Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick Review

So it is the end of 2010 and it is time to evaluate.I guess i've done it before but for some reason it is all the more important now. I am the definition of a rolling stone, never gathering moss,good nor bad, the stuff that catches on to you while not noticing. I dont ever notice what is good or bad. I am consumed with the moving forward, not quite ambition as the need to make change, not wanting to ever be famous but to be great, to change lives, to be the fullest and the best I can be.
This year,in my family life, social life and career I have made leaps. I realised how much I loved the leaping and not quite reaching the goals. That is the secret for me.
I have the career I always wanted. I have more live dates than anyone could want, I have a family life despite being in entertainment and I have been offered things I always wanted a shot at.
I was excited to be offered my own PBS special. I am thrilled but realistic. I know what is involved and have watched many fail in presenting a concert film to the public. I have the best of people around so i think it will be great fun and a huge success. I am however lucky to have reached an age where it doesnt matter a huge amount to me if it doesnt shake the earth. I am so excited by the project. People who know will know that I love having a project.
I gained a green card, much to my delight. I am to a degree half an American. I love having my feet in both countries and will continue to when I go for my citizenship...i need to be able to vote. Irish people are political by their very nature.
I found this year that fans were just fantastic. They wrote lovely letters, cards and sent presents. There was a few times involving hotel stalking that was unusual to say the least but I guess it comes with the job. I am grateful to everyone for the love and the support.
To everyone who came out for the tours, thank you. The Holiday tour is always my favorite as it is a smaller band and just 7 of us take to the road. It is always an adventure but always the best laugh. I love my band on and off stage so we have the best time and I think it shows. There were a few gigs I didnt want to end. Billings was really fun as was Santa Rosa with the big troupe. On that tour in March we went out with 17 and this coming spring we head out with 19 starting with sold out shows in Florida in January......now that is something to look forward to.
If anyone wants so be in the audience for the PBS special let me know. I will get your name down. March 18, The California Theater, San Bernardino, CA. So far the designer John Casey and director Mark Lucas are coming up with a plan. Producers, Mindfox are dynamic as you would imagine. Lots of excitement but lots to do.
Before I go I just want to say how grateful I am to you people who log on every day, to people who send encouraging emails, to everyone who helps spread the word. I am so very grateful to you for doing that and think about it every day. I hope you hvae that kind of love in your life.
So 2011 is going to be great. I hope it brings good things to you too. For now though, have a happy christmas. Nollaig Shona Love Michael

Monday, November 22, 2010


So I just got back from China. Beijing is polluted beyond belief and anytime you raise this with Beijingers, they reply that it is fog which is funny. I like the town. It is stately in places, crazy and frenetic in others. I stayed in the cool Sanlitun area so safe to say I had a Starbucks on my doorstep. I did eat pretty amazing food including exotic dishes like Ox Tendon....interesting. I had Peking Duck with the addition of Goose. Have to say it was delicious. I may or may not have sampled Beijing nightlife including a funny speakeasy at the Workers Stadium. The trip was a big success now I am suffering the worst jetlag ever.
Recommendation for hotel http://www.theoppositehouse.com/

SO now begins the holiday tour which as usual should be great fun. Sad to say my trusted friend and guitarist Mellad wont be with us as his wife is having a baby. I do want to let you know that the lovely Caitlin Warbelow will be out with us on this tour. She is fun and brilliant on the fiddle, http://www.myspace.com/caityanna/blog/495758035
Preperation is underway for the PBS special to be recorded in San Bernardinos California Theater on March 18. We will be running a contest for free tickets to the taping in the New Year. I am delighted to say our first guest artist will be Frankie Gavin and De Dannan. I love trad and these are just the best there is. Frankie is a legend and I am honored to have them on board. We have one more exciting guest to announce but that wont happen until the New Year.

We go into the studio this week to record new material for the album to accompany the PBS dvd. So excited to get the earphones on and start singing. I love being in a studio as much as being on stage , if not more. We have a greatv new original song to record and much more.

Just when I thought I would focus on being a producer along came a chance to sing some more so the decision was made for me. I am excited about 2011 and in this week of thanksgiving, I am so grateful that I have this gift which allows me to do amazing things around the world.

Thanks for all your lovely emails. I just love to get them

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This week.

I went to see the taping for Celtic Thunder's 2 new PBS productions, Heritage and Christmas. I had a blast. I dont know what I expected really but honestly the Christmas show was particularly impressive. Phil Coulter's arrangements were great and I loves the lads performances. It is great to see Damien growing up and his voice has dropped to a spectacular chocolate bass. He has a big future that kid. As for the Heritage show, for me Keith's version of The Dutchman was just gorgeous. It was astounding to watch the Thunderheads in action. They are fanatical to say the least. Watching their reaction to our wearing coveted backstage passes was hilarious. Anyways, watch out for the Christmas tour dates and the special. It is full of Christmas cheer and just put me in a great mood.
I spent the evening , of course, looking at the whole set up as I prepare to put together my own dvd special. I feel great having seen it all in action as I can put my own production in perspective and now realise exactly what is involved.
Thanks to Sharon Browns and Jean Clancy for the invitation. I had a ball.
Meanwhile the boys are No 27 on Billboard charts this week and have 3 albums in the World Music Charts. Talk about great sales!!!
De Dannan bring out a new album this week. Watch out for it, Check out this video
Liz Knowles launches her album this week in Chicago. Check it out. She is a great fiddle player and this album is just gorgeous
I leave for Wexford and China in that order next week and will be out of the country for about a month. Looking forward to seeing the folks.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So you arent under the wrong impression!

