Friday, February 25, 2011

Calm Before the Storm!

Hello Everyone

3 weeks to go and all seems to be in order. I feel really good about everything and surprisingly calm. I just decided a few weeks ago to let it all go and focus on being a decent singer for the show. We have been recording vocals and instrumental tracks in Steve Skinners studio. He is simply a wonder and has the temperament that is perfect for any artist. He is so focused and logical in his approach whereas I am ALL OVER THE PLACE! I guess it is a good pairing.

Our new songs have really come together nicely. In a PBS recording you need to have people recognise most of the songs but I wanted to add a few for the dvd that will make people sit up and listen and say "what is that?". One song I am particularly excited about called All My Life involves a collaboration with Sephira who play so beautifully. Yes.....I will look like an old geezer singing with them but I think it will be fine. I am also thrilled with the opener as it mixes my singing with dancers. I have 4 dancers from my Celtic Fire show. Rachael, Owen and of course my sidekicks Logan and Claire. It is so important for me to have the musicians and dancers i love involved in this. You don't find too much loyalty in our business so when you find gems, you keep them. Also in the mix is Mellad, David and Jeremy from An Dochas...of course!

So I went to get fitted for the clothes I am wearing this week. I am not used to being measured to within an inch of my life but it was less painful than I thought it would be. It will certainly make an impact but at the same time I will feel very comfortable. Now all I have to do is not pack on the will be fitted, to say the least!

This weekend begins March madness and I head up to Spokane and Idaho Falls
I get to hang with my band and dancers up there. I love being with them as I sap up their enthusiasm as soon as they walk into a theater. Sales have been very strong and I think the PBS connection probably helps considerably.
We have added more dates for this year including July 23 with the Lancaster Symphony and some dates in South Carolina in October which should extend my summer a bit.

Mindfox Productions have been such a help over the past few weeks getting everything in order for March 18 so a big shoutout to them. Led by Dr. Travis Fox and Brenda Markstein the team are so driven and focused. I am hitching a ride on that enthusiasm and it is making the whole experience from start to finish, very positive.

Make sure to check out De Dannan and Sephira as they have tour dates through March across North America. They of course stop by in San Bernardino to play for the special.

Thanks so much to everyone for all the notes you are sending . I really treasure them. I am amazed that people are travelling cross country to attend the recording. It is astounding. Hopefully I get to hang out with you. There is a plan for a bit of a do in LA the night after.

Big Love


Sunday, February 13, 2011

5 weeks to go

So I am back home in Chicago after a month of running around the country and a quick trip back to Ireland to say hello for a few days as I haven't a hope of getting home now until June at least.
I was in LA finalising the PBS show and what a show it will be. The exciting news is that the city of San Bernardino is building a 2 day Irish Festival around the theater on the day before the taping(st paddys day) and the day of the show itself. They will have parades, a spirit of Ireland contest, a Danny Boy singing contest, Irish bands, pipers and bands. Should be fun and hopefully we will get some of those fun people dressed up in their green regalia to come in to the show.
I was in the studio last week getting new songs recorded to have for the album accompanying the PBS show.We have some new crossover classical numbers, new covers and really cool opening song involving me and my dancers from Celtic Fire.
The orchestra seems to be getting bigger everytime I turn around but we need a big sound. We will have about 22 I think so that should sound really nice. AT the piano will be my MD and producer Steve Skinner. At the baton conducting will be my touring pianist and keys player Peter Storms. I've asked a few of my singing friends to be part of my backing vocalists(he said thinking of the party after!)
I had some meetings last week to plan the release of the album and have come to an agreement with a top Entertainment Company TBA. ONCE I SIGN, you will be the first to know. We certainly have some exciting plans to keep me busy.
So I was delighted to get an offer of 18 dates at the Marines Memorial Theater in downtown San Francisco in December. It means spending the holidays in sunny California but I am cool with that. Working again in Union Square district is certainly an exciting prospect. The theater holds about 700 and we have 18 nights to fill the place so I will be heading out a lot this year to promote. Again....I have no problems with promoting in San Francisco. I already have a list of restaurants I want to go to, not to mention my old haunt Casey's from my Riverdance days!!!!
I have been blessed this year so far. Everything seems to be falling into place for the special. I have the best team working on it. We had our first production meeting about 2 weeks ago and meeting everyone at the theater was ....overwhelming. I was speechless when I walked in to the beautiful space and seeing all the creatives turn to say hello. I was praying noone would ask my opinion as I felt completely overwhelmed that all these tv professionals were there for me. I turned into an awkward 12 year old afraid to talk. It came out alright. My agent and the producers kept it all moving and I just pretended I knew what everyone was talking about.
The theater is so beautiful. Showtime use it a lot for their stand up comedy specials.
I cannot wait for you to hear the new ballad I co-wrote called All My Life. It is the best thing we have put down in the studio I believe. We have a new opening song called Brand New World involving the dancers.We have also decided to add a song recorded by one of my major influences, Mary Black. It is not an obvious song choice for me but we wanted to spice it up a bit and this came to mind. I've also blended 2 songs from the 40s to add a touch of it a classic mash up, if you will.....
I will perform one song with De Dannan and another with Sephira.
Still trying to figure out what to wear but dont worry, it wont be a kilt. We are talking suit....i think.
So 5 weeks to go.....and much to do......more news very soon!