Thursday, March 22, 2012

St.Patricks Celebrations

I genuinely believe that St.Patricks Day is celebrated like no other, here in Northern America. I suppose thats probably down to the estimated 74 million Irish Americans that live here. Of course not all are 1st generation or directly from there, but it makes no odds to us. We are delighted and proud to have so many associated to our country and so many proud to be. Ireland truly is a very rich country. Obviously I dont mean financially, as that is something we most definitely are not. However, I measure wealth in many forms. Indeed it is well documented how rich we are when it comes to music. From the beginning of time, we have always taken great pride in our music. Many of us we're brought up eating and drinking the stuff. Most learnt an instrument, and if not, they would learn to dance or sing. Through our colourful history, we have almost always documented it through song and music. Of course, we are also a country of poets and writers and they too have created works that have been respected and cherished the world over. Whether it be from "The Book of Kells" to "Ulysses" or even to the modern rom com  "P.S I Love You", it is always great to see that fine tradition carry on. Im not sure how or why we are so expressive as a nation, because I dont believe we as a people are too open. For long periods of time our country was kept firmly under the thumb of the Catholic Church. Beliefs were that of Rome or nothing. Feelings amongst men we're never shared and women just knuckled down and kept the family together through good and more often than not, bad times.
I suppose as time passes, and times change, we learn its ok to be open and talk about feelings and fears. Emotions, both happy and sad. However, through the mediums of literature and music, it will always be the best way to express oneself.
Through this export, Ireland has resonated with many people in many countries. I suppose you dont have to be Irish to understand what oppression is, or starvation is, or over coming adversity. Being Irish, we understand what it is to lose a loved one. More than most. To this very day, many families bid fare well to their loved ones who are boarding planes to far off lands, in hope of finding work and a better life. There was a period where we as a country thought that time was in the past, but sadly we are back in the thick of it again.
Many small towns and cities are losing their young at an alarming rate. We have one of the finest education systems in the world, and some of the brightest academics graduating ever year. Only to lose them to other countries. This is truly heartbreaking.
I write this as one of the young who have left home. Im certainly not one of the bright sparks I talked about above, but with me its not much different. I like so many, love Ireland and love being surrounded by family and friends. I love my walks down Dun Laoghaire pier in the summer, or sitting in an ould Dublin bar in the throughs of winter. Driving from Dublin to anywhere in the country in a matter of hours and going from city life to the rural kingdom of Ireland. These are all things that I often yearn for. So why did I leave? Im certainly not moaning. I love my new home. I left because I dream of bigger and better. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually I realized that if I was to achieve half of what I dreamed of, I would need to leave Ireland. How long for? Only time will tell. Though I, like so many, hope that returning to home for good, will be an option down the long and winding road.
So when St. Patricks Day comes around, it gives you a great sense of pride. Pride at the fact that even those who have no Irish in them, feel the need to celebrate the day thats in it.
I had a fantastic lead up to the day itself. On the Thursday before, I was invited to take part in the New York Parade Gala event at the NYAC. There were some other fantastic acts involved like Celtic Woman, and Michael T English. Friends from the industry Im glad to say. I met some wonderful people at the event and was delighted with the reaction my performances got. I was indeed honoured to perform the American National Anthem and a couple from my new album This Is The Moment.
The following evening I was invited into the Feinstein Lounge in NY for a beautiful intimate evenings performance by Linda Eder. Im delighted that she is with the same management as myself so got to meet her after. A lady with a wealth of experience and talent.
Then Saturday came round fast at it was a VERY early start to the day. Dominique and I had been invited to the Grand Marshals breakfast at 7am and to say I needed a couple of coffee's would be an understatement. No sooner had I a slice of bacon in me, when I got asked to sing. This I was not expecting. So indeed, excuses never work when called upon to sing amongst the Irish, and Carrigfergus got a little bit of a belt. Thankfully I was well received and was able to hit all the notes. From there we went straight to the home of St.Patricks Day in America, that of course being St. Patricks Cathedral for 8 am mass! Again, been a while since I was at mass that early. There was an amazing collection of people there from all over the States and Canada, and the mass was celebrated by Cardinal Dolan. Who I have renamed Fr.Cool! Simply because of the way talks to the congregation. Keeps it light, with a point to his sermon. Needless to say, they got the point across on many occassions that they needed money! Somethings never change I suppose!! I felt like shouting back, "DONT WE ALL"!!! The music and celebration was second to none and it really was a celebration of all things Irish.
After that I went straight to do a radio show on Madison Avenue and Mr.Bloomberg went on just before me. It was great to meet him and indeed I sensed he felt to be wary of me, as one never knows who will be the next Mayor of the city!!!!

