Friday, August 15, 2014

Notes of an Irish Tenor

Irish singer Michael Londra, the voice of Riverdance on Broadway, Emmy® nominee and PBS performer, has taken the stories of his life, the lyrics of his songs, thoughts on Ireland and his adopted land, the US. He has made observations on his fans, reflections on his long road to success, the hard falls and the dizzy heights, to create "Notes of an Irish Tenor"

The book is an account of the milestones, markers and mistakes that brought him to now. It's a memoir on what happened and why, how it started, where it began and with who. Most of all it is a celebration of the people who are part of it all now, his fans.

To make the book extra special, Michael felt that there should be a Super Fan Chapter, where devoted fans write, in 200 words or less, a story telling their Michael Londra story, whether it be a song that comes to mind, a message of support and love or just an every day thought on what Michael's singing means in the quiet of the day.

  A limited number of books are now available for pre-order now with a December 15 delivery date. All pre order books will be personally autographed by Michael

"For years now, fans have asked about my life. During concerts, you hear my stories, fleeting glances into my life, during introductions to songs and my endless ramblings in a show. You get to know characters, scenes, dilemmas, wins and losses on the journey I have made, in my chit chat on stage. All too fast and disrespectfully thrown away in their brevity with all the best bits locked away, so you don't find out too much about me. The way I like it. 

 I've decided to change that, to give the story the respect it deserves, to give you the respect you deserve. Over the past months, I have been writing for you, my thoughts, my feelings, my story. Now, I can't call myself a writer. I mean, I learned how to write but not how to write! But, for all my concerns, my fans don't seem to care. I may not have the correct syntax ( as my partner continually reminds me!) but I can tell a tale. It is what my people do. It comes with my nationality, along with a healthy dose of realism, a frequent sense of irony and an overused liver. In truth, I have many stories. So many stories. 

Now in writing a book there are many ways to go about it. Do I aim for the stars to write a tome of literary masterpiece? Do I find a ghostwriter to cover up the fact that I can barely finish the alphabet? Look, I know it won't hit the New York Times best seller list like the high end stylings from, say, The Real Housewives or Gordon Ramsey, said the Irish tenor, with raised eyebrows. 

So the only way to go is to just lay it out for you, in an honest, basic, crawling but lovingly written way. The grammar won't win me prizes. It won't earn me reviews. Well it will, but not the kind I can use. It won't make me a writer. It will just make me honest and I want to be as honest as I can for I haven't been up to now. 

I will tell you about my family, my closest friends, my thoughts on the business, on all things Irish. it's culture, it's myths and for sure it's music. I've even thrown in my thoughts on Celtic Thunder. (I was there when it all started, you know)


In truth, I have realized only lately, just how special my relationship is with fans. I am touched every day by that connection. After years of not understanding or, being frank, not realising I had a connection, getting older has cut through the nonsense and revealed just what is important. The reason for my music. The reason for my singing. I know that when you listen to my voice, you listen to my story and probably dwell on your own. So, I guess, I hope the book does the same."

Before this book goes on sale in stores, we want to make it special for fans. We want to make it just for you so we are making the book available for pre-order along with a special previously unreleased song for download or on cd.

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 To pre-order the autographed book "Notes of an Irish Tenor" plus a download of a new song, click the link below

                                                
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To pre-order the autographed book "Notes of an Irish Tenor" plus an autographed cd of a new song, click the link below

                                                    

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As explained earlier, Michael wants to include fans in the book. This will make the book a special memento for you. You get to put your words in print as part of the SUPERFAN chapters of the book. You get to explain what Michael's songs mean to you. We give you 200 words and the choice of placing a 2" x 2" black and white photo in the book. Our team will help you with the passage and Michael will call you personally to chat about it. The best part is that these SUPERFANS then get to decide the final image for the front cover of the book in a private Ustream video chat with Michael himself. The image you currently see is from the book photoshoot held in Tucson a few months ago. Michael will leave it to you fans to pick your favorite.


 To be part of the Überfan chapters in "Notes of an Irish Tenor", help decide on the cover shot, get an autographed copy of the book and autographed cd, help from the book team plus a personal call from Michael in the coming weeks, click the link below

                                                    


"The fans are the heart of it all, the reason i have this wonderful experience, the reason I keep walking the road, the reason I keep singing. I'd love them to make this book complete, a celebration of our special relationship."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Sale


 $12 - Autographed copy of CELT plus a souvenir of Wexford




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$12 - Autographed copy of BEYOND THE STAR plus souvenir of Wexford

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 $22 – Autographed Beyond the Star PLUS Danny Boy – Songs of Ireland plus a souvenir from Wexford




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$26 - Autographed DVD, BEYOND CELTIC plus any 1 of the following albums CELT, DANNY BOY or BEYOND THE STAR




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$32 – 3 albums; CELT, BEYOND THE STAR & DANNY BOY – THE SONGS OF IRELAND plus a souvenir from Wexford.


