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Celtic Woman / Re: Celtic Woman Specials Opening Numbers ranked
« on: April 19, 2019, 10:50:38 AM »
1. Homeland- Ancient Land
2. Mo Ghile Mear- Homecoming
3. Walking In the Air- Original
4. Awakening- Believe
5. The Call- SFTH
6. The Sky the Dawn & The Sun - ANJ
7. When You Go- Destiny
8. Carol of The Bells- ACC
9. Winter Wonderland- HFC

Celtic Woman / Re: Brendan Graham Songs
« on: April 16, 2019, 10:12:34 PM »
I added a few more to the list.

Celtic Woman / Brendan Graham Songs
« on: April 15, 2019, 11:23:54 PM »
Brendan Graham wrote the lyrics for some of Celtic Woman's best songs.

Here's a list of some of them:

You Raise Me Up
The Blessing
The Soft Goodbye
Christmas Pipes
The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun
The Voice
Sing Out
The Call
Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears
O America
Sometimes a Prayer Will Do
My Land

Some other notable songs he wrote that were covered by Celtic Woman performers or guests:

Crucan Na Bpaiste (Deirdre Shannon)
Always There (Orla Fallon)
Sleep On (Hayley Westenra)
Orphan Girl (Anabelle Sweeney)

Can you think of other Celtic Woman songs to which Brendan Graham contributed?

Mairead Nesbitt / Re: Tim Janis (May 13, 2019)
« on: April 15, 2019, 11:00:59 PM »
Celtic Heart - Writeup (Part 2)

There and Back Again

The journey to Maine was pretty smooth, but there were a few interesting things to note.

The flight I was on had some challenges with temperature regulation. The front of the plane was pretty cold. The rear of the plane where I was seated was quite warm.

I rented a compact car in advance to get around in Maine, but apparently they were all out of everything but vans that day, so I got to drive a van for the first time. It was surprisingly similar to driving a car, but I definitely wasn't comfortable enough to pull into any parking spots between other vehicles.

Then there was the Long Journey Home...

I had the same plane and crew for my return flight and they recognized me. The flight wasn't bad. The 4 hour drive home from the airport was pretty terrifying. With about an hour and half to go, it got dark, rained heavily, and there was a thick fog. It was very reminiscent of my drive to see Orla in December. The lane markings weren't nearly reflective enough and most of the time weren't even visible. There was at least an hour where I had a death grip on the steering wheel with total focus on trying to spot the lane markings. There were a few times the drivers in other lanes lost track of where they were on the road and I had to swerve to avoid them, then desperately try to find a lane again.

From the time I left the hotel in the morning to the time I arrived home (with a stop of a couple of hours on the way), it took nearly 12 hours from end to end. I think I'm going to have to avoid driving on that highway in the dark anymore if there's any rain, because if the government isn't willing to implement suitably reflective lane markings, that road isn't safe.


Mairead Nesbitt / Re: Tim Janis (May 13, 2019)
« on: April 15, 2019, 10:59:25 PM »
Celtic Heart - Writeup (Part 1)


The shows were at the the York Community Auditorium. For a high school auditorium, it was really nice-looking and spacious. There were about 750 seats. The stage was about 10-15 feet away from the first row of seats and the stage was at a comfortable height relative to the seats.


The merch table was pretty epic. Tim Janis has released a lot of CDs and DVDs over the years and all of them (probably 30 or more) were available at the merch table. I had listened to a few of his albums on Spotify

There were lots of people at the first show and the lobby was quite full.

Tim Janis came strolling through the crowd to meet people as they waited. I got to shake his hand and tell him his music was amazing. He seemed like a pretty shy guy, but appreciated the compliment.

Most of the people in the crowd were there for Tim Janis, as one would expect. There were a small number (maybe 6) of us super-fans there for Mairead and Lynn.

The first concert started at least half an hour late. It was an unusually warm day and until the staff opened the windows, it was getting pretty warm in the lobby.

The Stage

The piano was to stage right (audience's left). There was a full-sized harp and some seats at the back of the stage for the a small assortment of wind and strings (maybe around a 10 piece orchestra). There was an assortment of flutes and whistles sitting upright in a rack near the front of the stage.

The back of the stage was decorated by a curtain. On or behind the curtain was projected a stylized heart filled with a Celtic interlace pattern.

