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Mairead Nesbitt / Tracks and Paths (DVD)
« on: April 18, 2018, 07:22:03 PM »
Tracks and Paths from Devil's Bit Sessions


Tracks and Paths from Devil's Bit Sessions (subtitled "excerpts from the album") is the DVD accompaniment to Mairead Nesbitt's "Devil's Bit Sessions" family album. The DVD documents the recording of the album and some of the related activities. The DVD also features some scenery that inspired the album, including the local mountain, the Devil's Bit.


The DVD was originally exclusive to Mairead's PledgeMusic campaign for Devil's Bit Sessions. The DVD was also offered as a tip reward through one of Mairead's four StageIt shows in 2017. However, due to technical difficulties, the show never got broadcast on StageIt so the tip rewards didn't get processed. The DVD became available to the general public late in 2017, when Mairead made it available through her web site by popular request.




The DVD comes in a cardboard jacket with a slit on one edge. It's not enclosed in a jewel case, so it does tend to slide out of the jacket quite easily. Please use caution when holding the DVD jacket with the DVD inside, since if the edge with eh open slit is tilting downwards, the DVD may slide out of the jacket.

The DVD jacket itself looks similar to the Devil's Bit Session cover.

The DVD jacket was signed by Mairead!


The DVD is 20 minutes in length and includes:
- Musical excerpts and some other footage from the recording of Devil's Bit
- Some local scenery
- Some of the activities surrounding the DVD recording and the associated family gathering
- Some interviews, including ones with Mairead and John Nesbitt
- A photo montage
- Overhead footage from drones

The things that are talked about during the interviews are things Mairead has already covered in her PledgeMusic campaign and social media, so there's not any earth shattering revelations. The strength of the DVD is that it compliments the feel of the album and helps to document that remarkable weekend with the Nesbitt family.

The video quality is pretty good. The audio for the voices on the interviews is relatively low (similar to the Devil's Bit Sessions album itself), but it's easy enough to crank up the volume a little so you can hear what's being said.

Overall Impression

I thought it was fairly well done. It's a fitting accompaniment for the album and would be a great addition to the collection of any serious Mairead Nesbitt fan.

Sounds Great! Where Do I Get It?

The DVD may be ordered through Mairead's web site:




Mairead Nesbitt / Celtic Violins by Máiréad Nesbitt Celtic Violinist
« on: April 18, 2018, 07:18:24 PM »
In 2016, Mairead Nesbitt announced she would be launching her own violin line.

Here's the post that started it all:

The line was unveiled in February, 2017!

The violins Mairead chose for her line reflect the warm, sweet tone she prefers.

Here's some videos of Mairead explaining the violin models and also the bows she's using with each model.

Introduction to the Máiréad Nesbitt Celtic Violin Collection
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp98majEQ0Q

The Butterfly
* Student model.
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vg2_nc3UGM

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGEAloQNmGs

Raining Up
* It has a warm, mellow tone, almost like a viola.
* Good for slow and fast-paced songs.
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEm9wYy1PAU

* One of the premium violins.
* This one is handcrafted.
* It has a sweet and powerful sound and looks gorgeous!
* The bow she's using with it is similar to one of the bows she uses herself.
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH3f8fCfsns

Celtic Dawn
* A high-end / premium model.
* She finds it very similar to her own violin.
* It has a warm, sweet tone.
* Good for slow and fast-paced songs.
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6xUxjwHHFI

Máiréad Nesbitt Viennese Elite Model
* This one is super-special!
* It's a Master Art copy of Máiréad Nesbitt’s pedigree Mathias Albani Violin!!!
* http://kolstein.com/mairead-nesbitt-viennese-elite-model-violin/

Additional Information:

Máiréad's new signature line features both pro & student standard 8/8 full size:
Source: https://twitter.com/MaireadNesbitt/status/752565827614937088

The line also includes handmade rosin from Samuel Kolstein & Son, Ltd.
Source: https://www.facebook.com/maireadnesbittcelticviolinist/?fref=ts

Now you can play like Mairead plays!!!

... or at least play violins like the ones Mairead plays ;)

HomeComing on Tour / Homecoming Tour: Favorite New Group Song
« on: April 15, 2018, 09:50:10 PM »
What's your favorite new group song of the Homecoming tour?
* Homeland
* Murphy's Ballroom of Romance
* Long Journey Home
* Going Home

HomeComing on Tour / Homecoming Tour: Favorite New Solo
« on: April 15, 2018, 09:43:36 PM »
What's your favorite new solo / arrangement of the Homecoming tour?
* May It Be (Eabha)
* Tara's Tunes (Tara)
* Nella Fantasia (Mairead)
* From a Distance (Susan)
* Wild Mountainside (Eabha)

HomeComing on Tour / My Homecoming Tour Experience
« on: April 14, 2018, 02:33:50 PM »
I went to two Celtic Woman: Homecoming shows on back to back nights this week!