Friday, June 6, 2014

The Grascals and more

Hi Everyone


Just thought i would put ipen to ipaper and throw together a blog.  It is early on Friday morning after sleeping 12 hours. I am not operating on 100% but I am actually grand after 30 hours of travel from Australia. So used to fairly sleepless night. I am at home in Ames, which feels a bit strange as the past few months have been a series of hotel stays. Nothing like waking up, or in my case staying awake all night, in your own bed.

Last week I was in Nashville and seeing that others have posted about it online, I thought I would let you all know that there is a plan for a new tour in October, separate to my holiday tour. You will know now about my obsession with American roots music and it's connection to where I come from. When I was a kid my musical training was classical however once I got home, I would hear 2 things; Irish and Country music. I was raised on Verdi, Massenet, Handel, Elvis, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. I know. What a combo! My mother loved country music and sang it. I grew up knowing the lyrics to every Tammy Wynette song because they played constantly in our house.

Now, thanks to fate and some manipulation, my management being based in Nashville, at last I am reconnected to my roots. It is the reason why I love the town. I feel at home down there. It is so funny that a classically trained Irish tenor can call Nashville his soul mate but it is how i feel. I makes me relive my childhood, it connects me to my parents and oddly enough, the people i meet there remind me of home. I feel loved and supported there.

I love that I get to hear my heroes sing in bars on a Monday night. I love that everyone has stronger accents than I do. I love that they fry a lot. I love to watch kids with dreams arrive in town. I love that I can hear the best musicians in the world on every corner.

Last week, I brought my lovely friend Susan on a musical date. We hung out in The Gulch and headed over to The Station Inn, home of bluegrass, a spit and sawdust joint where Bill Monroe still echoes through the room as the bands playing there, warm up.

I was there to hear The Grascals, legends in the Bluegrass world. A group of six coming together on stage bringing comradery, laughter, gorgeous harmonies, beautiful songs and mad skills. I sat there nervously as I knew we had a connection even though we hadn't yet met. They knew I was in the room and I guess, didn't even know what I looked like. That's the way introductions happen in music. Their 2 sets were stunning. Traditional, concrete, big, gorgeous and more than anything, FUN.

Why was I there? Well, you see I have had a plan for a long time to put together what I do and what they do. I have always wanted to combine that sweet bluegrass sound of strings and harmonies with how i sing and what I bring to the table, to create a new type of sound. We already have a connection historically. The father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, always said that his music had an element of Irish / Scottish folk songs. I can hear it in every piece that the band performed that night. I think the combination could be profound. I don't want it to be Celtic or Bluegrass but something new, something lush, something beautiful.

I met the band, we laughed and chatted. We connected. It is a no brainer. We have decided we want to get out there on the road together and perform for you.  Now this is not going to be easy. Both of us are kind of busy so our schedules are pretty locked up. We are looking at some dates in October and trying to make that work. As soon as something is figured out we will let you know where we are coming. I may even show up at one or two of The Grascals summer dates, for a song or two.

The band have a wealth they carry with them. Dolly Parton picked them as her Bluegrass band and they toured with her for several years. They have recorded with legends of the business like Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and a parade of others. They have IBMA Entertainer of the Year Awards and several Grammy® nominations.




I am not sure how this will pan out but i know I needed to do something like this. You know I love a project. This will be the most fulfilling project I've had...ever.  It is full circle. It will bring me home.

I headed to Melbourne, Australia this past week. Just down for some meetings. My company, WEXFORDHOUSE works with other artists and I am exploring working with someone from down there. I also had some fun. I've been to Australia before but never to Melbourne. Lovely town. It was a lovely week and worth the really long flight, there and back. So nice to be home again though.

Just wrote a new song with Steve Skinner for a musical revue that Eoin Colfer has written to stage back in Ireland. It came out great, i think. Eoin seems very happy. I like to write for other singers. It makes it more objective. It becomes something that can be edited, reworked, made better. Look out for new October solo dates in San Francisco and a new set of December dates for my Christmas show have been posted.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Celtic Thunder Cruise

Well, I am home after quite the wonderful week of cruising, boozing and absolutely no snoozing. I am completely and utterly exhausted. The week was a roller coaster of good times, touching moments, learning experiences and most of all, laughter.


