Well, this is my first blog so we'll see what you think. Most who visit will know me but for those who don't here is a brief synopsis. I became a poet and lyricist from the instrument in God's hands of Celtic Woman in April of 2007. Since then I"ve written over 300 pieces.Their amazing fiddler Mairead has been the never ending inspiration and when you see and hear her perform you'll understand why. Check out their official site at www.celticwoman.com and her official site at www.maireadnesbitt.com as well as the fan forum in her honor that I administer at www.maireadforum.com which is a wonderful extended family of her supporters. Please also check out the wonderful artist I create songs with at her site www.oliviagritten.org for more information about this terrific young singer/composer from Australia. She creates so quickly and beautifully she takes my breath away! She and I both have MySpace pages as well that you can check out.
OK, to business at hand. I have been attending Celtic Woman concerts since my first one in the spring of 2007 in Albuquerque. I took my then 9 year old niece to that show to expose her to women in performing arts with dignity and class. These women are marvelous role models and simply lovely people inside and out. Their supporting cast are equally talented and nice folks too! In that year I saw them at that show as well as two nights to end that tour in the fantastic Red Rocks amphitheater outside Denver. I was then blessed to make my first trip to Ireland and experience the recording of their beautiful Christmas concert. Later that year I took friends to their show in Omaha on their short fall tour. So, five shows in all.
In 2008 I was blessed to have attended even more shows. First was the show in Birmingham and my first meet & greet. I was swept up and blown away by the show and the wonderful meeting with my muse Mairead. Her kindness that night simply took my breath away. She and the others are humble, gentle, and gracious people whose excellence and success has not gone to their heads. I followed that show by another in Rockford Illinois and another meeting with Mairead. She is simply the most charming of people. At these two meet and greets I'd also met Lynn and Orlagh. Both very gifted and sweet. The next show was Duluth. An amazing night before the show had me sharing drinks for a few hours with two members of their band and one of the accompanying male group. Fine men and great conversation. I was truly honored to be included. Another show and then a meeting with Lynn and Alex. The next show was Toledo but no meet & greet. However, it was a gathering of a lot of forum people who are wonderful. I also wrote a record for me of ten poems in one day at a table in the hotel lobby that seemed to be channeling. I wrapped up that tour at Phoenix and Bakersfield with good seats but no more meetings. So, six more shows, and eleven in all now.
Now here we are in 2009. The Mairead forum is over a year old and thriving with great people within it and the very kind public support of the one we honor and support. They are now halfway through a very long and busy tour schedule. They give their all every night and must be exhausted at times. Yet they are wonderful professionals and each audience is blessed. The shows in previous years were based upon their A New Journey video filmed at Slane Castle in Ireland. This year they have a new, and very moving show called Isle Of Hope. It is a beautiful tribute to America's role in the lives of the Irish over the years. It retains the best of the previous show and adds beautiful new elements and pieces. You simply must experience it to fully appreciate the creative genius of all involved led by David Downes and everyone on stage and behind it. I too am now halfway through my tour stops.
So far I have attended the dress rehearsal in Evansville which had a limited audience. We were the first to see this new show and to comment upon it. A couple of technical glitches were of no consequence to the audience as the material, costumes, and stage aspects were beyond beautiful. The meet and greet afterwards were with Lynn and Alex who were the ones from my last meet & greet the previous tour. Lynn has grown into her role fully and her selections are marvelous. Carolina Rua is simply not to be missed, and she is accompanied by the effervescent Mairead in this rather Latin frolic. Alex also is a shining star and the selections for her fit her dramatic experience. She has really grown on me and many others. Both are cover songs but are well suited to her. She does a wonderful arrangement of You'll Be In My Heart accompanied by Nick on drums. He is putting his own band's (Extreme Rhythm) touch to his great percussion here and it pays off. Lisa is still there and knocks them dead with her signature piece The Voice which has the delightful Mairead on stage with her. Then there is Chloe. Her voice is fuller, more mature, and reminds me a bit now of their former member Meav. She does a beautiful cover song called When You Believe that has now become my personal theme song for this past couple of years. All this has been a matter of faith and trust that God has me on the right path. Chloe touches me very deeply with this song. Mairead retains roles she acquired in the previous show and seems nearly ever present even when not on stage. She has a new piece called The Coast Of Galicia which is a vibrant, Latin swirl through your heart and soul. As if she needed any more ammunition to shoot into my heart! At concert after concert I listen to the audience as I'm leaving and it has never changed. At least 3/4 of the comments I hear are about Mairead. How does she do that, they ask. The superlatives just flow from folks. No stick in the mud traditionalists and no media critic can detract from the artistry and accomplishments of Mairead on parade. She can do trad with the best of them as well as classics. No one does what she does the way she does it and ever could. Yet she is humble and knows her role is equal to that of everyone else on that stage. She and the others are team players and you can tell. The stage, the lighting, the costumes (thank you Lord that Mairead remains in white), all add to the artists the elements needed to make this the best buy in entertainment. Especially if you do a meet & greet.
