November 12 CC CT CoSpgs

The Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs will welcome world-music power Celtic Thunder to its stage Sunday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Surpassing sales of one million units combined, the musical phenomenon that is Celtic Thunder have recently been hailed as BILLBOARD’s Top World Music Artist, along with Top World Music Imprint and Top World Album of 2011 for their most current disc, Heritage. Celtic Thunder rang in 2012 with a new CD and DVD concert special, VOYAGE just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. VOYAGE the concert special has been broadcast across the U.S. on Public Television stations during the March 2012 pledge period.

VOYAGE continues to pay homage to the musical culture of Ireland, while exploring the musical journey each soloist has undertaken since the beginning of Celtic Thunder four years ago. Former members Damian McGinty and Paul Byrom have moved on – McGinty’s star continues to rise after securing a reoccurring role on FOX’s hit show GLEE (a result of winning last year’s “The GLEE Project”), while Paul Byrom launches his own solo career as well. Keith Harkin is also working on a solo project while maintaining his integral role in Celtic Thunder. He is the first artist signed to the newly helmed David Foster Verve Music Group, and is readying his forthcoming solo debut wildly anticipated by “Thunder Heads” everywhere. The rest of the ensemble including Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Neil Byrne, George Donaldson and Emmet Cahill welcome 13-year-old Daniel Furlong to the fold as a guest artist on this recording. The group performances highlight the diversity of Irish music and song; from the powerful rendition of “Dulaman” to the love song “Maid of Culmore,” the collection also features a rousing performance of “Galway Girl” and beloved Irish party song “My Irish Molly-O.”
In addition to their impressive sales statics, their official YouTube channel, “Thunder Tube” has received over twenty five million views since its inception in 2008.
Celtic Thunder have appeared on multiple national TV programs to date including The Today Show, CBS Early Show’s Saturday Second Cup Café, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends, as well as numerous regional shows in major cities.

Tickets for this show are on sale at TicketsWest outlets, the Pikes Peak Center or World Arena box offices, by phone at 520-SHOW and online at


(photo by Kevin Westenberg)

The Script–Dublin, Ireland’s chart-topping hit-makers, step up to the podium with their Olympic sized new single, “Hall Of Fame,” featuring global superstar, off of their forthcoming release, #3, out October 9th. Penned by the band (Danny O’Donoghue, Mark Sheehan and Glen Power), inspirational new single brings the band back to their piano-laden, pop melodiousness, blending a seamless duet with the hip hop lyrical flow of It’s clear The Script have raised the stakes with “Hall of Fame,” declaring “… and the world’s gonna know your name.” On “Hall of Fame,” Mark Sheehan comments: “We wanted to capture as much emotion in the track’s sound as there is in the lyrics, which are definitely some of the most positive and upbeat we’ve ever written.” In December of 2011, The Script’s frontman Danny O’Donoghue joined Jessie J, Tom Jones and as a judge on BBC’s inaugural season of The Voice UK. Working with on “Hall Of Fame,” Danny O’Donoghue says: “We thought it might make a great duet but we wanted to do it line by line, true duet style. It took several months, a headlock and a taxi cab to get Will on the song!” The Script have enjoyed an epic rise to fame following the success of their 2008 self-titled debut album and their massive platinum selling single, “Breakeven.” That single rewrote history on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs airplay radio chart, taking the #1 spot, where the song completed a record-setting 36 week rise to the summit. Impressively, the band has sold over five million singles in the US, and has played stadium shows with Paul McCartney and their mentors, U2.

The Script at the Ogden Theatre Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Doors 6:30pm Show 7:30pm. GA are $35.00 plus applicable service charges, available online at or or call 888.929.7847. 16+ with ID are welcome.

October 12 CC Cover

Clannad are unquestionably one of the most unique yet identifiable sounds in Celtic Music. The Ó’Braonáin (Brennan) and Ó’Dúgáin (Duggan) families have been making their timeless music infused with the landscape of Donegal for over 40 years. Cindy Reich recently caught up with Máire (Moya) Ó’Braonáin at home in Donegal just prior to the start of a North American tour.

CR Did you have a clue when you formed “Clann as Dobhair”—“family from Dobhair” (which became “Clannad”) in 1970 that you would be still traveling the world, bringing the music of Donegal to the world?

MB Not at all. It’s astonishing. It’s astonishing because it was simply something we were passionate about. We didn’t get a band together because we wanted to make money and become famous. We actually got the band together simply from the joy of playing together in my father’s pub. The instruments were around the house, the Gaelic songs were all around us and we were brought up in a musical household. That was the root of the Clannad sound that is now universally regarded as I suppose, “Celtic Music”.

CR Well, I’ve been to Leo’s Pub in Meenaleck and the music just oozes from the walls..

MB Well then you must feel it… When people talk to me about the Clannad sound, I say, if you go to Donegal, you kind of feel that ethereal earthiness that we allowed to become part of our music. It has that ancient kind of feel to it. But you have to remember when we sang the Gaelic songs those many years ago, it was never done with instruments, it was never done with harmonies, so we were sort of shunned a bit for using those things with the traditional songs, but we sort of spontaneously went where we felt the feeling was.

CR—Well, you definitely had the land and the language in your music, but what surprised me what that it became so universal. You wouldn’t really expect that a family singing in Gaelic from Donegal would affect people around the world. Most people wouldn’t even understand the lyrics, so the music itself had to grab them deeply. To go around the world, as Clannad’s music has, for a native language, I think is extraordinary.

MB—It is quite extraordinary, but it has something to do with the way we feel about the music and that always came across—that soulful feeling. The other thing as well, is that we were very blessed in 1982 to do a TV show in England (where the theme from “Harry’s Game” originated) which really opened doors for us. We would never have been played on radio, so to have the opportunity for people to hear that launched us in a way. Then, when the “Theme from Harry’s Game” was used by a car company for a commercial in the US, it brought a whole new audience to our music. If you give the people something to sit up to… however, it was still in the Gaelic language. We didn’t write it to be a hit, but it became one anyway (laughing). So for it to go on “Top Of The Pops” in London—still the only song in Gaelic to be on that show, and to have an ad in America with a Gaelic song, for us was quite extraordinary.

CR—The interesting thing is that there are people today who weren’t even born when “Harry’s Game” came out and yet they hear it today and are captivated by it in the same way. It has a timeless quality about it that transcends generations.

MB—It was never done with a click track. It was just Ciarán and myself—Ciarán on the old Prophet-5 and I’m looking at him and I’m just singing along with the beat of our heart and what we felt. It’s got that organic feeling, I suppose, and people do feel that.
When we were developing Clannad, we weren’t afraid of using our voices and experimenting with them. It allowed that “sound”. I’ve had emails from all over the world asking me what microphone I use, or what reverb I use or whatever, but when they come see me live, they realize it is really just my voice. I’ve allowed my voice to become part of the landscape I grew up in, you know?

CR But you would have grown up singing in your father’s pub and singing in the house. You weren’t afraid of using your voice—it was probably as natural as breathing to be singing and playing as you grew up.

MB Absolutely. My mother was a music teacher and my father was a musician all his life. He had a showband before we had the pub and so I grew up listening him rehearsing in the front room with his band. Anything from Nat King Cole to the Everly Brothers to Buddy Holly or a bit of ceili music or whatever. You can imagine, growing up in Donegal at that time when it was quite remote—we created our own entertainment.

CR So what was the first party piece you can remember doing as a child?

MB “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” (laughing) Would you believe? But I would have a lot of children’s songs in Gaelic that I would’ve grown up with. That was my only English song for a very long time.

CR Did you do the sound effects too?? The barking??

MB Oh, definitely! That was really important!! (laughing)

CR I want to talk about the new album. You are due to release your first album with all of the original members of Clannad since 1989. Is it out yet?

MB Well…with everything else, we keep writing new songs and changing songs. We’re very excited to be back recording and have a huge bank of songs. There has been so much time since the last album; it’s hard to let go of some of these songs because you are always thinking you can improve on them. So it is taking longer than we thought, so you’ll have to hold your breath a little while longer.

