March 12,2013

Hello and welcome

Just a few lines to update Ramblings before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s always a busy time of year, thank God…long may it last, and I feel like I got the pace just right this year. I don’t feel strained and tense like I did the last few years so it’s nice going into the home stretch somewhat fresh.

I had a terrific time on the Joanie Madden cruise in February. I met some wonderful entertainers and passengers and I’m delighted that Joanie asked me back on her 2014 Folk ‘N Irish Cruise next February. As soon as she has the package together I’ll get the word out. The cruise will once again be on the Norwegian Epic, a truly magnificent vessel.

Speaking of cruises, NCL has scheduled me to perform as a Guest Entertainer on the Norwegian Dawn for two seven day cruises; sailing from Boston to Bermuda on May 10 and May 17. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Bermuda, so I’m looking forward to getting back there.  The sailing schedule is: two days at sea…three days docked in Bermuda and two days at sea. The island is simply stunning and the weather should be lovely in May. Some folks have already booked their cabins so contact your travel agent or Norwegian Cruise Line if you are interested in coming. This is not an Irish cruise…it’s just me being part of the NCL entertainment lineup. I’m also scheduled for some of the New England/Canada runs in September and October, possibly on board the Norwegian Gem, leaving from New York City. More on those cruises later.

I’m in the middle of a bunch of concerts, festivals and fundraisers which is fairly typical at this time of year but I do want to note that I had an absolute blast on the nights of the Savannah Irish Festival when everyone descended on Kevin Barry’s pub. Gabriel Donohue gave his usual mind blowing performance on Saturday evening and I was joined by the Savannah Ceili Band, Cathie Ryan and Seamus Kennedy on Sunday evening… it was a hoot to say the least. At Tara Feis we had the trad band Runa perform and they were brilliant. I joined Tom O’Carroll and Colleen Settle for a set which was great fun and well received.  My thanks to all who came to these and my other shows during the last few weeks.
My schedule this week is as follows: Kevin Barry’s …Friday night March 15, Saturday and night, March 16 and Sunday night, March 17…along with Carroll Brown, Frank Emerson and Seldom Sober. It promises to be the usual frenzy. I will perform at Katie O’Donald’s on March 17 from 4.00PM – 7.00PM…under the big top…everything bar the elephants! For something a bit quieter I will be at the Saints and Shamrocks store, 309 Bull St, Savannah at 3.00PM on Friday March 15, for about an hour.

I lament each year that as I play all of these events there seems little time to spend talking with people. I wave and smile but then the event ends and those I wanted to speak with have gone and I always feel shortchanged. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast, so to speak, but please know that it means a lot to see old familiar faces and please know the extent of my gratitude. Thank you so much.

Our Thistle and Shamrock Tour in July is sold out. We closed the Tour earlier this week. Much as we would like to be able to bring more people we do limit the number each year. Plans are afoot to take an O’Donoghue Tour to Italy next year…possibly in May. We are in negotiations to see if and how it would work. We will get the details out as soon as we get the package together.

Please sign our Guestbook page and leave some comments if you have time. You can also check out my Facebook page and if you are so inclined leave some comments about my performances at Kevin Barry’s, Katie O’Donald’s, Nolans Pub, The Shannon Pub or any other venues, on Trip Advisor, Yelp or Urban Spoon. It’s always nice to know what people think…good or bad.

Congratulations to Samantha Hendrix on the birth of her new baby…happy days in Loughrea, County Galway. My thoughts are with my dear friends Mary and Liam Collins. Mary’s Dad, Tom Brennan passed away a few days ago. He was a great man and will be sorely missed. He’s gone off to join his wife Agnes, who died last November. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

I’m still working on various projects and the idea of recording a new album is stirring inside. Oh, by the way, I didn’t give anything up for Lent this year… I was going to…something very meaningful…something that would make a difference…and then, the Pope….The Pope…he gave up the Papacy…so I said ‘what’s the point, I can’t top that’!!!!

All the best out there…hope to see you soon…enjoy Paddy’s Day.

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