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Gareth Dunlop was born in 1987 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The youngest of four siblings he grew up in working class
East Belfast listening to the music that his brother and
sisters adored. At the age of fifteen the discovery of
a collection of classic vinyl LPs and 45s sitting in a
neighbours bin bag ended up being a pivotal point
in Gareths career in music. From soul to rock
to pop his eyes and ears were suddenly opened to a variety
of genres and styles of music.
That summer was a real education. I played record
after record, over and over again. I loved reading the
covers and taking in who played on what session and was
fascinated by the names of the producers and studios where
each one was recorded. It made me fall in love with music
and the recording process.
Inspired by some of the all-time greats, Gareth, who had
been playing guitar for about a year, set about learning
lots of Beatles and Dylan songs and playing as much
Jimmy Page as I possibly could. Before long he started
performing in local pubs and clubs playing cover songs
with his band whilst also playing a few original gigs
along the way. It was at Belfasts legendary
Rotterdam Bar where Gareths first live EP was recorded.
Upon its release both media outlets and fans alike started
to take notice. The depth and maturity of his writing
and melt the heart of the harshest
critic, wrote Robert McNamara of The Red Press.
BBC Radio Ulster recognised Gareths talent naming
him ONE TO WATCH in 2010.
Between touring and recording Gareth and his friends also
fulfilled a life-long dream when they finished building
a recording studio out of an old cow shed. It was at Hill
House Studios where Gareth recorded his solo EP
Rooms featuring the songs Firefly
and Tangled up. Firefly soon came
to the attention of Northern Ireland superstars Snow Patrol
who decided to cover the song at a sold-out gig at Belfast's
Waterfront Hall and invite Gareth to join them on stage
to sing. It was incredible and a proud moment,
An invitation quickly followed for Gareth to participate
in a songwriting exchange between the sister cities of
Belfast and Nashville which put Gareth on stage at the
famous Bluebird Cafe. His talents as both a singer and
a uniquely gifted songwriter caught the attention of the
Nashville music community and he was offered a publishing
deal soon after. The immediate buzz in the U.S surrounding
Gareths music lead to several songs from his EP
being placed on such hit television series as Cougar
Town, One Tree Hill, Private Practice
and Life Unexpected. Then, on the heels of
his first international EP release, Gareth went on his
first U.S. tour opening a string of dates for Angus &
Julia Stone and the Grammy-nominated Steeldrivers. Recognition
for Gareths talent as a songwriter was later acknowledged
at the 2011 Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival
where he was presented with the Young Songwriter
of the Year Award.
Earlier this year, Gareths band flew to Nashville
to record with six-time Grammy winning producer Brent
Maher. Maher said, recording with Gareth
and his band was a wonderful experience...they are a brilliant
group of players. Gareths Devil
Mocks Me EP also features some of Nashville's finest
studio musicians including Glenn Worf and Michael Rhodes
on bass, Nir Z on drums and percussion and John Jarvis
Reflecting on the whole studio experience Gareth said,
I was looking around the studio and pinching myself
at the caliber of people involved. Brent Maher added,
Gareth is one of those rare artists who captures
a great vocal while playing and singing with the band.
In my career as a record producer working with Tina
Turner set the bar for me as to how an artist should drive
a rhythm section while delivering a brilliant performance.
Gareth has that same passion and power to create
a moment in a song you will always remember."