Monday, June 29, 2020

Hello and thanks for stopping by,

Well, here we are smack dab in the middle of 2020, a year that will certainly go down in the history books. The government is in a strange place, the population is in a strange place, the climate is in a strange place, there is a global pandemic, the economy is in ruins, there is social unrest, social anger, social frustration…and to top it off there is sand, from of all places, the Sahara Desert causing air quality problems in many Southern States. And we’re only half-way through the year!

We have yet to endure the trauma of a Presidential Election, which will no doubt be accompanied by counting errors, ballot voting failures, absentee vote confusion, mail in vote fiascos and accusations of abuse, fraud and general wrong doing of epic proportions. One can hardly wait!
I had seven contracts on board Norwegian Cruise ships this year. I completed two earlier in the year, two others have been officially canceled and I’m not optimistic about the other three in the last quarter of the year.
We also had three Ireland Tours scheduled for this year. Both our Irish Castle Tour and Into the West Tour have been rescheduled and moved to the summer of 2021. Our third Tour is the Autumn in Ireland Tour and although it’s still on the books we may reschedule that one as well. We’re keeping a close eye on how the re-opening goes in Ireland over the next few weeks. Thus far it hasn’t been very successful here in America. Our decision will be made in mid-July.

We’ve been keeping busy enough even though we’ve been largely staying at home. For ten weeks myself and three neighbours held a Sunday front porch concert. Each of us set up a sound system and we played songs in the round. Two of the musicians were called back to work and the weather was heating up so we stopped a few weeks ago. We will have another porch concert next Saturday night to celebrate July Fourth. These sessions have been quite popular with the neighbours and are great fun.

I also offer a weekly series on Facebook. It’s called In Song and Story. Each week I perform three songs that are new to me or ones I haven’t done for a while, and I talk a little about the story of the song. I find it very interesting and look forward to bringing a new aspect of these songs to people.
We also did two Back Garden Concerts recently. The first was on Mother’s Day and was in celebration of my 40th year here in America, my 40th year as a professional musician and our 40th Tour to Ireland. It went out live on Facebook and we set up PayPal and Venmo accounts for donations. I was very pleased with the response and we were able to present a check to the local Second Harvest Food Bank from the proceeds. On the strength of that first concert we scheduled a second one. Again, it was quite successful and this week we’ll present another check to the Food Bank.

It’s strange how things change and morph…recently I’ve performed two private back garden concerts locally. A small gathering of 12-14 people make up the audience and the performance is tailored to what the host wants. Very customized. Please keep that in mind, sometime down the road you might like to offer an Evening With An Irishman to your friends. There are several models that can be used. If you decide to do one you can contact me here at the web site, on my Facebook page of by private message on Messenger. I do have a house concert coming up on July 18th here in Savannah. Details to follow.

Whatever happens in the second half of the year I hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. As they are fond of saying, ‘we’re all in this together’…but really, no we’re not, it isn’t even close! Some are on the brink, emotionally and financially, some are so depressed they may never recover, some have lost everything…family members, friends, businesses, life savings…everything. Please be good to those you know and those you don’t know. Even if it’s a silent prayer or good thought…what goes around comes around.
All the best,

Harry O'Donoghue

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