"SIX DAY HURRICANE"
ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL RECORDINGS
Johnny Gallagher is best known for his work as an actor. Appearing under his full name, John Gallagher, Jr. he won a Tony Award at the age of 22 for his performance in the Duncan Sheik scored Broadway musical Spring Awakening. He then went on to star in Green Day’s American Idiot on Broadway, Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series The Newsroom, and he appeared in the film Short Term 12 . While he is currently working on a variety of film projects, he is also set to return to Broadway in an eagerly anticipated production of Eugene O’Neill’s masterwork Long Day’s Journey Into Night. But if you talk to anyone close to him, the first thing they’ll tell you about is something much more personal and intimate to him, his music. Johnny grew up surrounded my music. His parents played and still play folk music in and around Wilmington, Delaware where he lived before relocating to New York City in 2002. As a child he and his sisters were taken to coffee shops, community centers, concert halls, and music festivals practically every weekend to see their mom and dad perform alongside numerous local and regional talents. By the age of ten he had seen Janis Ian, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Buddy Guy and The Band perform live. It had a lasting effect.
At fourteen years of age Johnny took his sister’s Guild acoustic and a book of guitar chords into his room, locked the door, and shirked his homework duties until he could play an entire song. Shortly thereafter he started writing his own original compositions. Sixteen years later he is still at it, fusing the folk and classic country singer/songwriter music he grew up listening to with the punk-pop and roots-rock Americana he would later embrace. For the first time ever, that fusion will soon be available to hear on a record.
Johnny’s debut album Six Day Hurricane is slated for release on January 15, 2016 via Rockwood Music Hall Recordings. Besides boasting a variety of different album releases, Rockwood also serves as a music venue in New York City. Over the past few years it has become a creative home for Johnny; there he has shared the stage there with numerous genre-hopping line-ups since 2006. Now their union is being taken to the next level with this album.
Recorded in a fun and furious whirlwind in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Six Day Hurricane serves as an introductory snapshot to the wide variety of styles that Johnny has been listening to for years. Under the inspired and subtle production of long time friend and collaborator Thad DeBrock (Ari Hest, Sharon Corr) a team of local musicians was assembled to bring Johnny’s songs, which had previously only ever been played solo on an acoustic guitar, to life in full band arrangements. Conrad Korsch (Rod Stewart) was brought in to play bass, Brian Delaney (The New York Dolls) was enlisted to play the drums, Johnny shared guitar duties with Thad who also added the finishing touches of piano, organ and pedal steel to the songs. The group clicked instantly and played a sold out show at NYC’s Bowery Electric as a warm up for the recording of the album. Thanks to the varied backgrounds of the musicians, the ensemble was able to bring all of those sensibilities to the table. Everything came together in a lightning burst of energy and productivity and when the smoke cleared, a record had been made.
Pulling from inspiration that ranges from the shimmering 60’s rock and roll of The Byrds to the crunchy 70’s power pop of Paul Collins to the epic narrative songwriting of Bruce Springsteen to the bouncy freneticism of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Wilco, or Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Johnny tossed all that he knew and loved into the blender to make a musical map that charted a diverse terrain; rocky and low one moment, high and breezy the next. The result is an album that is at once upbeat and introspective, self-celebratory and self critical, filled with ups and downs, beauty and sadness, passion and pain, regret and redemption, city and country. Six Day Hurricanegrabs the listener and hurls them into the storm only to greet them on the other side and pull them to safety and sunshine.