I had no expectations on boarding the ship that brought us out to the Caribbean. Arriving in Miami to find a gorgeous suite in the Intercontinental waiting for me, I realised that Entertainment Cruise Professionals meant business. I was vaguely familiar with Carnival Cruises but really was not expecting too much from them. What I found on boarding surprised and delighted me.


The boat was dated, for sure but i was really surprised at how much i liked it. My very spacious suite with the lovely veranda was like something 1972 had brought as a gift complete with plastic couch which i am guessing is in case I had an incontinence issue. Still, i found the bed comfortable, the cabin very spacious with all mod cons. In fact, I grew to love the comfort and solace it gave me as I soon found out, no matter what time
of day you left that cocoon, you entered a mad and crazy kingdom, the land of the thunderhead!!!!!!!

Being honest, i was worried whether you thunderheads would enjoy my music as it is different from the guys. I know some of you have seen my as competition, in the past when it couldn't be further from the truth. We are all friends and we have nothing but regard for each other's success. Anyways, it worked it out and I felt nothing but the love from the minute i started singing.

A LOT of you asked me on board, if I would perform with Thunder or indeed eventually become a member of the show. That will simply not happen. While I admire the guy's talent and Sharon's skill as a manager, it is not for me. I like being a solo artist and I get to make my own decisions, follow my own path.

Back to the boat......My senses were overwhelmed walking around that boat on the first day. We had a deadline for rehearsal as we were on stage for 2 shows on that very first night. however, even the walk from my room to the theater was full with hellos, hugs, picture taking and general loveliness from fans.

The theater, was spectacular for the audience I thought. Full of color and great for access to the artist. I was amazed at the size of it, given we were on a boat. After a rather panicked rehearsal we got on with our first show. Frankly, we killed. I, despite the rather frenetic tech rehearsal and lack of prep time never sang better.  The band and dancers were on fire and we just enjoyed both performances from start to finish.



It was a treat for us to do stuff we have never sang before. I really enjoyed singing I Cant Make You Love Me and Tomorrow's Child.  We had a lot more new material ready but ran out of time as we had to get in 2 shows in one night. The reaction was immediate. The first audience lapped it up and we could not have been happier. 





Our second show, I figured would be another step up but i think the long day of boarding and waiting for pic with Celtic Thunder took it's toll on the punters. I could tell everyone was tired. I still knew though that you all had a wonderful time and we had found some new fans.


So, at the end of day one, we were done....and we had barely left port. I think the band and I were genuinely dissappointed that we didn't get to perform more but that is reality of cruise entertainment. There is only so much time.



The rest of my week involved filling my days with the gym to ward off the evils of the great food in the buffet. I have to say the food and service was spectacular. I loved dinner every night and the midnight pizza after a few beers was so welcome. The staff however, I thought were second to none. Amazing friendly service that I have rarely witnessed before.

My favorite thing was hanging out with my lovely band. They are just awesome to work with but we never get to just hang out.

Jamaica was a bit dodgy and not my cuppa tea at all. but I loved getting to spend the day in Cayman, especially given that we had lunchtime drinks in the rather gorgeous Ritz Carlton.

I loved the wine tasting on the last day as I got to have longer conversations with people and we got to talk about my favorite thing in the world, VINO!!!!!

Lastly I showed up for a Meet n Greet and autograph signing for an hour. It lasted 2 hours as so many showed up. I was thrilled getting to do photos, sign your cds and posters and just chat with fans who I've only met online. I still can't quite grasp what my music means to people so hearing stories of how my songs help people is so encouraging. Everyone was taken aback that I wanted to meet and talk to everyone. Why wouldn't I? You are the people who gave me this incredible life.

Thanks so much for all the incredible gifts you brought. I will be drinking Starbucks non stop!!!!!



My body was in complete shutdown after it all. I am a bit of a light weight so I was not able for the pace. I crawled off the boat and boarded the flight home for a few days before the madness of the Christmas dates begin.

Overall I would say that the whole experience was just wonderful. I got to hang out with friends, make new ones, perform for fans who have been so loyal to me and celebrate everything that music has brought to my life.

I hope to do another cruise as soon as possible. LOVED IT.

So now I am getting ready for some Christmas dates. Really looking forward to them. There is an extra date in Saint Louis area on December 8. You could go to the matinee of the lads ABC show and head over to my show that features other great Broadway artists. Details to follow.

