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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Ronan Gallagher Releases Second Album on Donegal Label, Modal Citizen Records

After a film script on which he had worked on for six impoverished years was rejected by the film board, broke, dejected, and finished with the film business, Leitrim native Ronan Gallagher bought his first guitar for €45 and decided he’d be a songwriter. He was barely able to play, had never stood on a stage, never sang publicly or had any history of music. Oh! And did we mention that he was also in his mid-fifties, an age when some are thinking ahead to retirement.

Six months after buying his guitar Gallagher had written over ten songs, one of which, ‘Long Gone’ was written in his local train station after a chance meeting with a young emigrant leaving Ireland for Australia. A few months later he formed his first band and took to the stage for the first time, and as Gallagher puts it himself, “Though there wasn’t many people at the gig, I felt absolutely at home on the stage from the minute I got on it, and when we finished the gig I knew that this is what I’d be doing for the rest of my life, crowd or no crowd.”

After many gigs locally he honed his songs and learned his trade and things were looking up, but, as anyone who knows the music business, break ups are inevitable, and soon he found himself band-less after three years of graft. A chance phone call changed everything again when someone mentioned the vibrant music scene that was happening in north Leitrim and Donegal.

As Ronan describes it; “A fair wind took me to Kinlough, Kiltyclogher and Bundoran where I met an amazing group of musicians who not only believed in my songs but brought their own unique talent to them, not least my producer, double bassist and dobro player Marc Geagan (ex Mirenda Rosenberg Band, Erdini) who opened up a whole new landscape for my music and songs”.

Other members in this stellar line-up include, Donal McGuinness and Matt Jennings (Bazork, Henry Girls) on trombone and tenor sax, Sean McCarron (Henry McCullough) on alto sax and Zac Drummond (Riverdance and Mirenda Rosenberg Band) on guitar. The result of that meeting and the years that led up to it are encapsulated in his debut album ‘Always Broke Never Broken’ which was released on Modal Citizen Records in 2019 and contains ten of those first songs including the aforementioned ‘Long Gone’. In 2021, Ronan finished recording his second album 'Time Waits For No One' released in April, described as gritty, passionate, raucous, lyrical, and at times political, his songs most of all tell stories about everyday life.

The middle of a pandemic is never a good time to record an album but thanks to the wonder of the internet, the wizardry of producer Marc Geagan, and the patience, creativity, and

co-operation of all the musicians, that is exactly what Ronan achieved. 'Time Waits For No One' was recorded in Bundoran and Derry, Ireland and was released on the Donegal Label.

A collection of eleven original songs, the album, like its predecessor 'Always Broke Never Broken', was made possible by the very generous support of fans from Ireland and around the world.

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