July 8, 2022
The Ghosts of Liberty visit the podcast, bring a special guest, sing songs, and slap.
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Thanks to Mike Walsh for the closing song
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All music used by permission
The Americana roots duo that would evolve to become “The Ghosts of Liberty” got its start long before Emma and Tyler Millard knew they would eventually be married.
To tell that story, we must first roll back the clock to 2006. Tyler is 21 and sitting in a doctor’s office after having noticed that his peripheral vision had been giving him some trouble during a college game of ultimate frisbee. The news comes like a tidal wave when the doctor says, “You’re slowly going blind. You have RP. There’s no known cure.”
But it’s not in Ty’s nature to be held down. So he pivots. He picks up a guitar for the first time and begins playing o bsessively. Then singing. Then writing. He can no longer teach high school math, so he puts together a local blues-rock band in his small North Carolina town and begins playing full-time. Over the next several years, his musical chops get sharper as his vision slowly but surely continues to betray him. “It felt like a race against time.”
That Emma would end up singing for her supper was far less uncertain. She teaches herself how to wail and belt just like all the country greats as a little girl growing up in the heart of Texas. But this is just the beginning. As life goes on, from church choir to classical opera, musicals and fronting an alternative pop-rock band, she sees a lot of different audiences for a lot of different reasons, but one thing remains the same: how much she loves singing for every one of them. “Throughout my lifelong struggle with depression, and for all of life’s celebrations, music is my source of purpose. It’s my calling. It has always been what pulls me and pushes me when nothing else can.”
Fast forward to 2014. Emma meets Tyler for the first time at a “jam session” and they immediately hit it off as friends. She begins opening up for his band at local gigs, meanwhile spending hours offstage with him, writing and bonding over late night milkshakes and rural dive bar booths. Over time this bonding leads to the realization that each makes the other better in life and music. Tyler’s steady, funny and loving personality give Emma the confidence to believe in herself and to continue chasing her passion, while Emma’s spontaneous and sentimental nature provide Tyler with a ceaseless supply of inspiration and motivation. In 2018, under a giant oak tree, they make their union official in a beautiful late summer ceremony.
In January of 2020, six years after they met and hundreds of live shows later, “The Ghosts of Liberty,” their first child, was born. The name hails from a mutual fascination with the paranormal- (Emma believes, Tyler is a skeptic, but alas we digress) as well as a deep love for all things historic- and the abiding belief that all people are deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
From the heartland of America, Mike Walsh has been playing music in Iowa and the midwest for some time now and has been able to fully craft his music into the soft rock, singer songwriter feel that it is today. Walsh has released three EPs and more than one music video and plans on getting back into the studio to record a full length album.