Roughly two years ago, Dylan Walshe released “Blind is Blind” on Germany’s Squoodge records. It was a limited single that introduced 300 lucky listeners to the depth and craftsmanship of a musician who not only understood heart-aching song-writing, but had the skill to pull it off.
While the world moved on and people slept amongst feelings of emptiness and loss, Walshe toured, wrote, and sharpened his skill into a weapon suitable for slicing emotions and carving into the soul. Walshe cut his swathe on local gigs, ultimately earning a place on the Muddy Roots circuit, and, all the while, working under the world’s radar.
Walshe’s knowledge and voice are his keenest weapons. Scroll through his Facebook page and read his insights into Blues and Folk or just grab a copy of his recorded live performance in Bremen, Germany, at the Soul Hell Café, and his place long musical legacy rolls out like an invading army. Within the originals on Soul Hell Café, there are hints of Billy Bragg’s vocals (“Luck is a Beggar, Luck is an Tinker”) scatterings of Springsteen harmonica slams (“Death Dance”), all centered around the controlled fury of Shane McGowan. The release a live recording over a studio effort was the only logical way to even begin to showcase the power and glory of Washe’s capabilities. Make no mistake, Walshe’s skills are razor sharp and he wields them with deadly accuracy.
It takes balls to release a live album as a freshman effort. And is if it wasn’t tough enough, it puts hair on those balls to cover one of the The Clash’s greatest songs and give it a voice of its own. There are a few Youtube clips of Walshe covering “Straight to Hell”, but they don’t come close to merging new life into Strummer’s universal concern for humanity contained in these five minutes. It’s a track of true beauty that shows, along with the acapella “Grinnin’ In Your Face”, Walshe’s comfort in the steps of those who came before him.