Celtic Thunder kicks off their 2013 Fall Tour, with their show Mythology, in just 2 days. Their first show will be in Abbotsford, British Colombia, on September 7th, so this Saturday (at the Abbotsford Sports & Entertainment Centre). There will be weekly live video chats with the lads throughout the tour, and a video tour diary, plus the usual social media banter, and all of a sudden all the Thunderheads will re-emerge onto tumblr, twitter and facebook as the lads wind their way throughout the states and provinces of North America. Are you ready?
Barry Kerr not on the Fall Tour, New ABC Album
Sadly, Barry Kerr will not be traveling on this tour, but no doubt he has some worthy projects he is working on back home in Ireland while the Fall Tour rolls on here. Ryan Kelly and Neil Byrne have announced some exciting news, that they will be releasing their first Acoustic By Candlelight studio album, called Acoustically Irish. This exciting new album will be available on amazon.com (and elsewhere) on October 1st. Acoustically Irish includes lots of fan favorites from these guys' Acoustic By Candlelight tours, including their always excellent cover of the Hothouse Flowers song "Don't Go" and the traditional song "Rose of Allendale". It may take some getting used to- the bits of "Don't Go" that one can hear on their reverbnation page sound a lot more complicated, almost overworked, compared to the basic acoustic version they played live. Still, I'm sure in the context of the full song, those bits sound fantastic.
I seriously doubt they'd be willing to send me a copy early so I could review it (I get spoiled with my local music blogging lifestyle- if they were a local band, I'd probably already have a copy and would be writing a review of it in the next week or so). There are samples of all 13 tracks on amazon, though, and knowing their voices and the rest of their music, I'm sure many of us Thunderheads can imagine the rest of these tracks enough to know this will be a fun album.
Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly- Acoustically IrishMini Review based on hearing the sample clips on amazon.com- These lads don't need strings and other instrumental accompaniment- they really would have been ok with just their guitars and voices, even for a studio album, but I can imagine how much fun they had layering in all the extra stuff. I do really love the a capella portion of "Green Fields of France". I've been throwing "Fields of Athenry" in as a song request every chance I could, and while I don't remember right now if I ever actually suggested it to them, I certainly think of these lads every time I hear other versions of "On Raglan Road". There's enough Irish traditional music to place this album in that genre, and enough of a folk-pop sound to their recordings that perhaps some of their new tracks might do quite well on the radio. Maybe next ABC tour-time they can include the Colorado Front Range in their itinerary, and in the meantime perhaps their fanbase here might grow a bit once this new album is available.
And no doubt Keith Harkin is getting closer to having his second solo album completed- he's been working some long hours in the studio lately, anyway. We'll have to find out Saturday whether Sharon Browne let Keith keep his facial hair and longer-than-usual hair (I really like how he's been looking this summer, and with his rougher, scruffier look he'd fit in just fine here in Colorado or anywhere in this part of the West, but I know a lot of fans prefer him clean-shaven and cleaner-cut). His latest new youtube video, posted a couple days ago, has very little of Keith himself in it, though his very tanned feet and hands show up right near the end. Here's a glimpse of some of Keith's more slippery neighbors. Hopefully he got in enough quality time with his boat that he won't be too terribly homesick for the next few months.