Hello from the Midwest. I just got back from a rather fantastic trip home to Ireland for the Wexford Festival Opera. I was thrilled to be invited home to host the Gala Concert of the 61st festival. It was thrilling, exciting, humbling and a lil bit crazy.
2 weeks of functions, receptions, rehearsals, meetings, operas, concerts, recital, plays, musicals and pints eventually takes it's toll so I returned to the US with a humongous cold and one hell of a cough. My heart was high though. If anyone is planning a trip to Ireland in the fall next year, don't be put off by the opera title. Wexford becomes a box of art of all kinds in late October. You can hear sopranos rehearsing from the windows of halls across the town, see Ireland's best artists who exhibit, dine on high end Irish fare washed down with champagne or Guinness, sing along with the locals who take the love of singing to the hostelries who compete with each other for the title of Best Singing Pub. It is a smorgasbord of culture all wrapped up in a gem of a town where people are intrigued by travellers and want to hear your story. I hope you get to savor the town's delights at any time in 2013 for the Gathering.
Next year, I know there will be many special events to celebrate Wexford's place in the world and I will be part of those events. Details will be released soon. I know you will be excited by what's coming. #JFK50
I've had a mixed bag this fall. Lots of changes in my life and while I am quite the restless adventurer, I wasn't prepared for it all. First of all, my agents and I parted ways. Adrienne and Jerry have been so great to me over the years and indeed brought so much opportunity to my life but it was time for all of us to make new adventures. We parted ways on the best of terms and they will continue to be family to me. My manager is now talking to a new agency and we will announce that new partnership very soon. The transition, much like moving house can be stressful and it affected my December dates but that is just fine. This year, I have some East Coast dates
Nov 24 Zeiterion, New Bedford, MA
Nov 30 Count Basie, Redbank, NJ
Dec 01 Mayo Center, Morristown, NJ
Dec 16 Spivey Hall, Atlanta, GA
Tickets are selling very well so I'm looking forward to a big crowd.
Dec 17 - 20 I head to Nashville to record some more. Excited to work with Tommy Lee James and the legend that is Ralph Murphy again. I love being a grown up songwriter and indeed have just been invited to write with some pop legends in London in January so I've that to look forward to (read terrified!!!)
On to January and you will have seen my tweets about France.
I was approached earlier in the year about a return to France to be part of a DVD/Live CD recording. The concert which will be aired on French TV is being recorded at the Palais Des Festivals in Cannes, where the Cannes Film Festival is held. I love the Cote D'Azur and indeed had an apartment a few miles away in Nice for a few years so it is a very welcome date.
I get to work Nolwenn Leroy (a huge star in France), Laurent Voulzy, Dan Ar Braz and other french artists in an evening presenting music with a Breton / Celtic edge.
The evening will be part of MIDEM LIVE and held on January 28. It will be open to the public(if you happen to be touring the South of France)
I left France several years ago after a bad experience with a terrible producer who took advantage of me. I was so upset as France meant so much to me. I lost a lot of friends and it changed how I felt about show business. I thought I would never go back. This brings me back to Europe to work again and I couldn't be happier about it. I have great friends in France and am so excited about singing there.....and hopefully regaining my decent comprehension of the language.
So I got shortlisted for a Grammy nod in the Best Pop Vocal category. It is hilarious to see my name beside Madonna, Maroon 5 and the other M artists. It was nice to see my mate Keith Harkin in the same category and we both agree it's a long way from singin in a school hall back in Ireland. Couldn't be happier for him and his success. He is the hardest worker and the nicest fella. It is nice to know my album is well thought of and I never thought i would see it. It is however the toughest category so don't be holdin your breath folks.....no really. I am up against the world's biggest artists. Hopefully my next album will find an easier category. I was invited to the Nashville Grammy HQ earlier this year and it was thrilling to hear about their work. Paul Byrom got the nod too so it's an irish hatrick.
The good news is that I will stay in Europe for some tour dates before a return to the US for the usual March madness. Spring dates wont be announced until the New Year as we have to transition to the new agency who will handle the tour. So far though we have Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, California and Washington on the list. God knows where else we'll end up.
Thanksgiving on Thursday. I have never been happier in my life. I have had some time this fall to stop and think. So grateful for where I am at in my life, for the people in it and for what I have in store this coming year. Thank so much for being a special part of it.
Mise Le Meas