Spend two minutes with Melbourne musician Greg Walsh and you will be smitten. Friendly, funny and polite, Walsh greeted media writer RACHAEL HERBST with a warm smile and cup of tea (are you under his spell yet readers?).

With his album Greg Walsh, Live Recording out Greg Walsh’s - very masculine and handsome - face is one to watch.

"(The music) was starting from when I was really young - I learnt classical piano and played in bands for about five or six years. It just dawned on me that music was what I wanted to do," says the talented singer-songwriter and pianist, "I think you only get one life and you should live that life how you want - otherwise, you’d miss out."

A regular performer at Melbourne’s top wineries, restaurants, bistros, cafes, pubs and private functions, Greg Walsh’s smooth and soulful vocals and music is complementary to good food and great friends.

"(The music) is mostly relaxing. It’s also quite varied. I try to include something for everybody, and to move people."

Shedding light on some of the inspirations for his stunning album Greg Walsh, Live Recording, Walsh says,

"The skill, I guess, every songwriter’s trying to develop is not to get ‘preach-y’ and put the lyrics in a more entertaining, more (open) way. Stevie Wonder is really up there; he’s incredible! Incredible voice, incredible feel. I always think of John Lennon’s Imagine as a good example of a song where the lyrics deliver a powerful message."

A positive outlook and deep thinker, Greg Walsh plans to record an original album in the near future. Stand-out track Money Runs Dry is an early indication of the dazzling pieces music lovers can expect.

"Money Runs Dry; it’s not that serious; it’s a little bit about everything, including working hard to make a living and (that) if you can’t be rich, enjoy the important things in life!" (laughs)

"You’ve got to relate to a song personally to do it well. I like so many different styles and it’s a plus (because) it means also there’ll, I hope, be something (to reach) everybody. I like to think that I put my ‘stamp’ on the (songs)."

Originally from Dunedin in New Zealand, Greg Walsh moved to Auckland, then to Melbourne as a young adult. He has now lived in Melbourne for over 16 years and counting.

Like many musicians, Greg Walsh has worked ‘odd jobs’ to make a living. After deciding his chosen tertiary music course was not for him and then working in a factory, he took the plunge to become a full-time performer.

"I was studying mainly classical and opera and I wanted to try different directions," he says, "(so) I got a factory job to make some money to buy synthesisers etcetera. I guess (when I went into music full-time) it was a stage of life where I’d bought a house and it was paid off. I worked as a Storeman for 10 years and it was a good time to leave."

Citing a familiar story for musicians, he adds: "I had a six week period of no income (and) went around to (many) places –including agents - and dropped off CDs. I was determined to do it, and then the work started coming.

"After two and a half years I got back into some normal work". Melburnians have highly appraised his work, and he has generally performed at least once a week ever since, with often humorous consequences.

"Sometimes, some people get quite insistent that I should learn a particular song," he laughs, "It (compliments and feedback) is a good morale booster, and if (the music) does it for me then hopefully it will do it for other people as well."

Greg Walsh’s repertoire is broad, including Easy (Lionel Ritchie/ Faith No More), Fur Elise (Beethoven), Crazy (Seal), Summertime (Gershwin), The Letter (Joe Cocker), Flame Trees (Cold Chisel), Ballade in G Minor (Brahams) Close To You (The Carpenters), Knocks Me Off My Feet (Stevie Wonder), Piano Man (Billy Joel), as well as several of his own compositions - to name a small selection! Much like Gershwin himself, placing Greg Walsh’s music into a genre is difficult - jazz, honky tonk, soul, popular, classical, blues, rock, a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’, he is incredibly versatile.

To get hold of Greg Walsh, Live Recording phone

9481 8236, visit http://users.bigpond.net.au/gregwalsh, or email greg.w@bigfoot.com.