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Declan McGarry / Press

“There were lots of interesting talents that took the stage [for the 2012 CCMA New Artist Showcase], but the one that caught my ears with stage presence, voice and interesting original songs was Declan McGarry. McGarry is a young Brad Paisley meets Jason Aldean mashup.”

“The modern era of country music’s mainstream seems to go in spurts with only a very limited one or two new slots opening per year for a new act to slide in and grab. Unfortunately because of this a lot of very talented artists tend to initially get overlooked by Nashville’s industry side which has sort of been the case with Canadian transplant Declan McGarry. However, his luck could just be about to change. With a slight bent towards a more heartland style of music combining with enough rock and country edge to give it a fresh and modern feel, McGarry uses his authentic vocals to paint a perfect picture with his lyrics and capture any audience he is in front of such as the one at Nashville’s Red Rooster. The modern era of country music’s mainstream seems to go in spurts with only a very limited one or two new slots opening per year for a new act to slide in and grab. Unfortunately because of this a lot of very talented artists tend to initially get overlooked by Nashville’”

“At a house concert there’s not much to hide behind … usually just an artist, his guitar and his songs. You’ve likely heard Declan’s music so you know he writes some great songs and is an impressive singer. What I can tell you after he performed at our house concert is that he’s also a great performer that our guests truly enjoyed. I think one of the coolest things about a house concert is that it’s an intimate setting where the audience has a chance not only to listen to the artists but talk to and get to know them as well. Declan’s easy going personality and willingness to engage with our friends, neighbors and family made him a Calgary House Gigs favorite. We can’t wait to have him back. ”

“Declan McGarry is obsessed with summertime and being seventeen again. That’s what you might think on on the opening “Summer Heat” and subsequent songs like “Seventeen” and “Summers of My Life.” But hold on. This 25-year-old Canadian who hails from Winnipeg — hometown of the legendary Neil Young and an early influence — has much more to say. Sure, the coming-of-age songs about driving to the lake in a pickup truck on a warm summer’s day when you’re a teenager put a smile on your face, but there seems to be something deeper here. Producer Nick Pellegrino, who co-wrote many of the songs, helped to polish up most of these cuts into Americana rockers straight out of the Bon Jovi and Springsteen catalogs (another early influence), but Nashville resident McGarry is also mature beyond his years. He has something to say and a powerfully controlled voice with which to say it. ”

“It makes sense that McGarry likes to write simple, direct songs that favor good story lines and sincere emotion over cleverness or trends: He grew up in Winnipeg, where Neil Young cut his teeth, and dug deep into Young’s catalog when he was, well, young himself... Producer Nick Pellegrino...convinced the singer-songwriter to offer his take on the Young ballad “Wrecking Ball.” But he’s equally if not more influenced by a certain New Jersey troubadour, demonstrated both in McGarry’s fondness for coming-of-age sagas and car references and in his knack for radio-ready anthems. (The piano intro to “Summer Heat” in particular bears faint echoes of Springsteen’s “Backstreets.”) In McGarry’s case, though, the radio those songs are ready for could just as easily be country, as evidenced by tracks such as “Let It Go” and “Angels on the Billboards.” But the best tracks may be the quietest ones, like the mandolin- and accordion-laced “Everything” or the solo acous”

Jack Silverman - The Nashville Scene