I finished work around lunchtime, and went to hang with some friends who have lived here for nearly 10years. Not a regular occurrence, but the day being in it, a pint of Guinness was had. I have been off the drink for lent, but Paddy's Day is always the exception! Especially after a day of pressing palms. I would hate to be a politician having to canvas all the time. DRAINING! I only have a certain amount of "nice"!!!!

One thing both Dominique and I both commented on was the amount of drunk people littering the city on the day. What was glaringly obvious was that the majority were not Irish. It was a shame as it clearly sends out the image about us. It seemed a lot we're young students who used the celebrations for a chance to come to the city and drink a lot. I must make the point, Irish enjoy a drink...or two, but we are not all alcoholics! Either way, its not something for me to lose sleep over. Just an observation.

Now that all the Patricks Day celebrations have piped down and normality is resuming again, I am working hard on my material for the Titanic gig I have in Ireland in April, and I am also pressurizing my agent to finalise dates throughout the States. We are also looking at the potential of some in Canada. Im aware of the support I have up there, and want to return the favour by doing some gigs there. Theatre's are harder to book than pubs and indeed if I was equipped for pub gigs I would do them. Problem is, I have always been a concert performer, and hope I always will. point being, that if there is a sniff of a chance we can get venues, we will.

I have no doubt it will be a busy year, and I am taking it one day at a time. Belief in oneself can often be hard to find, but Im blessed with a fantastic girlfriend, a wonderfully supportive family and indeed the finest and most dedicated fans/friends in the world. So on those days when I struggle, they generally roll in behind me, and carry me to a stronger brighter place. For that, I will always be grateful. We will succeed. For those who quit, never win, and for those who win, never quit.

Be well, be safe and be happy.
Thank you all

My loves
My Doves
My Eggs

Paul x


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So since posting here about OPB (Operation Paul Byrom), I have received overwhelming amounts signing up. It is pretty amazing to see so many willing to help from what has now become the four corners of the earth. It was an idea that I wasn't sure of working, but we have got off to a flying start, and let me tell all who have signed up. you are part of an exciting and very effective group. I am always delighted to see little fan groups on Facebook and Twitter as it is hugely flattering, However, OPB is about getting things done and getting my music out there.
Our first two missions were about local publications and radio stations. I gathered all the information received and mailed them all individually. The response has been very very favourable and indeed enthusiastic, with bookings for radio interviews coming in thick and fast. This is without doubt the most effective way of building up support.
As the interviews or appearances come in, I will be posting them on the "News and Events" section here on the website.
I always said that the only way my solo career was going to pick up, would be by getting airplay. This is now happening thanks to so many of you.
There is a lot done, and a hell of a lot more to do. I really believe we have a great system now and I think we can achieve an awful lot.
When I was with Celtic Thunder, getting promotion was easy as I was part of a big production with the backing of a major label and indeed a well oiled machine. So going solo and not having that has proven to be an eye opener as to how to get any notice. Needless to say, now through OPB, I am building up some great contacts with very positive results.

All I wanted to say was Thank You, and lets keep trucking along. There are many things in the pipeline that I am hoping will come off. All of which I cant say anything about right now, but be sure and know that I am not resting on my laurels and as soon as anything comes in, you will all be the first to know.

Who knows whats around the corner, but whatever it is, I look forward to facing it all with you by my side!

Keep well and healthy
My Loves
My Doves
My Eggs