Here are some of my notes from the shows.

The Merch:

I must say, the merchandise table in London was the most pitiful I've seen. There were a few T-shirts, programs, and the Homecoming CD/DVD. That was about it. No signed CDs from Anto, no mugs, shot glasses, bookmarks, or any of the other things they've been selling on this tour. I ended up getting a Homecoming tour program. They didn't have any bags and I didn't bring any, so I had to place the program face up on the floor in front of me during the show.

The Merch table in Detroit was more up to par. I got a signed CD from Anto and one of the two new mugs. I checked out the T-shirts, but although I liked one of the shades of green, they seemed kind of generic this year. Besides, I already have more T-shirts than I know what to do with.

I wasn't paying attention before, but I did this time: yes, the prices are different in Canada than the US. They're not at par.

The Great Photo Fiasco:

I've been to the venue in Detroit a few times before and they've always been pretty strictly enforced a "no use of cameras in the theatres" policy. This time, I checked both the website and the notice from the tour in advance and it quite clearly stated that there was no video or audio recording, but non-professional cameras were permitted during the show. There was a sign at the entrance to the venue stating the same. However, security at this venue is very strict and they were telling people no camera usage at all beyond the lobby. Security argued that there were no cameras for the safety of the performers. Well, I can totally appreciate the importance of their safety. But security's interpretation was wrong. So Tony had them check with Sett, who confirmed that non-professional, non-flash photography WAS permitted. Ultimately, we were allowed to take pictures.

Venues and Audiences:

In London, Ontario, the show was in a junior hockey arena. This is the first time I've seen Celtic Woman in an arena rather than a theatre. I have to say the sound quality was great!

In London, the lower bowl was mostly if not entirely full. There weren't a lot of people in the upper bowl, but I think there were enough people there for the show to be profitable.

In Detroit, the show was at the Fox Theatre. It is truly a specacular venue, especially the lobby, which looks more like a palace than a theatre. The venue is within a few blocks of where the Detroit Tigers (baseball), Detroit Lions (NFL), and Detroit Red Wings (hockey) play. Quite a convenient little downtown area they've constructed.

In Detroit, there were definitely more people than when the Destiny tour came to Detroit. The centre aisle was pretty well occupied, including the balcony. The wings were about half full.

Both audiences were slightly more enthusastic than for previous Celtic Woman shows I've been to in the area. They clapped along when appropriate. I have to say I was REALLY surprised when I was one of the only people giving standing ovations for some of the brilliant solos. The audience reserved the standing ovations for the last few songs.

Tara got the biggest ovation of the girls by a noticeable amount. Anto and the tap dancer probably got bigger ovations than the girls. I mean, they were both impressive, but I never really quite understood why the girls themselves don't get a more thunderous ovations over here. Fans of the more traditional aspects of celtic music, I suppose or perhaps fans that haven't gotten over the departure of their favourite singers from years ago.

I overheard some pretty great comments from satisfied people as I was leaving the venues after the shows. I was getting a pretty positive vibe from those in attendance, so I think that bodes well for the tour continuing.

Side-note: The person I was sitting next to in Detroit was a massive Alex Sharpe and Lynn Hilary fan. We were both sad we couldn't see CaraNua in Utah in January and are both hoping there's another show later this year or early next year.

Meet and Greet:

There was no Meet and Greet offered for London (or Toronto), but there was for Detroit. I have to say, Detroit has some of the most expensive Meet and Greet prices of any PBS station I know of.

We were supposed to gather at the merchandise table 40 minutes before the start of the show, but Tony and I didn't see anyone else standing there getting close to 6:50. Someone else in our party asked what was going on and one of the event staff then led us over to the right wall of the theatre to wait for the Meet and Greet. For a while, we were the only two people in line. I'm not sure what the confusion was, but I guess there was a great deal of trouble tracking down everyone for the Meet and Greet. The actual Meet and Greet didn't start until about 20 minutes before the beginning of the show. With 18 people at the Meet and Greet, that wasn't leaving a lot of time.

Tony and I got to the back of the line just in case we needed a few extra seconds so we wouldn't take up anyone else's time in line.

This one was far more rushed than the previous Celtic Woman Meet and Greet I went to. It was basically in and out of the room in under 30 seconds for the people ahead of me.