But since we haven’t been to North America in 19 years, we feel that with 17 albums—people will want to hear for the first time in ages, the songs that they know. We feel that is what we want to bring first. People want to hear “Harry’s Game” and “I Will Find You” and “Lore” and so on. We didn’t want to rush the album just to have in hand for this tour. It’s really important to us—this album. We are doing two halves to the show and we want to get on as many songs as we can. It’s a big show—we have the five original members plus a percussionist and a keyboard player so its not too big, but big enough to give everyone that Clannad sound! Getting on stage is exciting again and we can’t wait to get to Denver! It’s always a little bit harder to sing there, though..(laughing).
October 2012 Celtic Connection, Denver Colorado

Clannad will be appearing at the Paramount Theatre, Tuesday, October 23 at 7:30pm

November 12 CC Celtic Run_Sean Vogel pic

Mary McWay Seaman reviewed the novel Celtic Run in the October 2012 Celtic Connection. You can read the positive review below.
Mary reviews monthly in her column, BOOKKEEPING.
Sean Vogel will be at Kerreen O’Connor Irish Goods in Littleton CO. (2595 West Alamo Ave Littleton, CO 303-794-6388) on Saturday November 3rd , 12-2PM, to sign copies of Celtic Run.

BOOKKEEPING by Mary McWay Seaman
CELTIC RUN by Sean Vogel (MB Publishing, 2012, 159 pages, paperback, $9.95)

Looking for a page-turner to please that younger adolescent? CELTIC RUN is a sure bet with international travel, a thrilling treasure hunt, and pursuits by a criminal cartel. This contemporary Irish escapade begins as three American teenagers in a cultural exchange program find themselves embroiled in a mystery fraught with danger. Jake, Zach and Julie, and their Irish friend Maggie are all coping with family problems that include detached parents, dictatorial parents, a disabled single parent and parental unemployment. The Americans, housed with host families in Dingle, are keenly aware that they are in a foreign country; they hone their observational skills, weigh alternative actions, and learn to think on their feet. They also join forces to organize and execute plans. Plenty of rollicking sideshows (the kind that can only happen in Ireland) shift this novel into high gear.

Zach is a big, overbearing guy with the wet-blanket potential to ruin the whole experience, and he and Jake get off on the wrong foot. Jake, whose mother is deceased and whose father is disabled, settles in with Maggie O’Connell’s family. Maggie’s father has been unemployed for two years, and he vanishes two nights every week without explanation – the same times that bandits are raiding local museums. Her mother works in a local pub, and teenager Maggie gave up Irish dancing for part-time work there. Young readers will find the Irish pub culture absorbing, especially its embrace of all ages, all the time.

Jake rescues a small child from the sea around Blasket Sound and discovers a relic from the 400-year-old Spanish Armada shipwreck. The teens are fascinated by the history behind the English defeat of Spanish Armada in 1588, and they learn that many of the battle’s artifacts are housed in the area’s museums; however, the bulk of the legendary treasure has never been found. After Jake shows his artifact to the curator of a local museum, he is promptly dismissed: “This is an old country, lad, and you can dig up all sorts of bits and bobs . . . but most of it’s just tinkers’ tin.” Jake refuses to hand over his treasure to the man for further study. The kids are no longer interested in the curator or the museum, but the curator is most assuredly interested in them. They learn that they are being followed, and the four of them close ranks to become a cohesive unit.

The inscription on Jake’s artifact points to a nearby church, so they explore ancient Skellig Michael, and Jake, master of electronic gadgets, keeps his pen-sized, fiber optic camera handy. They pick up an item of interest that is confiscated by the harbormaster, but cleverly retrieved. Teamwork pays off, and serendipity is a plentiful commodity as Jake meets an old man, “the Colonel” who turns out to be his great-uncle. Colonel McGreevy commands him to call if he ever needs assistance. The museum bandits continue their rampages on the days when Maggie’s father vanishes (coincidence?). The kids attempt to follow him into an area near Mount Brandon, but inadvertently stumble into a tinker camp. The tinker’s old tool advances the action, and insights into the travelers’ culture prove fascinating.

Julie is kidnapped and taken to Corráin Castle near Dunquin. Her rescue and a new game plan require heavy artillery and missiles along with Jake’s trusty Leatherman: water balloons, slingshots, a large-capacity water pistol, a semiautomatic disc gun, a foghorn, silly string, a radio-transmitting dog collar, flashlights, chocolate syrup, flour, molasses, vegetable oil, plastic bags and whoopee cushions (who knew?). The hunt proceeds to an underground cave. What secrets does the cave hold? Is the ancient Spanish treasure there? At this point readers learn the meaning of a Celtic Run – a clan saying: “a good run is better than a bad stand.” And run they do.