My next show this tour was in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania at an event worked on for months by members of the Mairead forum. We billed it as MaireadFest and there was a very large gathering of forum fans and we acquired new ones that night too. It was designed to honor this most amazing of violinists as well as to bring together a delightful autistic girl with her role model Chloe. By all accounts it was a most special night for fan and artist alike. The cooperation of Celtic Woman in making this happen was perhaps the greatest positive public relations act with their fans they have ever done. The Mairead forum is very grateful for that special night never to be forgotten. I followed that show with my first visit to the big apple. Two nights at the incredible Radio City Music Hall. Wow! The ensemble was so energized and my pit seats so good. That is something special too. The interaction from the stage with these artists is almost constant and so important in acquiring and then keeping avid supporters. A wink, a wiggle, a nod, and a smile directed at you can just make every dollar spent so worthwhile. We had all five girls at the meet & greets both nights. It was perfect in obtaining things for forum members who may never get the chance at autographs, and I as a forum leader was duty bound to help with that. Next up a few nights later was Baltimore for two nights, including St. Patrick's Day, at the lovely Hippodrome theater. Again, a perfect venue. Arenas are for monster trucks and rodeo not Celtic Woman. Some places have no choice in that and pull it off very well such as at Wilkes-Barre. Again, five girl meet & greets which was a wonderful surprise.
As of last night I am halfway through my scheduled tour stops having attended in Dallas at the fine Nokia Theater. The crowd was terrific and as happens the artists and audience fed off each other. More importantly though was that it was Mairead's birthday. Her forum simply had to be there. Yet, only I and another couple were there from her forum. Well, the crowd was juiced and didn't need any prompting from us. Yet I used our forum created (thank you Elaina) fiddler crossing sign often with Happy Birthday Mairead written on the back of it. Again, wonderful interactions from the stage and a delightful meeting with Lisa and Lynn afterwards. Mairead had a volume of birthday gifts delivered by me on behalf of her forum and its members. Lynn too, much to her surprise received gifts from her forum for her birthday on the 21st. Yeah, you're loved too and don't forget it Lynn! So, seven shows so far this tour and seven more planned culminating in the tour finales at Red Rocks which will be very well attended by forum folks. Then it remains to wait on the eagerly anticipated DVD recording of this new show. I can't wait. Neither can my credit card! Well, few things are worth it in this life. Mairead and her friends at Celtic Woman certainly are. Good for frequent flier miles too!
So, this wraps up my first blog post, er, novel. Hey, I'm a writer! Do yourself a favor and pick up some Celtic Woman DVDs, CDs, or attend a show. Pick up the CDs of the individual artists past and present too. Visit the various official sites as well as the various artist's forums. You'll be glad you did! Fill your life with beautiful music, and positive people. There are no dark clouds when Mairead is around! Sometimes it looks like she's chasing them away with her bow. We like to call it pixie dust in her forum. Speaking of which, pick up the Disney movie Tinkerbelle where Mairead plays a key role on the soundtrack. She'll be on the next one too which is in he works! Can you ever have enough? Not this guy. God bless you Mairead and all the great artists that share the stage with you. God bless you too Olivia for the marvelous gifts of song including the eight so far set to my lyrics. You're a rising star of the antipodes. Thanks also to the wonderful forum friends I've met and work with. These artists attract the best and bring out the best in all those who live in the light.
God's peace, Scott/moscapoet