I left my gifts for the girls along the wall to save a few seconds. I got them a postcard to thank them for coming to Canada, I wrote each of them separate letters with a story of how much they mean to me and a special little gift related to each story.

As usual, I had some well-rehearsed things I wanted to say to the girls. As usual, I ended up saying about 30% of what I planned to. I had planned things based on the amount of time I had last time. This one being far more rushed, I started trying to compress what I wanted to say on the fly. I got out some of the most important things, but the delivery would have been much smoother had I had a bit more time.

This time, I wanted to say something to each of the girls about a special song I had heard them perform the night before in London.

First in line was Susan. Long before Celtic Woman, From a Distance was once my favourite song. I've been wanting her to sing it for a long time. I requested it during "17 weeks 17 songs" and a few times when Celtic Woman has asked for song suggestions. I guess someone remembered. I told Susan it sounded very beautiful when she sang it.

Next was Eabha. Over 10 years ago, May It Be was the very first Celtic Woman song I heard in it's entirety. I told Eabha I loved the way she performed it and thanked her for bringing new life to a song that changed mine.

Mairead was third in line. I was getting pretty stressed out from having to rush things and was getting worried I would forget something. But I managed to tell her that Nella Fantasia was one of the songs that made me fall in love with Celtic Woman and that her version was breathtaking.

Tara was last and like last time, for some inexplicable reason, I forgot was I was going to say and just hugged her repeatedly while I was trying to remember what to say. LOL! Finally, I managed to get out that she played a lot of instruments well, her voice was gorgeous, but what impressed me most was no matter what was going on in my life or anywhere Across the World, she always found a way to make me smile.

I managed to hold the tears back again (barely) for the photo. The room was pretty well lit. This time, I was wearhing a tall had with shamrocks on it, as well as pins for each of the girls' fan forums. The hat was apparently sitting a bit too far back at the time, so you can't see the pins in the photo, but I thought the picture still turned out pretty well.

As I was walking out, I turned and said one more thing to the girls: that they were the voices I longed to hear and that when they performed together, there was no sound more beautiful. <3

The girls were really sweet as always and their warm smiles warmed my heart. I do wish there would have be a bit more time, especially given what this one, but despite my sloppy and hurried delivery, I'm pretty sure the girls could tell I care about them very much. <3

The Stage:

The stage was backed by curtains and there was a video screen behind the curtains. The stage had more dressing than it did for Homecoming. The stage design was very similar to Voices of Angels, but it seemed to me the stage was better decorated this time. The rises of the stage were covered with a material that looked a bit like granite. I thought the lighting was great.

The Show:

I had front row seats for both shows. In London, I was far stage left. For Detroit, I was stage right. It was a pretty good view, although it did make it more challenging to get pictures from such a steep angle.

There was quite a bit of overlap with the Voices of Angels set list. I don't mind them doing old favourites, but I was a bit surprised there were so many arrangements they had just performed on the previous tour.

The new songs were AMAZING!!!

Eabha's May It Be was hauntingly beautiful. A lot of former Celtic Woman performers have done a great job with this one, but this is my favourite.

Eabha's Wild Mountainside was also fantastic. I've had this one stuck in my head for 2 days already. :D

Susan did an outstanding job with From a Distance. She sang it with a lot of feeling an incredible amount of power. Her voice is perfect for this song and arrangement. It's definitely my favourite Susan song now. I really hope they record this one! I'm really not sure how this didn't get a full house standing ovation. Politics maybe? It certainly deserved more than average appreciation.

Mairead's Nella Fantasia is very different than Chloë's, but oh my GOODNESS it is amazing! It's arranged in a way I would describe as a hybrid of classical and pop. The combination of her soothing, beautiful pop voice and her spectacular opera voice is breathtaking. She sings this with a tremendous amount of feeling. Like Susan's masterpiece, I'm very surprised this didn't result in a full-house standing ovation.

The new group songs were wonderful! Homeland is fun and catchy. The new ceili song, Murphy's Ballroom of Romance reminded me of the melody of Spanish Lady. It was lots of fun too.

Going Home was not the same song that CaraNua / Chloë performed. It's just the same title. This is the one written by Josh Osborne and Tom Douglas, performed by Mary Fahl in the movie Gods and Generals. It's a great pop song and the harmony was very satisfying. There are a LOT of songs in the second half that made me tear up they were so beautiful. This one really hit me hard for some reason. I loved it so much! <3

Similarly, The Long Journey Home (by Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains and Elvis Costello) was was extermely satisfying. Like My Land, this song had a surprisingly profound impact on me. The girls performed it beautifully, but maybe I could sense the emotions of the girls from the front row or something, because this one had me bawling by the end.