I have received a few emails from people who heard me in an interview last week saying how complicated it is to be a singer. I think I gave the wrong impression as everyone thinks I am ready to quit singing to take on producing full time.

It is difficult to be a singer, a professional singer at least. Aside from the economic risks along the way particularly at the start, the anxiety and the concern about the future, there is the ever present self doubt. I think every artist has some level of it lurking inside, ready to snatch away any single moments of joy that do come along the way.

I have reached a point in my career where I have managed to throw away all those doubts, to stop worrying and to be able to soak in not only what I have achieved but what I still aiming for.

Singing brings many gifts. I have toured the world, sung on the greatest of stages, met the rich, the famous which is more often than not an unpleasant experience, people who are living in absolute and chronic poverty in extreme circumstances who i've been able to help in a small way, I have faced people who have ripped me off and hundreds more who have built me up. I have sung in halls with no lighting or the worst sound systems. Bottom of the line is that I still love being a singer.

I probably could walk away now content with what I have achieved but I am not going to do that. I have never wanted to be famous, the complete opposite in fact. I have however, always wanted to be great and that is why I am not giving up and ......you are stuck with me.

This week Danny Boy will reach 3 million downloads on Youtube. I am astounded by this figure. I think of my first singing teacher and what she would have thought. I loved her. Sr. Mary Walsh. She was tiny but tough. I still use her techniques to this day. I hope wherever she is, there are choirs to conduct. She was the best and was a star in my childhood. I also think about Wexford and what the town means to me. I am Wexford, it made me. Its heart is in singing. The Theater Royal is now the Opera House but it will always be the place where I learned how to project, perform and persevere.
I will be heading home again soon for the Opera Festival. Wouldn't miss it.

So the future and to talk about it I have to look back. I learned a huge lesson last year. I was deceived and betrayed by people who I sacrificed everything for. I realised that I had , during that time put myself in 2nd place. Well, no more. I am back to being a singer and am focusing all my efforts on that for another few years. I will still produce and have several projects going but 2011 will center around my Public TV concert special. It is a huge challenge as I have no big management or record company helping me. That is actually a plus in my eyes. I get to make all the decisions. We start next week believe it or not. Heading to NYC to record some pieces with Steve Skinner. I am excited about the show which will be taped in LA area on March 19/20.

So anyway, thats my rant for now. I had to write down what I was feeling so there was no confusion. Thanks to everyone who emailed with the nice thoughts and concerns.

TO anyone who writes to me...I love you for it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Best Week Ever

I have no idea what is going on astrologically but something has certainly altered to benefit me in the past few weeks. If anyone can explain this out there let me know(my birthday is April 13)

1. This week I got my approval notice that makes me an Alien of Extraordinary Ability making me FINALLY eligible for a Green Card. After all these years of 1 - 3 year artistic visas and interviews with agents on the border everytime I go back and forth to Ireland I can finally relax a little.This country has been so good to me and has offered me so much opportunity. I finally feel like I belong here. For the longest time I have been in no mans land. Thank you to Barbara McCormick, the best immigration lawyer in the US. If you know of anyone who needs help send them to Dornan and Associates

2. I guess the biggest news is that I have been approached about filming my own show for TV. I wont give you details yet in case I jinx it but it will be recorded in early 2011. There will be a dvd and cd recording of the show. I promise to give you more info soon.

4. On September 16 I am doing a private concert in NYC for an audience of 75 people. We are charging $150 per person with a view to sending all money raised to Concern's projects in Haiti. The concert is being held in a luxurious Central Park West townhouse. If anyone in NYC is interested in coming to this exclusive show, email mjb@michaellondra.com for details.

5. The High Kings are playing Chicago August 17 and I wanted everyone to know about it as they are brilliant live and I know it will be a great night. For details go to Irish American Heritage Center

Monday, June 14, 2010

Natasha McShane Event

So, I sang at an amazing event yesterday at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. What an amazing place...I had no idea. The library alone is worth the trip.
I sang at a mass at the start of the event to raise funds for Natasha McShane, an Irish girl who was mugged 2 months ago in Bucktown. The girl needs huge medical attention and the Irish community of the town rallied in amazing numbers to show for a fantastic event raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Got to hear some great music. I was so impressed by Paddy Homan whose version of Bard of Armagh was about the best i have ever heard. The new band featuring Paddy, Maurice Lennon, Dennis Cahill and Jimmy Keane is truly brilliant.
Got to meet friends like Cliff Carlson and Patrick Fitzell
Great day altogether.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So happy to be back in Chicago after a great trip to Ireland and then on to NYC to start plans for a new album.

We have decided when looking over all the recordings we have made over the past few years to release something online at the end of the summer and i will get details to you soon. BUT we have also decided to go back into the studio to create something a little different this year. Let the rumours begin.....

I need to clarify something. I am getting emails and facebook messages from all over about this and it is about time I set the record straight. I have appeared on websites in Brazil, Spain, Portugal, France and China this year as either lead singer or Creative Director of Celtic Legends. I am neither , nor have I been for a year now. I am not performing with the show nor will I be.

The only shows I am involved with are Celtic Fire or Celtic Fusion

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Hello from Barcelona.

I love this town. I was here a while ago and loved so I was very excited to get back. The town has this great energy. Separate to the rest of Spain. The Catalans have an amazing culture that cant be beaten. Great food, gorgeous wines and everyone seems annoyingly good looking.
Recommended hotels
Granados 83

Recommended restaurant
La Fonda
Got to walk the city with Mam and Dad....and half of Wexford.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I am going home to Wexford today. I have had a few visa issues ately as I am changing to permanent status but everything eems to have come together and I can finally get to Wexford. My local Society Wexford Light Opera perform in the Wexford Opera House. I rarely get a chance to see their productions so I am very excited. They are one of the premier groups in Ireland and the shows are the best you get. http://www.wlos.org/ Indeed I performed as Charlie in their production of Brigadoon. That wasnt today or yesterday.

So we have been booking some July dates in Iowa. I am excited to get up there. I am amazed at the gorgeous theaters scattered across the country. Go to my facebook page for details of the theaters.

The designs for Celtic Fire are in and they look gorgeous. WE are in no rush as we wont perform as a group till 2011. Got in a lot of bookings but have decided to wait till then. I have too much on my plate. I promise to put up some teaser pics over the year.

Went to see Corinne Bailey Rae and Daniel Merriweather last night. Both stunningly talented artists.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



I am just back from dates in California. Got to play the California in San Bernardino. 1700 seats, What a gorgeous old hall. I brought along my lovely band and 6 dancers. It was an odd date as it wasnt a solo gig and wasnt a large dance show. We had a laugh as usual and the audience indeed lapped it up.
It is always stunning to me when speaking to audience members after, just how affected they are by our shows. People sob their hearts out and are joyous at the same time. My agent and publicist surprised me which was lovely. I dont enjoy knowing people in the audience so it is best I found out after. I do indeed judge a town by audience reaction and the catering in the theater....i know!......but let me tell you, San Bernardino passes on both fronts. The California is the stage that Will Rogers last performed on and you can feel it in the old place. They dont make em like that anymore.
Headed to LA after the gig for a few days off and a visit to check on my agents. Got in a lot of socialising for a change so at the end of it all I am exhausted.
I celebrated my birthday in town going to http://www.cecconiswesthollywood.com/ where we saw Simon Cowell, Bruno Tonioli and Nigel Lithgow in power play conversation. Loads of celeb spotting . Headed to The Village Idiot http://www.villageidiotla.com/ for birthday drinks with showbiz friends, old and new from Lee Lessack to Amy Weaver to Angela Kinsey to musical theater people like Kathy Dietch I had the best time in LA. It just puts me in a good mood. I was still relieved to be headed back to Chicago where.....funnily enough, it is warmer than in LA.
Heading to Ireland next for some planning for later in the year and to chill with my friends and family in Wexford.
Anyways, it was fun

Sunday, April 4, 2010



Life has been crazy for the past while. March tends to be a little busy for me as you can imagine. I have been fulfilling my last 5 dates with Celtic Legends and so ends my connection with the show. The shows were booked a year ago and I had to get together a group of 12 dancers and 5 musicians. Once we got everyone together and saw how talented everyone was, I decided why not put together our own show to tour the US.

And so.....CELTIC FIRE was born!

I am always being asked to produce my own show for the US and there are no US based Irish shows so it seemed like the next logical step. We put the show together in a few weeks and it has turned out to be the most satisfying and fun experience of my entire professional life.

The show is now in place. We have a website booked, the design figured out(and just wait for it...it is gorgeous) We have lovely new costumes that are truly beautiful.
Most importantly I have the nicest and most talented dancers and musicians I have worked with. Just nice people who are a joy to be with.

I asked the amazing Claire Worley on board to choreograph. She is incredible. She also designed and help make the costumes. Her brother Mellad has been musical director for my concerts for years and he is a gentleman. His original music and arrangements are really just perfect.

So we have some bookings in place. We are not going big with this show but keeping it to a manageable level so it doesnt take over my concert work. However this has been the most fulfilling time of my life. I am so proud of the kids involved in the show. Our first dates are in January 2011 in sunny Florida.(anything to avoid the Chicago winter)

We are currently adding new July concert dates in Iowa,South Dakota and Nebraska. Details to follow......