Thursday, December 20, 2012
2012 Wrap Up/Highlights: Celtic Thunder
Way back in January, Celtic Thunder was embarking on their first Australia/New Zealand tour. Celtic Thunder then included George Donaldson, Keith Harkin, Neil Byrne, Emmet Cahill and Ryan Kelly. Daniel Furlong, who was listed as a guest performer and had toured the US with the group in fall 2011, was left behind in Ireland.
Unfortunately for Thunderheads in Australia and New Zealand, Colm is not yet so fully integrated into the group as we might wish- apparently he is not going to be heading down that way with the group until the new Mythology tour, which reaches that part of the planet in early 2014. I'm sure there are good reasons for this, but having met Colm, I sympathize with my fellow Thunderheads who won't get to meet this lovely lad for another year. But, he will be an integral part of the group as they move forward with Mythology next year.
The Lads: Daniel Furlong
Daniel Furlong is a 14yr old lad from Wexford, which is at the southeastern corner of Ireland. At his age I would imagine his voice will be changing soon- after all, boy sopranos don't remain sopranos without serious and irreversible surgery, and I doubt anyone wants to add Daniel to the ranks of famous Castrati, however lovely his voice would be. In the meantime, his album, Voice of an Angel, is out, and his friend and supporter Michael Londra is doing what he can to support Daniel's music career, right now by helping to promote Daniel's album. Daniel is also working on learning to play electric guitar, and is improving his guitar skills more generally, so by the time he returns to the public eye more fully, he'll be well on his way to stardom, guitar in hand.
solo EP of his own this month, which was hugely successful right from the start, and his label's first artist, Darrell Coyle, has had considerable success so far with his own EP released earlier this year. Damian and Oran will be launching their next artist, Gem O'Reilly, tomorrow with her debut EP.
Keith Harkin had a very exciting year in 2012. In addition to helping his sister record new music back home (which I hope means she will be releasing and EP or full-length album sometime soon), and touring with Celtic Thunder in Australia, and doing the publicity tour and the recently ended US tour, Keith released his new album and has been squishing his album promotion and solo shows in alongside his Celtic Thunder schedule. Catering to Celtic Thunder's schedule may have lost him some momentum at his album release (which was several weeks earlier in Canada so that Keith could sign albums, and start selling them actively there during Celtic Thunder's Canada tour dates), but by not alienating his Thunderheads to strike out on his own, Keith has maintained a loyal and growing fan base that is all too happy to help him promote his fantastic new album. I still wish his website was updated to reflect the fact that his album is already out, and the whole autoplay music player thing is always annoying, even if it is Keith's single playing. But, webpage grumbles aside, Keith's career seems to be heading in a great direction. He'll be doing more solo touring soon, so hopefully I'll be posting about an upcoming Keith Harkin solo tour that includes Colorado in the near future.
Neil Byrne has been teasing his fans all year with Pale Blue Jak stuff, posting odd animal cartoons every so often that we eventually learned were the animated characters in his new music video for his song 'Mr. Ace'. He has been working on new material as well, for the next Pale Blue Jak album, so while he has not release any new music just yet, it's coming. His first Pale Blue Jak album, 'Faces', came out in fall 2011, and he has been performing some of the songs from that album on his tours with Ryan Kelly. I am hoping that enough of us fans are pestering Neil and Ryan about making an Acoustic by Candlelight tour album, because from what we've seen on youtube and on the Acoustic by Candlelight tumblr, these two guys are amazing together. (And they keep saying that they'll make it to the towns they missed so far, on later legs of their Acoustic by Candlelight tour, so maybe next year they'll be here in Colorado.)
Celtic Comet (Colm Keegan and Emmet Cahill)
It's been a busy year, and hopefully next year will be just as busy, if not moreso, but without the hospital scare, and with lots of new music. Celtic Thunder's new album, Mythology, comes out in February, through Verve Music, a positive sign for the next year. George Donaldson, Paul Byrom, Barry Kerr and Seana are all nominated for Irish Music Association awards, and while Paul Byrom and Keith Harkin didn't make it into the formal Grammy nominations, they were both shortlisted for Grammy awards this year. By this time next year, anything is possible.