Cerritos Center, Los Angeles Dec 06
St. Louis, Dec 08 Details TBA.
Foxwoods, CT Dec 10
SFSC Avon Park, FL Dec 16
Lakeland Center, FL Dec 17
Festival Hall, Greensboro, GA Dec 18

For all the new fans asking about my recordings, here are some links

http://wbarecords.net/artists/michael-londra/

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Not-Taken-Michael-Londra/dp/B005JJ0GRY

For all info go to www.michaellondra.com

and one last thing PLEASE LIKE my official facebook page for new music and dates............
You are probably already friends with me but this page will give you the music you want to hear.

https://www.facebook.com/MichaelLondraOfficial


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nashville

Hey from Nashville

Just down in Nashville, my favorite place outside of Ireland for some meetings. Really I find excuses to come down for a few days. 

I've really very little to share with everyone. I am looking out across the Nashville skyline thinking how much my life has changed in the past year since arriving in this town. I feel so at home here, like I belong.  It is so nice to feel that crisp air. The first days of autumn that promises cold morning runs on the frosty road, sitting by the fire in the evening and the occasional slice of pumpkin pie, which if you know me at all, is what makes me happy.

I know you are wondering what I am up to, but honestly I have been pretty chilled lately. None of my friends can quite believe that I am not my usual hit the ground running self. I enjoyed a very lazy summer. I guess I was resting on my laurels after the Emmy® nominations. I've always thought of myself as a chaser, knocking down challenge after challenge with not many rewards. I just liked the fight. But when you get a commendation from your peers that tells you that you have reached a standard worthy of some acclaim, it is unnerving. You no longer are that person chasing a goal. You have achieved a goal. People said to me "ah, you won't be happy with a nomination, you will chase a win next time. This is simply not true in my case. It completely blew me away and changed my perceptions. It made me realise I am not running up the hill any more. I reached the top of the hil so now I am perfectly happy to lay out the lawn chair, open a Cab/Zin blend and chill the hell out.


So, where am I with plans. I know this makes you happy. I am doing some dates in the US through the winter and some European dates in 2014. I am singing in a few new projects for other artists. Check out Jewel's new Christmas album. I am producing a one man show for another singer which I am thrilled about. We starts rehearsals for that in October and will announce it soon enough. I like being behind the scenes and creating projects for others. I am also working on bringing someone over from Ireland to perform for you.....someone you know!!!

It won't be long for the Celtic Thunder Cruise. I am EXCITED!!! I get to hang out on a boat with my friends, perform a few times and maybe even relax....what?  The show I am putting together will be fun and unusual. New songs you wont have heard before plus old songs you know and love. I am all about the singing so you guys better be ready to sing. Now you will have heard I am doing another non singing event on board. I have no idea why you people just assumed it was a wine tasting. Really I have no idea why you would think that is what is happening. It's not like one of my best friend's Jean Clancy, general manager of Celtic Thunder and wine bar owner is on board or anything. It's not like we both are obsessed with wine and she is an expert or anything. Anyway, I cannot confirm or deny we are doing a wine tasting event on board.

By now you will have heard about the event on November 01, the eve of the sailing, in FADO, Miami. I will be there for sure and will sing a song or two, just to get you all in the mood for a week of festivities.


Fado, Miami
Theater on board the Victory



                                                                                                                                                                
 
So I am off into my management's office. By the way, my manager is Robert Williams. He and his team in the office are brilliant, hard working and funny as hell. We laugh all day when we work together. It isn't work at all to us. Check them out; http://wbaentertainment.com/

FYI The new High Kings album is almost out here in the US.  I am a big fan and I love the sound of this albu,. I know you will enjoy it. Check it out Friends for Life


Confirmed Dates (more to follow)

Nov 02 Celtic Thunder Cruise
Dec 06 Cerritos Center, Los Angeles
Dec 10 Foxwoods, CT
Dec 16 Avon Park, FL
Dec 17 Lakeland Center, FL
Dec 18 Greensboro, GA
Mar 04 Green Valley, AZ
Mar 07 Jupiter, FL
Mar 13 Fort Pierce, FL
Mar 14 Orange Park, FL
Mar 15 Skokie, IL
Mar 17 Cedar Rapids, IA


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Final Deal 24 hour sale

Final Deal $25 Autographed CELT + Danny Boy - Songs of Ireland

24 hour SALE

24 hour sale AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF CELT PLUS DANIEL FURLONG ALBUM VOICE OF AN ANGEL $25