Gerry Guthrie, another new addition to the festival line up, plays the Rednecks and Rhinestones Festival on Sunday 24th July from 8.30pm-10pm
Singer and guitarist Gerry Guthrie was born and raised in Ballina Co. Mayo, where he still resides. He showed a keen aptitude for music from a young age and having obtained his first guitar when he was eight years old with the help of Joe Sweeney his music teacher he mastered the instrument. Aged 15, Gerry began playing with a local group called The New Blues on the local pub and cabaret circuit. He subsequently moved on to work with The Richmond’s, a well-established group playing lounge bars, weddings, dinner daces and private functions in the Mayo and South Sligo area.
In 2000, Gerry accepted an invitation to become lead guitarist with Sandy Kelly’s band, with whom he stayed for three years. Whilst touring with Sandy he also worked on her hit shows “The Patsy Cline Story” and “A Night At The Opry”. This gave him the opportunity to perform in theatres in Ireland, England and Scotland, in addition to television appearances. It was during this time that Gerry had the opportunity to work with Grand Old Opry Member and country music icon George Hamilton IV, The International Ambassador of Country Music.
Over the course of the following decade, Gerry worked as lead guitarist with Martin Cuff, Shawn Cuddy and Louise Morrissey. In recent years, Gerry has launched his one-man show, playing throughout Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway.
Gerry’s musical influences include Duane Eddy, Hank Marvin, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Garth Brooks, Gene Watson and on the Irish scene Jimmy Buckley, Ray Lynam & Matt Leavy. He has long admired the impressive guitar skills of Declan Nerney.
In 2009 Gerry decided it was time to venture into the studio, shortly afterwards he released his first single, the Cal Smith song “Sunday Morning Christian”, the track received a huge amount of airplay on local radio stations throughout the country.
It had long been Gerry’s dream to front his own country band, and a chance meeting with Henry Mc Mahon at a Jimmy Buckley dance brought Gerry one step closer to fulfilling it. Henry takes up the story “I had heard his single “Sunday Morning Christian”, and when I met him, I was amazed how much we had in common when it came to singers and songs. I am always of the opinion that a good dance programme is the most important ingredient in our type of music”. In the following months, Gerry was signed to Henry McMahon Promotions & the K-Mac record label.
The first thing was to find a suitable song to launch Gerry’s career. Karen from K-Mac Records came across the song “Shut Up Heart”, and was just waiting on the right singer to record it, that singer was Gerry and he was knocked out by the song. Straight away he contacted Jonathon Owens at Spout Recording Studio, went in and recorded the song. The release of “Shut Up Heart” brought Gerry’s distinctive country voice to a whole new national audience.
Gerry followed up his debut single on the K-Mac label with the release of an original song “The Lucky Horseshoe”, written by his manager Henry McMahon. The song has gained lots of airplay & remains one of the most requested songs on radio stations throughout Ireland.
Since the launch of “Gerry Guthrie & his Band” in September, Gerry and the band have been named “Best New Band 2010/2011” at the prestigious Sunday World Music Awards, and Gerry has been awarded “Best New Male Vocalist” at the Tipp FM Music Awards.