Evil-doers, double agents, gripping chase scenes, and bits of romance are woven through the novel with bracing lessons about first impressions and the fact that things are not always what they appear to be. One impression, however, remains steadfast: the role of family hardship in supporting self-reliance, self-discipline, problem-solving skills, patience, teamwork and initiative. The high-speed thriller CELTIC RUN will not only transport and enchant young readers, it will inspire them to consider life’s longer view and to double down on preparations for a meaningful future.

Jessie Burns photo credit Wil Bryington

Gaelic Storm will bring their “whirlwind ruckus” (Village Voice) to Denver Friday October 5th for another raucous, crowd-pleasing performance at the Gothic Theatre There will be an added level of energy in the house as local hero Jessie Burns plays the fiddle for the last time in Colorado. Jessie will return to her adopted home of Boulder where she will work on her solo CD project – And new baby!

The Celtic Connection interviewed Jessie Burns as she traveled toward Colorado with Gaelic Storm to do her last ‘hometown’ concert. She reflected on her time with the band and looking toward exciting times ahead.

Times must be bitter sweet for you Jessie – after 5 and a half years fiddling with Gaelic Storm, one of the most successful bands today in World music, you’re about to leave the band and take time off to have your first baby in December. How are you handling these big life changes?

I remember when I joined the band and I had no idea what lay ahead or how I would handle it. It’s just the same now – uncharted territory lays ahead. I’m so grateful for the almost 6 years I’ve had with the band – what a wild ride its been and though I’m kind of broken hearted to leave, it is for a wonderful reason! I’m taking things one day at a time and pouring extra energy into the shows, and despite getting rounder each day, I’m enjoying it all even more than ever before. I have 4 band brothers now who I know are lifelong friends- I feel so lucky and am sure that we’ll work together again one of these days in some capacity. I’m finding arranging my teaching schedule and working on my solo album is helping me to have a focus for once touring ends too.

Gaelic Storm travel around 220 days a year. That must be exhausting – do you just get in a rhythm? Ever forget what city you were playing in?

We do get into a rhythm – we load onto the van by 10 am, drive, stop for food at 1, load in at the venue at 3, soundcheck at 5, have food at 6, play the show around 8, then meet fans, pack up, drive, get to the hotel around 1am, wind down and sleep by around 3 am and do the same thing the next day. To many people this sounds like torture, but you adapt and it becomes so normal. We are familiar with cities all over the country. We aim for certain restaurants, meet up with old friends, explore cool areas and make the most of the opportunity to travel over this vast land. The pace of constant change can get confusing though. Once we drove to Bloomington, IL for a gig and posted our whereabouts on the band Facebook page. Within minutes, a fan wrote “Check your schedule: I think you’re supposed to be in Bloomington, IN!” He was right, so we hightailed it through two States and made it in time for the gig. I think that’s the only time that’s happened!

What will you miss most about touring?

It’s a long list! I love challenge of performing and making people happy through music, seeing the world, playing in post-festival sessions with world class musicians and forging strong friendships with other touring musicians from all over the world. Without a doubt what I’ll miss the most is the guys because we’re basically like a family at this point. Since three of us are from Ireland and England, and are away from our homelands, we have that cultural bond too. It’s not easy traveling 220 days a year, separated from your family and we really support each other through all the ups and downs and life changes. The highs are really high, and the lows are really low, but no matter what one of us is facing on a personal level, we all support each other and step up to make sure the show doesn’t suffer – and to regularly experience that sense of camaraderie is wonderful.

In 2007, after only 7 months with Gaelic Storm, you told the Celtic Connection that the Milwaukee Irish Fest was your most memorable performance to date. Now, 5 years later and tours around the world, what are some of your most memorable gigs?

