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Saturday, April 27, 2013

New From Ross Crean: The Reluctant Socialite

Ross Crean's excellent new 6-track album The Reluctant Socialite comes out May 10th. Previews from these six new songs are now available for preview on Ross's website (click the Music tab at the top of his website). When it is released in ~2 weeks it will be available on Bandcamp, where you can name your own price for this excellent album. As far as music deals go, this is probably one of the best coming up. 

It always surprises me that not everyone knows of Ross and his excellent existing albums, because his music is always consistently a notch or two above what one would expect of local/regional artists. One of these days the right people will catch his music and he'll be suddenly hugely famous (maybe with this album?). If you're looking for sweet sappy love songs, this new album is not quite the right choice, though there is actually a nice love song among Ross's 6 new tracks ("Yours Only"). I suspect that the whole album sounds even more impressive on a sound system with multiple speakers, and of course these songs would be particularly cool to hear live. But, since Ross is not touring through Fort Collins yet, I suppose his studio recordings will do for now. 

I always am jealous of Ross Crean's voice- I would still want to sound like him if I were a man (though as I am not, I'd go for a voice like Katherine Jenkins' just as happily). His new tunes show off his range quite nicely, and also bring in lots of great percussion and a nice variety of instrumentation for a very modern sound that is as much 'pop' as Depeche Mode's sound. Actually some of his music, including a few of the songs on The Reluctant Socialite, could be covered quite comfortably by Depeche Mode or a decent Depeche Mode cover band (I can especially hear the resemblance in "Daniel" and "Tilda", though "Yours Only" could also fit into a set for a Depeche Mode cover band). My favorite, right now, is probably "Yours Only", but just as with the new Celtic Thunder album, I'm sure my favorites will shift as I become more accustomed to the entirety of Ross's new album. 

If you are already a fan, be sure to check out his new songs on his website and mark the release date, May 10th, on your calendar. Also, if you are a fan AND use spotify, be sure to 'follow' Ross on spotify (a new feature on that platform). If you are not a fan yet, check out Ross's new music on his website. His albums are available in several places online, including CD Baby and spotify, and he has a lot of his music available to preview on his website besides these brand new tracks. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

SHEL in Europe (Frankfurt, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow & London)

SHEL will be in Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow and London this month before returning to Colorado to play a show in Boulder at the Fox Theatre on April 28th. I always like sharing this band, one of my absolute favorite local Fort Collins music acts, with my friends, so it is an exciting thought that Neil, Colm, Emmet, Ryan and George may actually get to see this band live in a week or so. I am not exactly friends with the Celtic Thunder musicians just yet, but hopefully at least one or two of these lads will take my random fan tweets seriously and check out SHEL while they are actually on the European side of the ocean. For that matter, anyone in Frankfurt, Germany this week should check out this band, too.  If you happen to live in Ireland, Scotland or London and are not a Celtic Thunder musician, chances are good that you still might really love this band.

SHEL is made up of 4 sisters, all excellent musicians, who have performed together for years, and who played with their dad (who was on electric bass for the last SHEL show at which he was performing with them, this past fall). Their music has a dreamy, eclectic folk sound that bridges the pop, folk and country genres, with lots of original songs, many written by the very talented Eva, who plays mandolin and electric mandolin, among other things. They also do an absolutely fantastic cover of Led Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore".

SHEL's upcoming European dates (from their website):

April 11-13 Frankfurt, Germany (see SHEL @ Prolight+Sound @ Prolight + Sound Convetion for more info)

April 17 Bruxelles Bar, Dublin, Ireland (16+, no cover listed)

April 19 John Hewitt Bar, Belfast (All ages, no cover listed)

April 21 The Roxy 171, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (All ages, £6)

April 22 Pivo Pivo, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (All ages, £6)

April 24 The Bedford, London, UK (All ages, free)

April 25 The Islington, London, UK (All ages, free)

So, why should you care? Here's a taste of what you've been missing if you haven't heard SHEL yet ...

and one more, just in case you need more convincing :) The first video was filmed in the Fort Collins area, and this second shows lots of familiar Fort Collins locations, including our Old Town Square Stage, a nice outdoor venue which features a small but somewhat effective occasionally water-filled moat as its divider between the stage and the audience.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Fantasy 2014 Celtic Thunder Show

The game is to put together a show, 40 songs or fewer, to make up two generously lengthy discs, or 2 regular-length discs plus a few extras for live shows. None of the songs can be already in the Celtic Thunder repertoire, OR on any of the solo/outside project albums connected with Celtic Thunder. And, while we would love it if we could have the lads manufacture new original music on demand, for this game filling slots with "Keith's original as-yet-unwritten song" doesn't count. Be sure to assign each song to which ever soloists or to the entire ensemble if all 6 lads will be singing together in it. It IS ok if the song may need serious tweaking by David Munroe to work as assigned, so long as you can hear it in your mind's ear and it sounds cool.

Disc 1
Song #1 Curragh of Kildare, whole ensemble;
Song #2 An Chrithionn Cruaidh, George, Colm and Keith;
Song #3 I Know My Love, Neil;
Song #4 River and the Rain, George & Ryan;
Song #5 Seacht ndolas na Maighdine Muire, Emmet plus George, Neil & Colm on harmonies;
Song #6 A Poem on the Underground Wall, Colm & Ryan;
Song #7 Belfast Street Songs, ensemble;
Song #8 The Weaver & the Factory Maid, Colm;
Song #9 I Don't Know You, Keith;
Song #10 Irish Rain, Ryan;
Song #11 All Around the Loney-O, George;
Song #12 The Lower Road, Ryan & Keith,
Song #13 Lullaby(Ma Chaora Bhan), CT Band;
Song #14 Every Story, Emmet;
Song #15 Cuach Mo Londubh Bui, ensemble;
Song #16 The Entertainer, Neil;
Song #17 A Man's a Man for A' That, George;
Song #18 The Atheist Christmas Carol, Ryan;
Song #19 I Know Where I'm Going, Keith & ensemble;
Song #20 Finnegan's Wake, ensemble

Disc 2
Song #21 One Voice, ensemble
Song #22 One Misty Moisty Morning, ensemble
Song #23 Us Folk, Neil
Song #24 For Always, Colm & Emmet
Song #25 The Hills of Ardmorn, George
Song #26 Joyride, Neil
Song #27 Muddy Waters, Keith
Song #28 Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Ryan & ensemble
Song #29 Long Time Ago (Copland), Emmet (sped up as more of a folk song)
Song #30 The Night is Young and You're So Beautiful, Colm, Ensemble
Song #31 Timshel, ensemble
Song #32 Just a Simple Melody, George, Emmet, Colm & Neil
Song #33 To Make You Feel My Love, Ryan
Song #34 Pretty Saro, Keith
Song #35 Fields of Athenry, George w/Colm & Ryan on harmony
Song #36 Try to Remember, Neil
Song #37 More Than Words, Ryan
Song #38 Back for Good, Keith & Colm
Song #39 We Can Be Kind, Ensemble
Song #40 We'll Meet Again, George & Ensemble

And here's a playlist of the whole show, minus the lads and David Munroe's magic.

Would any of my songs make the cut if you were the music director?  What is YOUR 2014 Fantasy Celtic Thunder Show?