Hi everyone from my place in the country, in snowy Iowa. I have found so much peace up here in the middle of the woods, away from the hoohaw that is my usual life. It has given me time to reflect not on my year but where i am at in my life.
There is no getting around it. The start of this year was hugely difficult for me. I had nothing but setbacks and stallings. Weaker people would have thrown in the towel and said that's it, I give up. I am made of a different cloth. My success has not come easy. I am not part of a big show like Thunder or have not won a big TV singing contest. I have slowly but surely built my reputation over the years and this has given me a different perspective. I am hugely grateful for where I am at and when things go wrong I am very resilient. By the end of this year I had built myself back up again and am again in great stead.
|Trying to look mysterious, failed miserably!|
From what I can gather, a lot of people have had trials and tribulations this year. We can either sit and moan about or get off our arses and sort things out. It's so easy to feel sorry for ourselves but one look around makes you realise how lucky we are. I get cards and emails from fans out there who haven't the health I enjoy. They are content with life and live for the simple pleasures that music can alone bring even though they are crippled by ill health or disability.
The tragedy in Sandy Hook was as horrific an incident as you get. It broke my heart to think of those lil babies and their families. If there is one glimmer of light coming from it is as a reminder to us to cling to life and it's blessings. I think this year , more than ever I have done that. Maybe age helps one do that.
My blessings are many. I have an amazing family who love and support me. I have everyone in Wexford who lift me up and give me reasons to sing. I have these people around the world who write to let me know how my singing has brought joy and comfort to their lives. I honestly didn't realise till this year the place my songs have in people lives.
|this is a little better!|
This year was what I would call an adventure. There were many highlights;
1. Performing with one of my heroes, Vince Gill
2. Writing songs with legends like
Tommy Lee James
3. Being made Wexford Ambassador
4. Winning IMA Irish Tenor of the year
For me the biggest thing about 2012 was Nashville. I had no idea last New Years Eve that my first trip to Nashville on January 4 would not only change how i do business but would change my perspective on my career and my life. I feel like the town has embraced me and I feel like i belong there.
So what are the plans for this year. Well, the big news is that in 2013 there will be 2 new albums. One is an album of Irish songs will be out soon. The other....well I will share more about that later. Details on the Irish album will be coming hard and fast in the coming weeks with contests and chances to come see me live for free.
I have had to change my plans in January. I can't go to France for the concert recording as I have some deadlines here to get the album finished. I am off to New York next week to do some vocals and arrangements. Next is a stop in Nashville.
Live dates this year look promising with a return visit to Wells Fargo Center in Santa Rosa on Saint Patricks Day plus bookings in Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Washington. Later in the year, I play a major venue in L.A. TBA and we just got confirmed for Foxwoods, CT.
I am going to try to get home a lot this year. The Gathering 2013 promises to be an exciting time in Ireland. As an ambassador for Wexford, I will be involved in a very big event in late June in New Ross. Anyone travelling to Ireland this yer should make sure to get to Wexford. It is a special place. I hope i have shown that over the past year or two. It gets lost in the mix as people tend to head to the West of Ireland. Irish people however come in their thousand to Wexford on their vacation. They come for the beaches, the sunniest weather in the country, the fun pubs and the live music. We have kept the secret too long and it is time for the rest of the world to know about it.
My parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in September so that should be a fun night out. Mick and Margie are the life of the party ...even when there is no party so it is a guaranteed barnstormer.
As for some of my musical friends;
Watch out for Celtic Woman's 2013 tour dates. They continue to spread their angelic wings. I still wish Lisa was out with them but she has a family to raise.
As for the Thunder boys, I was given a sneak peak of Mythology. The show is stellar and in my opinion it is the best they have ever sounded. Keith had a big year and I really did over play his album. Excellent songwriting and killer arrangements. Ryan's year was great ...by just getting better. What a scare it was for everyone but also inspiring to see him out back doing what he does best.
Paul Byrom has a big year coming up with his PBS special. It is a lot of hard work but the benefits are tenfold. He should win the IMA Irish tenor award this year(especially seeing that I can't!!!) I think we should hand it back and forth to each other over the next few years.
Niall O Sullivan is making quite the name for himself. Already a celeb in Ireland, he is now crossing the Atlantic and I can't wait to see what he brings this year.
My manager has lots planned. I thought I was dynamic. I thought at this age I would slow down a little. I have achieved so much more than I had originally planned as a singer. I guess on the inside I am hugely content but there are new mountains to climb. I guess there always will be.
Just FYI, you have no idea how important you are to achieve those goals of mine and really how important you are to me. I think you might realise how much I love you in the amount of replies i send out. I want to reach everyone but that can't happen. For now, in the quiet of you reading this blog , please realise I think of you all the time and am so grateful to have you both as a fan of my music and a lifeline of inspiration.
Big Love and Blessings for 2013