This week’s Green South Records reissue is a ripper; a mile marker for a band that was doing lots of gigs and had put plenty of runs on the board.
The Gunda Guys - Louey Hesterman, Felix Meagher, Neil Quinlan and Maity Swallow had been together for seven years before they popped into Hugh McDonald’s studios to knock out their album, Having the Craic.
Listening to this album is like walking into an Irish bar in the late nineties. There’s a warmth and joy about it. You can hear the quality of the musicianship, the assured performances and the little one percenters that all contribute to making a body of work sound cohesive and enjoyable.
The first thing I look at when I get a new album in is check out the production notes. I’m mad for it - who recorded it, where, when, how - all that sort of stuff.
I love the story of the recording, filling in the gaps, reading between the lines, building my own narrative of the album.
Production notes are generally spot on in regards to dates. At the very least we know which month it was recorded. But as I popped on the new Gunda Guys CD and thumbed through the slick to the production notes, I saw something I’ve never before seen:
Recorded at Hugh McDonald Studios, Kew, Victoria on January 31st 1999, between 10.58am and 2:13pm.
Three hours and fifteen minutes to knock out 12 songs. Crikey! What took you blokes so long?
The recording time took about as long as one of the three hour gigs the boys were smashing out every week. It features Neil Quinlan’s beautiful, resonant voice, the outstanding musicianship and joy of Louey Hesterman on bass and vocals, the superb fiddle playing of Felix Meagher and the world class button accordion work of the late, great Maity Swallow.
We’re rapt to have the lads on board and we hope you enjoy!