In September my wife and myself made the very difficult decision to move home to Dublin, Ireland after four amazing years in New York. It came as a surprise to many of you, and indeed to our families and friends. We were well into the long and expensive process of getting our Greencards until one day I asked Dominique, "do you see us being here long term, considering we came for a year". The realism was, that despite having a whale of a time, we both saw our long term future in Ireland. There were a number of reasons, but the most important was the fact that we wanted to start the next chapter of our lives surrounded by family and life long friends. That being said we have life long friends in New York, Boston and throughout the States, but fundamentally, home is home!
Since coming home, it has been a roller coaster. Lots of fun times and one or two sad. In the early summer we discovered that Dominique's wonderful grandmother hadn't long left with us. Joan was a beautiful, fun character who always made me feel part of the family. We had a very similar sense of humour and all she asked of me was to look after her beautiful granddaughter. Needless to say I will always strive to do that. I had the great honour of singing at her funeral mass and it was great to have had so many great times with her since moving home. I suppose in many respects, validating our reasons for moving home.
In September I will be doing my very first bus tour of Ireland. Over the week, 40 of you will get to see what I believe are the finest spots in my homeland. Ireland has so much to offer and I can't wait to show it off. Obviously its a music bus tour, so I will perform 3 concerts for the guests over the course of the week and when the tour reaches Dublin, some of my family will come along and meet them all. Making it a personal experience too! I can't wait and think there will be lots of laughs along the way.
I've also been very busy organising a small tour in Ireland starting the end of October. The show will be themed and is called "The Great Irish Songbook". When living away from Ireland, I developed a new love and appreciation for all things Irish, and in particular our music. Most of the songs have beautiful stories and melodies written by many songwriters we know and a few we may never have heard of. So my show is somewhat of a tribute to the great songs and songwriters of my country. All too often, In Ireland, we are guilty of taking our successful artists for granted, so I hope to highlight them in my show. On the tour I will be going to Limerick,Sligo,Offaly,Waterford and indeed Dublin, with maybe a few more to be added along the way. It will be my first time to do a solo tour in Ireland in many years so I am nervous but extremely excited about what lies ahead.
This brings me on to the big announcement I have. Much as I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy my solo adventure, I have always looked back on my time with Celtic Thunder with great fondness. On a few occasions Sharon Browne has asked me to come back and perform with the group, however on those occasions it didn't suit for one reason or another. On the last tour they did of the States, I was close to rejoining but again, it didn't work out. Damian joined and thoroughly enjoyed it. I must say it was strange seeing him back and not being there with him. Then recently we all met up at a friends wedding in France and had a great time. Singing, laughing and reminiscing on good times from the past. So shortly after, Sharon asked again if I would consider performing with the group. I said I would be open to it. It was mentioned that there was going to be two Celtic Thunder performances in the States this fall and that it could be a great chance to come back and perform with the guys. On this occasion all the ducks were in a line, so I've said yes, and am very much looking forward to it. Whether it leads to more performances or tours together, who knows. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. However for the moment, I look forward to these two performances with Ryan, Colm, Neil, Damian and Emmet C. I hope I will be welcomed back into the fold as I always have been by the "Thunderheads" and I can't wait to see many of you again.
Celtic Thunder have released a press release which I have copied below for you to read. All concert details of the performances will be on their site www.celticthunder.com
My solo work will continue and I am currently working hard on getting some nice dates and venues throughout America for 2016 and perhaps even farther a field.
I look forward to seeing some of you in person, be it at the Celtic Thunder gigs, or my own solo gigs. One way or another I will be keeping myself as busy as ever.
Much love to you all and appreciation for all you have done for me and continue to do. Your support has and will always be appreciated.
A Special Evening with Celtic Thunder!
Celtic Thunder play shows in Thackerville OK and Minot ND this fall!
Celtic music phenomenon, Celtic Thunder, will return to the US in October 2015 for two shows only; their first-ever festival engagement at the Norsk Hostfest in Minot, North Dakota and a show at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville OK. Both shows are entitled “An Evening with Celtic Thunder” will feature both past and present members of the Celtic Thunder cast.
Fans will be delighted to welcome back former Celtic Thunder members Paul Byrom, Emmet Cahill and Damian McGinty for these two very special evenings. Paul, Emmet and Damian will be featured as guest artists and will be performing alongside current CT cast members Ryan Kelly, Colm Keegan and Neil Byrne.
Backed as ever by members of the amazing Celtic Thunder Band, Ryan, Colm, Neil, Paul, Emmet and Damian will deliver much loved Celtic Thunder ensemble numbers with selections from their 9 Public Television specials to date. In addition to these incredibly popular ensemble performances, the WinStar World Casino and Resort and the Norsk Høstfest shows will also feature a wide variety of solo hits highlighting each of the 6 principal artists diverse vocal styles, ranging from traditional Irish and Celtic song to more contemporary classics. The concert-style shows will also highlight the group’s fun side with performances of all time fan favorites and Celtic Thunder anthems.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see Celtic Thunder members from down through the years! Tickets for both shows are now onsale. Norst Hostfest tickets can be purchased online at hostfest.com, by calling (701) 852-2368, or in person at 1020 South Broadway, Minot ND 58701. Tickets for WinStar World Casino and Resort can be purchased at Win Star Tickets or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-653-8000.
Celtic Thunder is the brainchild of producer Sharon Browne and since its inception in 2007 has released 11 albums, toured the U.S. and Canada, coast to coast, eight times, and Australia three times performing at over 800 shows to date. Celtic Thunder has also been hailed as BILLBOARD’s “Top World Music Artist,” along with “Top World Music Imprint” and “Top World Album” of in 2008, 2009 and again in 2011. The Celtic Thunder official YouTube channel, “Thunder Tube” has received over 28 million views since 2008. Celtic Thunder is backed by the members of the dynamic Celtic Thunder Band and their shows are known for the use of dramatic effects of lighting and choreography.