One year ago I was on my way to Atlanta for my third Celtic Woman DVD recording. My first had been in 2007 in Dublin for the Christmas show. The second was in 2010 at the Pwoerscourt Songs From The Heart recording. This time the ensemble graced us with a recording here in the states to thank the American fans for their support. The fans turned out in record numbers to thank them back and juice the audience. I have been witness to a great many changes in the group over the years. The events that led to the changes weren't always positive, but the changes themselves were. Staff changes on the tour eventually made the American tours much more pleasant. Artist changes have been dramatic, yet in spite of them the ensemble has not skipped a beat. All of that in spite of ever declining economies and financial challenges for their fans, myself included. It has certainly been a strain at times to attend so many shows, meetings, recordings, and the associated travel costs. Were it not for some truly wonderful friends I could not have done that the past couple of years.
In 2007 Meav and Hayley bowed out. Lynn was brought in. That was followed in 2009 by the departure of Orlagh and the full time addition of Alex Sharpe. But in 2010 both Alex and then Lynn along with several band and choir members departed. In came Lisa Lambe along with new band and choir members. At every step the selections have been great. just a short few weeks ago Lisa Kelly announced her desire to commit to being a full time mom. Susan McFadden had been standing in and one would suspect she will stay full time. All of the artists who have departed eventually began doing their own artistic thing to the delight of their fans and audiences. I suspect Lisa Kelly will follow suit in her own time perhaps on Broadway where she would do very well. Hayley already had a fine career and still does. Meav and Orlagh teamed up for a Christmas DVD. Lynn and Alex have been mildly active in Europe, Alex having just done a Mediterranean cruise. Orlagh has been the most active until her recent pregnancy and now birth of her first child. Many of the former band and choir have gigs of their own too.
All of them have inspired me over the years to write song lyrics, poems, and a novel. They have been bright lights in an ever darkening world. For me, as a degree holder in history, I see a great many truly horrific things on the horizon both internationally and domestically. This comes from elements of radical Islam as well as the political radical left. Individual freedoms, thoughts, and traditional values are under constant attack by a worldwide ruling elite that believes in a mass of poor and a small ruling class. America is boiling under the surface and threatens to erupt if such radical forces push too hard. November is the most important election in the history of our nation. It will determine if we adhere to the constitution or throw it all away and become a socialist nightmare. The current leader is a narcissist and megalomaniac similar to other dictators of the past. The debt is now 16 trillion and growing with an out of control spending and no budget passed since the current regime was elected. The Federal Reserve, along with the European Central Bank foolishly think printing more money will stimulate economies when it has the reverse effect of saddling nations with enormous burdens they cannot possibly pay off. Who benefits? The elites making the policies. Iceland saw this and threw out and arrested bankers and government. So far they appear to be the only smart ones in the west. Asia is on the ascent while the west implodes and commits political, cultural, and economic suicide. Thought police and one sided media aid governments in dividing the people against each other shifting their anger from where it should be and that is upon government itself who has sold the people out in almost every way.
So, amid the gathering clouds of darkness there are things we can hold on to and cherish. Things that cannot be taken away. Our God, each other, experiences, and memories. Christians around the world are under assault as nations appease Islamic radicals. The economies suffer and even here in the states we now have 53% of the people who are now classified as low income and eligible for government aid. I am among them but refuse. Those figures come from a rapidly shrinking middle class. Schools are abominable in their indoctrination of socialism and poor overall education. It is in the government's best interest to create nations of compliant sheep. At least that is what the elite in charge think. They are threatened by an educated and independent middle class. They are threatened by an armed citizenry which is why the aggressive UN policies on gun control that our government wishes so much to sign on to. The socialized medicine scam is a boondoggle that is wholly beyond our means to pay for and benefits only the insurance and drug companies. While it may be cheap out of pocket, quality and promptness of care will suffer greatly as it has everywhere this has been tried. It has created mass retirement of quality health care professionals and will do so here too.
I began this blog on a positive note. I will end it that way too. Since 2007 I have been blessed with a great deal of inspiration. I have come to know many great artists. For me it has been always been a focus on the amazing artistic gifts and presence of Mairead Nesbitt, the Celtic Woman violinist. She is married now and seemingly happily so. My prayer for her is that life remains a blessed, fulfilling, and happy one. Without her life would have been much different and certainly not a better one for me. While I still can I will attend shows in which she performs. I have a few scheduled. What happens in this nation will dictate whether I can actually be there for those. Most of the artists I know are well on the other side of the political spectrum from me. As long as they do not insult half their audiences by taking political or social stands on stage they will retain a solid following. A large part of their audience would take great issue with support for our current regime or for socialism in this nation in general. It is best they remain smart and not get caught up in it and stick with what endears them to so many, their music. I encourage everyone to vote, and to do so from conscience and not party loyalty. Be informed. We may or may not have another chance to do this through the electoral process. Let's cherish that right and use it to full effect.
All the best, Scott