Keith Wallace is the man behind Rusted Rail, one of Galway’s longest established record labels. In the 11 years it has been running it has released 36 albums from varying genres and styles, but all with integrity and quality music. Rusted Rail’s next release will see two albums released on the 31st of March, one from A Lilac Decline and one from Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon. On Wednesday 22nd of March, Rusted Rail take over the weekly Citóg showcase in The Róisín Dubh to celebrate the new releases. Read on to learn more about Keith and Rusted Rail….
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My Name is Keith Wallace and for the past 11 years I have been running an independent record label here in Galway called Rusted Rail. I have a musical project called Loner Deluxe. I also record/produce and mix music for Cubs and A Lilac Decline. I’ve just come into possession of an analogue 8track reel-to-reel recorder so that’s gonna be something to start exploring also.
How long have you been running Rusted Rail and why did you start it?
Rusted Rail had it’s first releases in March of 2006 – which consisted of three 3” EP’s by Agitated Radio Pilot, Plinth and So Cow. There’s a documentary covering the first decade of Rusted Rail’s existence currently in production. Here’a a full list of all 36 releases to date:
RR1 Agitated Radio Pilot “Your Turn To Go It Alone” (Double 3″ EP)(Out of Print)
RR2 Plinth “Victorian Machine Music” (3″ EP)(Out of Print)
RR3 So Cow “Best Vacation Ever” (3″ EP)
RR4 Loner Deluxe “The Plinth Tapes”(3” EP)
RR5 Mirakil Whip “PCP EP” (3″ EP)(Out of Print)
RR6 United Bible Studies “The Northern Lights and The Northern Dark” (3″ EP)
RR7 Autumn Grieve “Terra Infinita” (3″ EP)(Out of Print)
RR8 Cubs “Stonewater” (3″ EP)
RR9 Plinth “Wintersongs” 5″ Cdr(Out of Print)
RR10 Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon “Through A Forest Only” (3″ EP)
RR11 Phosphene “Phoenix Trees” (3″ EP)
RR12 Directorsound “Leaving the Moors” (3″ EP)
RR13 The Big Eyes Family Players – “Donkeysongs” 5″cdr
RR14 The Declining Winter “Goodbye Minnesota” (CD Album) (Sold Out)
RR15 Loner Deluxe “Must Not Sleep Must Warn Others/Lost and Found” (Double 3″ EP)
RR16 Music for Dead Birds “And then it rained for seven days” (3″ EP)
RR17 CWK Joynes “LHR Twins” (3″ EP)
RR18 The Dovetail Consort “East and West” (3″ EP)
RR19 Agitated Radio Pilot “A Field Day”(3” EP)(Out of Print)
RR20 yawning Chasm “The Shadow Is That Hidden” (3″ EP)(Out of Print)
RR21 Brigid Power Ryce “You Are Here” (3″ EP)(Out of Print)
RR22 Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon “The Trees, The Sea In a Lunar Stream” (CD Album)
RR23 The Driftwood Manor “Holy Ghost” (3″ EP)
RR24TN17 Cubs “The Whispering Woods” CD Album
RR25SL29 The Driftwood Manor “The Same Figure (Leaving)” CD Album
RR26 Songs of Green Pheasant “Soft Wounds” CD Album
RR27 Cubs “Willowfield” (3″ EP)
RR28 The Driftwood Manor “Dominican Black Abbey” (3″ EP)
RR29 Good Shepherd – “Ah…Good The Sea” (3″ EP)
RR30 Cubs “Perpetual Light” (3″ EP)
RR31 Loner Deluxe “The Coast is Clear” (Digital Cassingle)
RR32 Good Shepherd “Her Darke Aspects”(3” EP)
RR33 Loner Deluxe “Snowed Under” (Digital Cassingle)
RR34 Loner Deluxe “Long Shore Drift” (Digital Cassingle)
RR35 A Lilac Decline “The Mountain Rages” (Cassette Album)
RR36 Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon “The Statue of the Hunter is Lost at Sea” (CD Album)
What/Who have been your biggest influences (in music or in life in general?)
Anyone who does their own thing, on their own terms, not worrying what “everyone else” will think, clearing their own path with a smile on their face and a strong heart providing the beat that they follow.
How has your experience been in the music scene of the West? What’s the best part? What do you think could be changed/improved?
I’ve been involved in the Galway music scene in one form or another (variously and at different times as a gig promoter, music journalist, Flirt FM Station manager and for the last 11 years running my own independent label) since 1995 so I guess I’ve seen a lot happen here in that time.
The best part is the “we are doing this for ourselves without needing permission or recognition from Dublin-based media” attitude that I think is a very empowering motivation. Galway has a great creative community-ethos and, as anyone in various pub snugs around the town will tell you, it’s the best place in Ireland to be an artist, to nurture creative ideas and to bring them to fruition. Ideally there would be a few more stages around town for people to play, an arthouse cinema and of course it’d be nice to have an airport, again, at some time in the future…
What’s your favourite album of all time?
Whatever one I am currently releasing! Alternately I could provide you with a long long list but on this rainy Monday (as I write this) the clouds have just parted and the sun is threatening to come out so maybe “Happy Sad” by Tim Buckley. Oh dear, it’s started to rain again so now my favourte album is ”Millions Now Living Will Never Die” by Tortoise (they are the ones peeking out from the vinyl stack right now).
What’s your proudest achievement?
Running Rusted Rail since 2006.
What’s your favourite thing to do in the West of Ireland?
Just being here is good enough for me, the West is the best. A productive and then lazy/enjoyable day in Galway involves getting all or any record label duties out of the way by the afternoon, then a spin around the charity shops of the town seeking treasure, a visit to Charlie Byrnes bookshop, a cup of tea in Neachtains, followed by good eats and a pint or three of Beamish in Carroll’s on Dominick Street. That’ll do, that’ll do.
What are your plans for future, both near and distant?
More albums on the label! After the A Lilac Decline and Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon albums there are more releases on the way from my own project Loner Deluxe and from avant-folk supergroup Cubs. That’ll keep me busy til the end of the year.
Rusted Rail is one of the longest running independent musical institutions in the West. Keith constantly churns out high quality material and the two upcoming releases will be no different. They can be pre-ordered now at Rusted Rail’s Bandcamp page: www.rustedrail.bandcamp.com .