They had already released a mist into the theatre for effect.

There were several cameras set up. Two behind the seats near the middle of the theater, one center back and one about half way back on the theater seating, stage left.

They had people taking photos on both wings at the front of the stage.

The lighting was an assortment of cool and pretty colors to suit the music. The lighting definitely wasn't as fancy as at a Celtic Woman show, but it should be effective on the PBS special.

The Show

There were two shows, both of which were recorded. The first show was scheduled to start at 3 PM, the second at 7 PM. The shows were around 90 minutes in length.

The show started with Lynn emerging in her hooded CaraNua cloak. Underneath the cloak she wore a gray dress decorated around the waist with silver and what was possibly a lotus leaf pattern. She drew back the hood shortly into the show and later performed without the cloak.

Mairead wore two different dresses during the show. For the first half, she wore the white and gold gown she wore during her Hibernia photo shoot. I really like that dress. For the second half, she wore a stunning, glittery gold and beige dress.

The music was very relaxing. Celtic Woman shows have a lot of variety and different styles of music. Almost all the songs had an ethereal sound. They weren't necessarily very catchy songs, but for what they were supposed to be, they were pretty and enchanting. I'm quite sure Lynn was highly involved in the vocal arrangements. They certainly had her style.

There weren't many, if any lyrics. The vocalists (Lynn and 4 supporting ladies) were used almost like instruments. There was a lot of very, very pretty humming.

For those that don't know, this was my first time ever seeing Lynn Hilary live! She sounded gorgeous! It's one thing to hear her on albums and on the Songs from the Heart DVD. The way she sounded live exceeded my every expectation. Her pure voice, her breathtaking high notes, and her resonance were all incredible. Her humming was practically angelic. I've only ever heard Chloë and Mairead Carlin make sounds that beautiful.

When Lynn looked in my direction, she had this way of smiling just as she looked away. Those adorable smiles were soul-penetrating. They were so simple, so subtle, yet soooooo powerful.

There were about 19 songs total and Lynn performed in almost in every song. Mairead was in about half of them. Mairead moved around the stage a bit though not as liberally as she did with Celtic Woman (that much movement probably wouldn't have suited the mood of the music).

The other lead performer in the show included the Harp Twins (Camille and Kennerly) and Eimear McGeown. Eimear (pronounced "Eee-mur") who played the flute, low whistle, and tin whistle (perhaps some other variations of whistle as well). I love the relaxing sound of those winds. There were a few moments during the show when it sounded like they perhaps had her volume turned up too high and the sound almost started distorted over the speakers. But I suspect they'll be able to fix that up in editing.

Tim Janis played the piano for the whole show. Someone was taking his jacket on and off almost every other song. It will be interesting to see what it looks like on the PBS special with all those wardrobe changes.

Both shows seemed to go quite smoothly (significantly more smoothly than the Ancient Land recording). There were no full song re-takes that I recall. There was one quick false start when they restarted a song a few seconds into the song. There was no intermission either.

For a show that was mostly relaxing songs, it did an excellent job of maintaining my attention. I suspect that was in part due to me being transfixed by Lynn and her gorgeous voice. Whatever the reasons, the show seemed to flow nicely and went by quickly even without many up-tempo songs.

The Crowd

For the first show, the theater seemed about 80% full. The center rows were filled to the back. Only the back wings were empty. The second show was less well attended, with maybe 60-70% of the seats filled. I was a bit surprised that nobody started clapping during Mairead's "energy number." But I suppose the audience was mostly Tim Janis fans and energy numbers aren't really his style.


The target airing on PBS is June 2019. There will be a DVD as well.

Mairead and Lynn should both be on the album too.

Post Show

Before the first show, both Mike and I had separately requested copies of gorgeous show poster. The staff remembered and gave all of us superfans unused posters from storage.

The group of us Celtic Woman superfans waited in the lobby after the show. The Harp Twins were the first to come out and meet us. I got to get a photo with both of them together and we chatted for a while. They talked about how much fun they had working with Mairead and about how heavy their harps were (over 30 lbs). They had been doing an outdoor shoot for the PBS special the day prior to the show and apparently their backs were still a bit sore from carrying their harps for so long.