Until a YouTube video pops up from the Homecoming Tour, here's Tommy Flemming performing The Long Journey Home (you may remember him from Orla's My Land DVD):

This show seemed to have a lot more base behind it than Voices of Angels did. It sounded SO good! I could swear they added a lot of base to Amazing Grace and You Raise Me Up and I think they sounded better on tour than they did on the albums or the DVD.

This show had a lot of high energy numbers. The choreography was outstanding. The girls really moved around the stage and they all showed off their dance moves, even Eabha! Holy moly they're all such great dancers! I was paying attention to their footwork during the second show, especially during Murphy's Ballroom of Romance and it was really impressive!

Speaking of dancing: yes, Susan performed She Moved Thru the Fair barefoot. From the front row, I could see her toenail polish. ;)

Set List

Act 1

1. Homeland
2. Mo Ghile Mear
3. My Heart Will Go On
4. She Moved Thru The Fair
5. Ard Ui Chuain / Dulaman
6. Sadhbh Ni Bhruinneallaigh
7. May It Be
8. Tara's Tunes (I especially liked the third one)
9. Danny Boy
10. Murphy's Ballroom of Romance

Act 2:

1. You Raise Me Up
2. Long Journey Home
3. For the Love of a Princess
4. Nella Fantasia
5. Walk Beside Me
6. Three's A Crowd
7. From A Distance
8. Wild Mountainside
9. Time to Say Goodbye
10. Going Home
11. The Kesh Inn
12. Parting Glass
13. Playoff

The Things They Do For Us:

As we likely all know by now, the girls have been through some rough times recently. Susan lost her aunt. Tara lost her uncle within a day of Dave Kavanagh passing away and unlike Susan, Tara didn't get time off from the tour to grieve. I could tell especially during the first show that Tara was really fighting it on stage. She was trying to put on a brave smile for her fans, but she was definitely hurting inside. As talented as they are, it's just as impressive that they can park all the things going on in their own lives and around the world and be what we need them to be.


This just might be the best show (Celtic Woman or otherwise) I have ever seen.
If you have a chance to see this tour, see it, especially if you weren't able to see the Voices of Angels tour. Like Voices of Angels there was a lot of variety. This one seemed to have even more energy, more feeling, deeper base, and stronger percussion. If you're on the fence about any of the new girls, this show has the best chance of winning over your heart. There's no other experience quite as fulfilling as Celtic Woman and no other group so wonderful. <3

Mairead Nesbitt / Rocktopia
« on: April 11, 2018, 12:09:48 AM »

Rocktopia a show that fuses classical music with classic rock.

Web site: https://rocktopia.com/


There was a Rocktopia PBS special / DVD recorded in Budapest. It was REALLY good. It's like a hybrid of classical music and the powerful Trans-Siberian Orchestra sound. The song choices and arrangements are great! The singers have incredible range, power, and heart and are backed by a big orchestra. It's probably my favourite non-Celtic-Woman concert DVD. Note: it was made before Mairead was part of the show, so Mairead's not in the concert special, but it is still really good.


Mairead debuted on the Rocktopia tour last year on March 28, 2017.

I saw it twice with Mairead in the show and it was awesome! The set list was similar to what was on the DVD, but there's nothing like experiencing it live.

Mairead was featured quite prominently in the show, up front for many of the songs.


Rocktopia has a limited 6-week run on Broadway, from March 20 – April 29, 2018.

There are different guest artists joining the show on broadway every week or so:

This week's guest is Dee Snider (from Twisted Sister). Here he is performing "We're Not Gonna Take It" along with Mairead.

Other Musicians / Byrne and Kelly
« on: April 10, 2018, 10:25:44 PM »
All you Celtic Thunder fans out there probably recognize the names Byrne and Kelly (and probably already knew about this tour):


Nicole Hudson is touring with them.  ;D

They're basically fallowing the Celtic Woman tour bus in my area though, so I'll miss them. Lol.

Tough luck. Better luck next time, fellas.

Other Musicians / Secret Garden
« on: April 08, 2018, 11:33:48 AM »
Secret Garden is an Irish-Norwegian group led by Irish Fionnuala Sherry (violinist and singer) and Norwegian Rolf Løvland (composer, arranger and pianist).

Celtic Woman has drawn inspiration from the repertoire of Secret Garden, including:

- You Raise Me Up (SG: Once in a Red Moon)
- My Land (CW: Destiny, Orla: Distant Shore / My Land, SG: Inside I'm Singing)
- Sometimes a Prayer Will Do (CW: Destiny, SG: Inside I'm Singing)
- Nocturne (CW: Believe, SG: Songs from a Secret Garden)
- Sigma (Chloe: Walking In the Air, SG: Songs from a Secret Garden)
- Always There (Orla: Distant Shore, SG: Earthsongs)
- Prayer (Hayley: Odyssey, SG: Dawn of a New Century)

Am I missing anything?

