Ravenmount on Tumblr

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy 34th Birthday, Ryan Kelly :)

Ryan Kelly turns 34 tomorrow, November 6th. 34 is not exactly a big milestone birthday, usually, but some years the Universe does its best to demonstrate how easy it is for us to stop having more birthdays, and this year was indeed one of those. After an unexpectedly harrowing summer, those of us who are Ryan Kelly fans have developed a much better awareness of what this amazing Irish lad means to us. No doubt as he's been on tour so far this year he's become more fully aware of just how much he is loved. Hopefully Ryan's birthday this year is his best so far, with even better birthdays to come from now on.

Ryan would be one of my favorite singers anyway, but the fact that he is from Ireland, and Northern Ireland in particular, makes him one of the musicians I would love to know better just because he lives in a part of the world I read about for my thesis research and as a more general hobby interest. Watching the violent protests that went on in Belfast and Derry earlier this year, I could only begin to imagine what it would have been like for Ryan's parents, living in the midst of the fear and violence of the Troubles in the late 70's. Having a new baby in 1978, in Northern Ireland, would have to be an act of faith, courage and conviction, for anyone, but especially for a couple who already had two primary-school aged children. That year there were people on both sides killed in the streets, or killed by bombs, and many people were arrested on suspicion of their being sympathetic to or involved in the Republican side of the fighting. In fact, just in the weeks after Ryan was born, the IRA detonated dozens of bombs, and issued a statement about preparing for a 'long war'.

Thus, the fact that Ryan is a musician touring with Celtic Thunder, singing and making great music that people enjoy around the world, is a testament of hope for the human race. Ryan may have been born into a protracted civil war with no end in sight, but he was not raised as a paramilitary fighter, and now that we are in our 30's, Northern Ireland is for the most part at peace. Thinking about Ryan in this light, I am more hopeful about the prospects for the countries torn by the conflicts of the 'Arab Spring", and for the folks in places like Sudan and Israel, where the violence seems so impossible to curtail. Maybe right now in these and other conflict-torn places, there are small children growing up to become the international touring musicians of 2040, people whose fans will love and appreciate them just as much as we love and appreciate Ryan Kelly.

While we are waiting to find out who these amazing new musicians will be, we have Ryan and the rest of Celtic Thunder touring their way through the US now, in Texas, Colorado, Canada and along the West Coast, and then in Australia and New Zealand early next year. And, in December, we have a second mini-tour of Acoustic by Candlelight, Ryan Kelly and Neil Byrne with guitars in smaller venues where even the folks in the back row might actually be able to see the whites of their eyes. Ryan and Neil both celebrated the anniversaries of their full albums a few weeks ago, and both of them seem to be about ready to start thinking about the next album. Ryan's debut album, In Time, is still available on itunes, amazon.com, cdbaby, and on the Celtic Thunder website, and it is also up on spotify. With any luck, we'll maybe start hearing about new music from Ryan Kelly by sometime next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment