Last day of March after what was the mildest winter in Chicago history. No such thing as climate change? Please! Anyways, I am grateful for it. Usually i find January and February an opportune time to get out of town to sunnier shores but this time I managed to stay home. I love Chicago. Funnily enough, I don't get to spend too much time here so I always feel new in town even though it has been my address for 10 years.
I do have big news...well,for me it is big news. You will wonder what the fuss is about but I got to fulfill a dream of mine this week, more important to me than singing.....yes, that is saying something. You can read about it below but for now let's touch on March madness as Irish performers worldwide call it, it was a blast. It was the most arduous but funnest tour ever. I had 15 or so out on the road with me and we hit every corner of the US. It was hectic but hilarious. I have a lot of fun with my band and dancers who deal with tough circumstance with a sense of humor and joie du vivre.
Click here for an example of that humor.
A rainbow from my hotel room in Oregon on Saint Patrick's Day morning. Tis Glocca Morra - Faith n Begorrah! I always get a bit homesick on St. Patrick's Day but this year's tour was so fun that it didn't drag me down at all.
I cannot tell you how many miles we covered but we had standing ovations in many states, sold out in many cities and the reaction was the same; we give the audience a great night out. This audience in Wenatchee Toyota Arena has still to show up obviously but when they did, they certainly were the loudest on the tour. Awesome night.
Rob Schneider here is obviously endorsing our show.
I've a few bits of news for you. We have a few new people on board to help spread the word. First I got a new agent to get me out there. Parallel 49 is a brand new agency out of Santa Monica. A division of S. L. Feldman in Canada they are an incredible team who will compliment the work done by Harmony Artists. They've got great artists on their books like The Canadian Tenors who I think are just brilliant and the likes of Tracey Morgan. What a mix!
I signed a new manager in Nashville. Robert Williams is a veteran in the field. He manages John Oates (as in Hall & Oates) and Guitar Legend Larry Carlton. I met with lots of management over the past few months but I liked this guy a lot. He makes me laugh and has a proven record over the years so I am excited to work with him and his team.
So now to my big news....yesterday, I experienced the proudest moment of my career in entertainment when I signed a publishing deal with Shapiro Bernstein, one of the biggest, most renowned music publishers in the business. I like being a singer but being acknowledged as a writer is fulfillment of a dream for me. I get to work with some of the best songwriters there is, write songs for other artists and I get great songs sent to me. What's not to love? Anyways, in May I head to Nashville for a month to work with some of those great writers. It makes me feel like a grown up! I may also end up like I did last Sunday, walking up and down the streets of Nashville listening to amazing talent in all those honky tonks. LOVE THAT TOWN!
I ended up celebrating that and more by heading out to The Girl and the Goat. Love it there. It really was the proudest day for me, bigger than Riverdance on Broadway or my PBS Special. This was fulfilling a dream I had in my twenties that I thought would never happen; someone who knows what they are doing, saying that I am a good writer and should be writing great songs. AWESOME FEELING!
By the way, I've been getting emails asking me if I am going country. Nashville is the heart of country yes, but it is also the heart of the music publishing business and the center of where it is all happening in entertainment these days. Aside from everything else, I like the place. I love country music, but I am certainly not going country. You just might see some influences in the next recordings.
I go to Ireland late April to see everyone in Wexford and when I am there I will do a concert on May 5 with some great guests like Daniel Furlong who I think is a huge addition to Celtic Thunder's new show. Have to say I love the new special. The arrangements for the new songs are fantastic and seeing Neil up front is great too. Emmet had big shoes to fill replacing Paul but his voice is stunningly clear and he's doing a fine job. The one to watch in the future in my opinion. Anyway's Wexford will be a lot of fun. I've also got Niall O Sullivan on board. He's an amazing trumpet player from Dublin who is destined for great things internationally, in my humble opinion.
Joining me on the night will be Brenda Brooks, an incredible singer/actress. One of my former singing partners in musical theater, she was always a lot of fun to work with. It will be fun to sing showtunes again and to hear her amazing voice live for the first time in many years. The night promises to be special.
Anyways, that is it for now. I will send you all a report from Ireland and lots more news from Nashville.
Thanks to everyone who sent me presents for Saint Patricks Day. The messages, cakes and Starbuck's cards are always a treat!