MUSIC TO THEIR EARS: Talented acoustic guitarist Gareth Carey has been amazing locals and visitors in town with his music. Photo: Michelle Crean

Passersby have stopped in their tracks in the heart of Killarney town in recent weeks as one very talented busker has been playing melodic, uplifting and refreshing songs on his acoustic guitar.

Michelle Crean talked to the man behind the strings, 40-year-old Gareth Carey, who is planning to make Killarney his new home.

And, during our ‘In Conversation’ he revealed that he has had a huge music career touring with Jeff Martin’s ‘Armada’ in Australia, supporting acts like Public Enemy, Gomez, The Wailers and had a meeting to discuss some songs with none other than The Temptations at the Royal Albert Hall.

He also toured Australia extensively and played for the Swing Dance Champion of the East Coast of America.

Gareth grew up in Malvern, England before moving to Clonakilty, Ireland aged 12 in 1992 and began to learn the guitar. When he was 16 he studied under the tutelage of Kevyn Gammond who played guitar with The Band of Joy with Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) on vocals and then collaborated on many albums and live shows Robert Plant went on to record and perform in his solo career. Gareth also attended Kidderminster College where he studied Music Management and Sound.

In the years that followed Gareth has been session playing with emerging bands from the Irish and English music scene.

His music influences include Nick Drake, Roy Harper, John Martyn and Bob Dylan and although he’s looking to get signed as a solo artist, he says that the music industry is going through a tough decade.

“Obviously it’s been a tough year with the year that’s in it,” he explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

He says that he supported Mick Flannery seven or eight years ago and recorded his first album with ’70s and ‘80s folk legend Roy Harper who has over 50 albums under his belt. Since then he’s been session playing but work is becoming increasingly hard to come by especially this year due to the pandemic and restrictions on gigs.

“The last 10 years has been the toughest for the music industry as it’s all free online now. It makes it more difficult to make a living from music now. I want to bring music back, I think it’s been lost a bit. It’s like art suddenly has no work. There’s no way around it.”

Not only has the last decade set him on harder times, the talented guitarist also recently smashed both his ankles in an accident, which has set him back even further.

“I smashed both ankles in Mercier in Spain on May 15 in an accident when I jumped into the water, not realising there were rocks beneath my feet.”

Metal pins were put in and it will take a few months to fully heal, he explained.
He says he’s ready to make a new album and hopes to get a record deal, especially since experiencing the positive reaction of the people in Killarney town.

“I’ve been a bit down on my own ability the last few years but now I’ve just got a new lease of life. I love Kerry especially Killarney, it’s the best town and the people are really nice. I plan to settle here. I want to get a record deal ASAP. I really want to do something special. I’ll sit outside Universal Records if I have to. I want to absolutely focus on my music and get my songs out there.”

To hear Gareth’s music have a listen on soundcloud.com/garethcareymusic.