After a while, Mairead came out to meet us. It had been a busy few days of audio recording, video shoots, rehearsals, and performances but she still took the time to meet with her fans. She was very appreciative of us who had travelled a long way to support her. She hugged me first. <3 We each got individual photos with Mairead. She chatted with us for a while. One of the things we talked about was the Celtic Woman concert she recently attended: her first as a member of the audience. She mentioned that it's a smaller production now than it was, but she really enjoyed the show. She was really impressed with Megan and her deceptively powerful voice. She said that after seeing it from the audience, she finally understood why we love Celtic Woman concerts so much.

Apparently the current performers and crew treated her like a legend. They all looked up to her. They were inspired by her presence in the audience and wanted to make their performances extra special in honor of her. They even gave her a shout out during the show to tell her those things in front of the whole audience. Mairead felt very special.

After Mairead took photos with us and signed our posters, I practically begged her if she could let Lynn know I'd never met her before and how much I wanted to meet her. Mairead said she didn't know where Lynn was, but if I waited out in the parking lot she would try to find Lynn for me.

We waited for quite a while, but I wasn't going to leave until I got to meet Lynn and tell her how amazing she was.

Finally, about 45-60 minutes after the show ended, Lynn emerged from the stage door! She was shy, as I expected, but she came over to me and extended her arms for a hug. I told her she had the most beautiful, pure voice I had ever heard live. I told her that her arrangements were gorgeous and sophisticated and that she was brilliant. I told her that I lived CaraNua. I asked if they were planning to tour. it sounded like they were thinking about doing live shows, but their focus for the foreseeable future will be recording in the studio. I'd be surprised if they did any live shows in the US this year.

I got a photo with Lynn and got her to sign my poster. I also got to hug her a few times.


There were numerous scenes filmed outdoors, on location in Maine. I've seen a few of the sneak peeks and photos from those shoots and they look pretty impressive. Those will most likely be spliced into the songs on the PBS special and DVD.

However, I heard from a a few reliable sources that there were interviews with the performers and that those should appear on the PBS special and as DVD extras.


I really enjoyed this show. You may find that Celtic Woman shows have more variety and perhaps catchier songs. The music is very soothing and Lynn's voice is incredibly beautiful. I certainly recommend watching this, so keep an eye out for this show on PBS and DVD starting around June!

Celtic Woman / Re: Celtic Woman March Madness; Finals
« on: April 15, 2019, 10:56:42 PM »
I had to pick Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears from Songs from the Heart.

It's definitely one of my two favourite Celtic Woman songs ever (and thus one of my two favourite songs ever). The powerful lyrics are by Brendan Graham (who wrote many of Celtic Woman's best songs, including You Raise Me Up, The Voice, Christmas Pipes, My Land, and many others). The song has lots of heart and the arrangement has power as well. This is as close to a perfect song as I've heard.

Eabha McMahon / Re: Éabha's spotify playlist
« on: April 15, 2019, 10:31:04 PM »
I love how she loves listening to her own song.  ;D

I love it too.

Ancient Land on Tour / Re: My Ancient Land Tour Experience
« on: April 11, 2019, 10:56:44 PM »
My second show of the Ancient Land tour was at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan!

I thought this performance was even better than the show in Rochester!

There were a few people late to the M+G (and a few no-shows), but the M+G still started a little earlier than it did at this venue last year. I had a funny feeling before heading to the show that I wasn't going to remember what I was going to say this time, so I wrote everything on a cue card and had it in my hand at the M+G. That was a wise choice. I made significant use of the cue card. It was definitely my least clean delivery at a Celtic Woman Meet and Greet, but the girls seemed to really appreciate what I told each of them. It didn't feel rushed at all this time and I had at least a minute or two with the girls.

The Meet and Greet invite explicitly said no photography at all during the show. Just before the show, one of the ushers finally came around and told us that there were photos allowed, just no flash photography (and only cell phones were allowed, not real cameras, apparently).

One of the ushers did come over to me during the show to tell me I couldn't take videos. I didn't. Sometimes it just took longer than a few seconds to get a shot lined up, the light levels adjusted, the right lens selected, and wait for the right moment, so I guess it looked like I was taking a video.

