchfield, near Donald. 

The image features Walsh holding bandmate Leo ‘The Weed’ Tellefson’s 1970s ‘beat-up’ Italian Farfiso keyboard in the middle of the field. 

“That was Leo’s old keyboard that he played in the ’70s and ’80s – he just played it until it was ruined,” Walsh laughed. 

“The photo with the broken keyboard hopefully speaks to the whole imagery of what the album conjures up in people’s minds – juxtaposed against the farming background.” 

The band played one of its last gigs at Banyena Hall, near Donald, right before COVID-19 restrictions started. 

Walsh said although the band would be unable to celebrate the album release with a tour, it planned to live-stream a performance on June 5. 

The band is also planning to create a music video for one of its songs. 

Walsh put the challenge out to people to submit a video of themselves dancing to one of the songs, which the band plans to use for its video.

– Dylan De Jong

The entire May 27, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire May 27, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!