My standout favorite gig ever was in Brittany, France in 2011. We stayed in a crumbling Norman castle outside of the town of Paimpol with Carlos Nunez and some other really fun musicians and made great friends with the staff there who were like a French cast of Faulty Towers ( a famous English comedy show set in a ramshackle hotel). I had a hilarious time resurrecting my French and translating for the band. The festival had Sinead O’Connor, The Waterboys, Gaelic Storm, Kila and Carlos Nunez and lots of Breton bands too. The setting was spectacular, taking place next to a stunning harbor, crammed full of beautifully decorated boats which people had sailed over in for the weekend from all over Europe. Breton dress was the clothing of choice, so lots of red/pink caps and pants, striped sailing shirts and fisherman’s smocks adorned the partiers who would hop from boat to boat having BBQs, playing music and drinking wine. Huge bubbling vats of octopus, smoking grills full of sardines and highly alcoholic cider stands lined the harbor’s edge. At night there was traditional Breton dancing to a live band under the stars, and the locals had a great time laughing at my efforts to dance! It was the trip of a lifetime.
Though not gigs, three of the most memorable days involved album releases. We made “What’s the Rumpus”, “Cabbage” and most recently, “Chicken Boxer” in the last five and a half years. Each of those albums has our combined blood, sweat and tears on it and involved so much work. When each of them reached and stayed for a few weeks at #1 on the Billboard World Music Charts, we all felt such a sense of achievement and joy. I particularly remember that with “What’s the Rumpus” our first ever #1. We were driving down a mountain side in NC, and our manager called up and screamed on speakerphone “you’re number one, number one!” for us all to hear. We were absolutely ecstatic and we bought the audience champagne that night to celebrate!

Tell us about your husband Eric, he is a musician too?

My husband is local bass player Eric Thorin, who teaches, produces and tours with multiple bands internationally. We met 14 years ago in Steamboat when I sat in with the Tony Furtado Band, his gig at the time, and have been friends ever since. He is actually the bassist on our latest album, Chicken Boxer, and he really sounds great on it. Since we both travel so much, the “ships passing” saying definitely applies to us. We’re certainly looking forward to seeing more of each other!

You are bringing out a solo CD in the next six months or so.
Will it have original material? What is the general mix of tunes and songs? Who will perform with you on the album?

Though it still needs a name, my solo album is getting close to completion after 4 years of working on it in brief breaks between tours. I really enjoy playing different styles of fiddle music so in amongst Irish influenced music, there are lots of original tunes as well as Old Time and New Acoustic music. The most rewarding part of the process has been collaborating with some of my favorite musicians, and there’s lovely playing from Sean Sutherland (The Wayfarers), Jon Sousa, Brad Murphy, Rich Zimmerman, Jason Dilg, Erin Youngberg, Margot Krimmel and Eric Thorin and there might be more by the time I’m finished! I hope to have it out in the world in the Spring and it will be available on CD Baby, at shows and through my website. Now I have to think of baby names AND an album name!

You will also be teaching fiddle lessons this coming year. Are you setting up your own program or will you teach through an existing school?

Before Gaelic Storm, I had a really busy teaching practice which I’m re-starting once I’m off the road in mid October. I’ll have a private practice at first and then hope to teach additionally in connection with some local schools. Irish music is such accessible, social music that in no time at all, first time fiddlers can be playing tunes they recognize and before they know it, they’ve caught the fiddling bug! For advanced players, there’s no limit to the level they can reach. The technicalities of ornaments, style and bowings can be taken so far – and present a fabulous challenge! I love teaching and I’m really looking forward to connecting with students again.

I’ll bet you that the Sunday Irish sessions folks at Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder are excited to have you back in town?

I can’t speak for them, but I’m so excited to re-integrate back into the wonderful music community we have here. There’s nothing like a glass of cider and playing joyful music with friends on a cold winter night to put the world to rights!

You’re originally from England, will you have any excited family members coming to Colorado to see the new baby over the holidays?

My Mum is heading this way for a long stay over the holidays, for much needed baby help and to switch out the English holiday drizzle for our amazing winter climate! My sister in London just had her first baby too, so I’m planning on heading over to England in the Spring to introduce the cousins and spend time with my huge family over there.

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments with Gaelic Storm and of course on your new baby. Okay, boy or girl?

Thank you so much! It’s been quite the adventure and of course, a totally new one lies ahead now. We chose to have a surprise with the gender so bets are on- we did check and it is one OR the other (phew). It stuck its tongue out at us a few times during one scan (which we caught on camera) and since it kicks and squirms throughout every Gaelic Storm performance , I think Eric and I will have our hands very full!

An Evening with Gaelic Storm
Friday October 5th, 7:30pm Show, 6:30pm Doors.
All Ages Show (Under 16 must be accompanied by parent w/ticket)/GA
Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, Englewood CO
Tickets: $20.00 Advance $25.00 DOS
Advance tickets at Denver Folklore Center, Kolacny Music, and
at: or call 303-777-0502

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