I think this was my all-time favourite Celtic Woman tour show (maybe Home for Christmas 2016 is still my favourite, but this was definitely my favourite main tour show). It has the an exceptional balance of energy and heart. There is slightly less emphasis on full group harmony this tour. There are a couple of really good duets (Over the Rainbow and Siuil a Run) and some of the best solo showcase songs I've heard. Eabha's Garden of Eden is of course incredibly fun to listen to. Both of Megan's solos (Shenandoah and Fields of Gold) are outstanding. I enjoy her tour version of Shenandoah even more than the the performance at Johnstown Castle or on the Ancient Land album. I like the instrumental backing of the Shenandoah tour version more as well. Megan's Fields of Gold is quite simply my favourite version of that song ever! Her voice is perfect for that arrangement.

Mairead Carlin was beyond incredible! Both her solos are epic and between the two of them, she gets to show off her astonishing range, power, and heart. They're definitely my two all-time favourite Mairead Carlin songs on tour. Her performance of Newgrange is one of the most impressive things I've heard in a live performance.

The crowd in Detroit was small (I'd guess less than 40% of the seats were occupied), but they actually did a pretty good job of supporting the performers. Like the audience in Rochester, they clapped along well to a few of the songs and cheered most enthusiastically for Enchanted Way and the numbers that prominently featured the band and dancers. There were quite a few people that gave standing ovations for Over the Rainbow, Newgrange, and the final two songs of the show. I gave a few extra standing ovations on my own for Garden of Eden, Fields of Gold, Love and Honor, and Ae Fond Kiss.

I got my cousin a ticket to the show. It was her first time seeing Celtic Woman live. Prior to that, she'd only heard me rave about them and had seen a few clips on YouTube. She was really impressed with their amazing voices. She couldn't believe how beautiful they sounded and I actually had to convince her they weren't lip-syncing, because they sounded so perfect.

My new phone got a full workout this time. I ended up taking 188 pictures, 103 of which turned out quite well. I was really surprised how clear some of the pictures turned out. The pictures still weren't as good as I could have gotten with a real camera, but it definitely did a better job than my old phone, especially this was really my first show using it.

In spite of taking far more pictures than I thought I did, I didn't find it was distracting me. I was still able to fully enjoy the performance and actually enjoyed it even more than the show in Rochester.

Only a month from Friday until my next Ancient Land show!

Mairead Nesbitt / Re: Tim Janis (May 13, 2019)
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:59:25 PM »
It looks like the show might be called Celtic Heart.

The concerts are being recorded for PBS!

Because it's a PBS special recording, I may not be able to get any photos from the show, but I'll try to do a little writeup afterwards.

I can't seem to reply to MC Let's meet thread. Can someone enable it, I want to put that she's married to Ronan Scolard


I added it.

Tara McNeill / Re: Tara's Violin Name
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:49:37 PM »
That's awesome that Roger bumped into you!

I also had a stage door encounter with Roger last weekend - Tara was holding him while my husband and I took a picture with her and when I put my arm around her, my hand rested on Roger's case 😆🙌


Roger was probably like: "OMG, I'm in contact with Tara AND Tracie at the same time! I'm the luckiest violin in the world!"

Celtic Woman / Re: Celtic Woman March Madness Tie Breaker
« on: April 09, 2019, 06:48:36 PM »
Caledonia was one of my favourite Celtic Woman songs for a long time.

But Garden of Eden is just too much fun. I love everything about that song: the catchy melody, the lyrics, the arrangement, the fact that Eabha wrote it, the fact that the other girls all love it as much as we do...

Garden of Eden is definitely top 10 for me all time now.

Caranua / Re: Alex's video on Facebook today
« on: March 31, 2019, 09:01:11 AM »
She has a distinctive style or arranging. The harmonies she put together for Babylon Sisters were really impressive. Her work in CaraNua though is phenomenal. She did most of the vocal arrangements for Favorite Hymns and that was some of the best harmony I've ever heard.

Ancient Land on Tour / Re: Ancient Land Tour Merchandise
« on: March 30, 2019, 07:59:40 PM »
Thanks, Tom!  Now I'm excited to get the program and some of the other stuff you mentioned.

Some cwazy guy posted a picture of all this on Instagram:



Oh man, who's that guy? I sure hope they still had enough merch left in stock for Syracuse.  ;D

Ancient Land on Tour / Re: My Ancient Land Tour Experience
« on: March 30, 2019, 07:55:53 PM »
I enjoyed reading your experience, Tom!

Thanks!  :)

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