Good day to you and thanks for stopping by,
We’re just thawing out from a rare winter storm here in Savannah. We received quite a bit more than a dusting of snow and because we are ill prepared to deal with such weather we’ve enjoyed a few days of sitting in, watching telly, eating sumptuously, drinking to the point of excess and generally doing little or anything of value or importance…and here’s the kicker…no guilt! None, none at all…we simply could not go out, iced in, snowed under, impossible to drive, improbable to walk…what could one do in such a circumstance? What indeed? Loved it, it was wonderful, but we live here in the South, so enough already, we’re tired of it after just three days. Bring on the sunshine and warmer weather please. We’re forecast to be back in the 60’s by Tuesday, perfect for the second week in January I should say.
As we bid farewell to 2017 I must recognize that last year was the busiest I’ve ever been in this business. I got to perform at some terrific events and for some wonderful people, organizers and audiences alike…thank you one and all. I performed with Norwegian Cruise Line a total of sixteen weeks last year and although the traveling and being away from home was tedious the experience was great. I was in Alaska for the first time and also in Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baja California, Central America, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Jamaica, the Caymans, Mexico, the Canadian Maritimes, Quebec and Puerto Rica. To even look at the list now is exhausting but I’m glad I was invited to perform with wonderful entertainers and work with enthusiastic and professional technicians and crew members. Thank you one and all and thank you NCL.
We took three Tours to Ireland last year and I’m delighted to say that each was a success. I spent five weeks at home in Ireland with these Tours and although Traci and I put a ton of work and effort into these trips it was, and always has been a joy to bring people over to my homeland.
We have two Tours going this summer. The first is a Scotland/Ireland Tour beginning on July 1st …we’ll spend four days in Scotland and four in Ireland and we’ll travel between countries on the new modern ferry from Cairnryan, Scotland to Belfast, Ireland…a sailing I always look forward to.
Our second Tour is ‘A Road Less Traveled’, beginning on July 18th. This Tour features eight nights in Ireland, visiting the West coast and North Midlands, with stops in Bunratty, County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher, Roscommon, Galway City and lots more. As always on our Tours we will stay in finely appointed hotels including the beautiful Kilronan Castle.
Information, registration forms, terms and conditions and the fully daily itinerary is to be found on the Tours page here on our website. Should you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with myself or Traci by phone or email or on Facebook or Messenger. We’ll be happy to answer any queries or concerns.
A few weeks ago I signed with a talent agency, a first for me even though I’ve been in the business for over 37 years. The reasons for seeking out and signing to a talent agency are simple…new adventures, new cruise lines, new experiences. I look forward to working with the members of TAD as we move forward.
I continue to perform in Kevin Barry’s, Savannah, Georgia and feel obliged to mention that after working there for 34 years it’s still the best Irish pub I’ve ever played in and it’s an honour to continue to do so. The only other pub that I perform in is Katie O’Donald’s in Bluffton, South Carolina. I’m there four or five times a year and it’s always great fun.
The demise of Irish Pubs as we knew them back in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s is sad indeed. They were less sports bars back then and were more attuned to Irish music and culture. I’m not at all suggesting that there are not some wonderful Irish Pubs scattered around, there certainly are. But as we traveling Irish musicians get older and the owners and managers of the pubs retire or get out of the business something is being lost. They say what goes around comes around and I hope that’s the case. I hope to see some younger musicians latch on to the vast catalogue of Irish folks songs and then re-discover and revive them in their own style.
For me I suppose I have subconsciously moved on already. It was nothing contrived but opportunities presented themselves over the years and I found myself and my performances changing and evolving. While I miss the old days and playing all over the country in pubs filled with character I relish the challenge of performing with a symphony or a fund raising event or in concert, bringing not only music but Irish humour, history, culture and storytelling to new audiences. I’ve been very lucky and I’m thankful every day and I look ahead with wonder and curiosity at what 2018 and beyond will bring.
On Georgia Public Broadcasting our show The Green Island Radio Show trundles merrily along, now going into year number 26. Thank you for listening and if you haven’t…well, well, c’mon now..!
Most of our music inventory is current, I’ve recorded over 14 albums thus far in my career…we don’t have all but we do stock most. We are offering some nice specials here on the website. And we have these terrific ball caps with the O’Donoghue logo…I say that because I collect ball caps and have become disillusioned with what’s being offered as I travel around…mass produced, ill-fitting baseball caps…not worth it no matter how cheap. I found a great cap at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda a few years ago. It’s light weight, supple and a nice fit. I bought a couple and had Bahama Joe’s here in Savannah find them, order them and personalize them. We have two colours: navy and yellow.
Right so, this is a longer update, longer than I thought it would be as I sat down…but there you go, that’s life.
I hope 2018 brings with it all you wish for including good health, a hearty helping of happiness and ample time in the company of family and good friends.
Best for now,