Kevin Walsh’s cover of Not A Dry Eye in the House is a wonderful culmination of a journey manifesting in a cover that conveys great technical understanding and a huge amount of respect for Meatloaf’s original track.
Struggling with Autism and social anxiety as a child, Walsh was inspired by Meatloaf’s music and attitude. He began to pursue music himself, leading him to a First Class Honors Degree in music.
I mention this because it’s a wonderful and inspiring story but also because it gives context to the performance of Walsh throughout. There is a mix of triumph and gratitude that peaks through the track. His delivery is subtle and refined, exuding emotion and leading the instrumental from the very beginning. He walks that incredibly difficult balance of vulnerability and confidence needed in this track and his deep understanding of the song’s themes comes across in the nuance of his performance. Walsh’s vocals do an excellent job of ebbing and flowing with the verses and choruses. Providing both energy and subtlety when needed. This further shows an outstanding understanding of the track but also demonstrates his flawless breath work and vocal control. The harmonies throughout are a brilliant touch, adding and embellishing Walsh’s performance through their contrast, highlighting his strengths and underscoring important lyrical moments in the track. The two voices singing the line “and the dream was over” was especially resonant, helping to build the story of a relationship falling apart through the track's diverse sonic texture.
Speaking of which, the production helps build the emotional resonance of the track with the piano and drums providing a simple and warm charisma. The guitar adds a crunchy and slightly distorted edge to the cover that emphasises depth in the verses and power in the choruses.
Overall, this track is a bold cover that also clearly has a deep respect for the original composition. The performance toes the line of confidence and vulnerable intimacy brilliantly. Aided by excellent harmonies and production, the cover triumphs in building on the original. It also shows deep love and respect for the inspiration of Meat Loaf at the same time.