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Memorial University of Newfoundland - Digital Archives Initiative

Don Walsh collection (Coll-457)



Don Walsh began playing the guitar in his early teens. He started out playing the blues and pop, but was infected by Fairport Convention's Liege and Lief LP in the early '70s. In the mid-'70s, Don was further infected by fiddle player Jamie Snider (Wonderful Grand Band) and has been playing a mixture of traditional music and trad-rock ever since. The 1976 duo with Snider eventually led to the formation of Red Island, a ground breaking trad-rock band. Red Island toured the Atlantic provinces extensively during the late '70s and released one LP entitled In Pursuit of the Wild Bologna. After Red Island disbanded, Don worked as a solo artist for a number of years. During this time, Don started Tickle Harbour with his brother Des Walsh (a well known writer of screen and stage and a published poet with four books to his credit). Tickle Harbour lasted 20 years and recorded one LP and two CDs - The Hares Ears, The Brule Boys in Paris, and Battery Included, respectively. In the early 1990s, Don co-founded The Plankerdown Band with Newfoundland fiddler Kelly Russell (Figgy Duff). The Plankerdown Band has done tours in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and has performed in festivals across Canada. They recorded one CD entitled The Jig is Up. While with The Plankerdown Band, Don was involved in the 75th anniversary celebration of Alcock and Brown's transatlantic flight in Clifden, Ireland. The Plankerdown Band was one of four Newfoundland and Labrador bands picked to be part of the festivities. With various bands at various times, Don has also performed in festivals all over Newfoundland and Labrador as well as The Winnipeg Folk Festival, The Vancouver Folk Festival>, The Anne Murray Festival in Springhill, Nova Scotia, and in festivals in Ottawa, Ontario and in Miramichi, New Brunswick. In the early 1990s, The Plankerdown Band, along with Great Big Sea, The Ron Hynes Band, and Pamela Morgan and Anita Best, was part of The Tip of the Iceberg Tour. These four Newfoundland and Labrador bands toured cities and towns in England, Ireland, and Scotland. In addition to touring and festivals, Don has also been involved in movie soundtracks, TV shows, and numerous radio shows. From 1986 to 2001, Don owned and operated Dadyeen Studios in St. John's. There he engineered, produced, or played on over 30 different CDs. In 2005, in partnership with Jim Payne (SingSong Inc.), Don released a CD-ROM version of Kenneth Peacock's Songs of the Newfoundland Outports. The CD-ROM included music script, audio, photos, and all original text from this three-volume set of books. Don also produced and arranged Tickle Harbour's CD Battery Included, which was nominated for five awards at The 1998 Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Awards taking home three of the five - Instrumental Artist, Folk/Roots Artist/Group, and Album of the Year. The CD Another Time, produced by Don Walsh and Kelly Russell, was nominated for Album of the Year at The 1994 East Coast Music Awards. After 35 years of working as a musician, producer, and studio engineer, Don has had the privilege of working with some of the most talented musicians in the local, national, and international music scene. In addition to his incredible bandmates both past and present, Don has also worked locally with Emile Benoit, Neil Bishop (Lukey's Boat), Noel Dinn (Figgy Duff), Rufus Guinchard, Ron Hynes, Sandy Morris (Wonderful Grand Band), Dermot O'Reilly (Ryan's Fancy), Jim Payne (A Crowd of Bold Sharemen), Jamie Snider (Wonderful Grand Band), and John White (CBC's All Around the Circle). On the national scene, Don has worked with Montreal rock/blues guitarist Gaston Gagnon (Garolou) and also with Toronto jazz great, multiple Juno Award winner, saxophonist Mike Murley. On the international scene, Don has worked with master fiddlers Seamus Creagh, Matt Cranitch (Sliabh Notes), and Bob O'Donovan (The Irish Rovers), as well as the brilliant Irish piper Paddy Keenan (The Bothy Band). These are but a few of the wonderfully creative people that Don has had the opportunity to work with.

These days Don playes with the band Solid Ground.

Fonds consists of textual, photographic, and audio-visual material relating to Don Walsh's life and career,1960s-2014. Fonds includes promotional material, photographs, recordings, and correspondence related to Walsh's activities as music producer (Dadyeen Studios) and a professional musician with the following bands: Red Island,Tickle Harbour, Plankerdown Band, and Solid Ground. Material also relates to his activities as an independent musician. The fonds also includes material associated with his personal life (family and friends) as well as his work as a computer programmer. In addition, the fonds consists of a pan flute, several t-shirts and art work.

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The site consists of
30 CD Sleeves These also contain LP Jackets and Cassette covers
29 video files
40 MP3 objects. These objects may consist of multiple mp3 files.
86 PDF files containing material such as track sheets and notes from various recording projects as well as newspaper clippings and letters etc.
3579 photographs


For more about Don Walsh see the Archives finding aid Coll-457

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