Other Musicians / Anuna
« on: April 08, 2018, 11:12:57 AM »
Anúna is a choral ensemble based in Ireland.

The group was founded in 1987 by Michael McGlynn, who also arranges most of their songs.

A lot of our Celtic Woman ladies have performed with Anuna at some point in their careers:


Anuna was featured in Away In A Manger on Orla's Celtic Christmas DVD. If you look closely, I think you can see Eabha in the choir. ;)

Rebecca Winckworth, who was a special guest on the Destiny DVD, has also performed with Anuna.

Michael McGlynn is one of Eabha's cousins.

Some other notable names that have performed in Anuna:

Julie Feeney
Eimear Quinn

Tara News / Tara's uncle Gerry passed away
« on: April 06, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »
Tara's uncle Gerry passed away yesterday morning (April 5, 2018):

It sounds like Tara's going to brave it out and stay with the tour for the moment.

This has been such a difficult few weeks for our ladies. Deepest condolences to Tara and her family. These ladies are always here for me in my time of need and I wish there was something more I could do for them now besides sending my regards. I feel so helpless.  :'(


It has been a very tough couple of days here. My Uncle Gerry passed away yesterday morning. I really wish I could be there for my family, especially my dad... but I know he has gone to a better place. Gerry had a life long passion collecting lamps... so I’m sure he’s lighting up heaven now! And I just got the news this morning that our Celtic woman founder, Dave Kavanagh passed away. Dave made my dream to be in Celtic Woman come true and I will be eternally grateful for that. He believed in me. He was an incredible man. As I think about these two men moving on I just wanted to play this beautiful hymn, ‘Nearer my God to Thee’. Praying for my family and Dave’s family xx

Celtic Woman News / Dave Kavanagh has passed away
« on: April 06, 2018, 11:32:47 AM »
Chariman, CEO, and co-founder of Celtic Woman passed away on April 6, 2018.


It is with great sadness we share the news that our Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Kavanagh passed away peacefully this morning at Blackrock Clinic. Dave will be sorely missed by his wife Rhona, his son Luke and daughter Phoebe, his family, all those who work with him at the labels, the artists and his many friends both within and outside the music industry worldwide.

Dave was a giant of the music industry with a massive life long love for it. The industry will be a lesser place without him.

From being U2’s first booking agent to managing Clannad to global success throughout the Eighties and then bringing the musical phenomenon Celtic Woman to huge International success and launching the career of The High Kings amongst many others. He has been at the helm of the Celtic Collections record label since 2004 bringing great Irish Music to an audience around the world.

Celtic Woman may not have become what it did without Mr. Kavanagh at the helm. He indirectly had a huge impact on almost all of our lives and he will be missed.

Rest in peace, sir ... and thank you.

Tara McNeill / Tara's Tunes and Random Clips
« on: March 30, 2018, 06:51:36 PM »
Tara posted a clip on Instagram and Facebook today of her covering "How Does a Moment Last Forever" from Beauty and the Beast!

Tara shows off a number of her many talents in this one!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg9vzkQgnEW/?taken-by=taramcneillmusic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taramcneillmusic/videos/1934694463230559/

Amy Rivard / Candy Canadiana Links
« on: March 30, 2018, 12:04:09 AM »
Candy Canadiana is Amy Rivard's biggest fan (alter ego). She loves spreading cultural awareness and is the unofficial ambassador of Canada. Although she's very kind, she also has a playful and mischievous side, which sometimes gets her into trouble.  :'(  She even got put in a penalty box once!  :o  She loves promoting Canadian products and other Canadian content. She especially loves maple syrup!

Candy sometimes doesn't have time to post a lot of things because she's busy spreading joy to Canadians far and wide, both at home and around the world.  ;) But when she does have time to post, she's pretty entertaining!

Here are some links where you can follow the one and only Candy Canadiana and learn about her!  :)

Web site: http://candycanadiana.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CandyCanadiana

Twitter: https://twitter.com/candycanadiana

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/candycanadiana/

Candy Canadiana is so popular, she even has her own fan accounts (which I proudly run when I have time):

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CandyCanFans/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/candycanfans

CaraNua released a new music video on YouTube!

This one definitely sets a different mood than A Million Dreams, but it's devastatingly beautiful.

Remember Me/Recuérdame - Lullaby from Coco (Celtic cover by CaraNua)


Celtic Woman / Celtic Woman ScareCam
« on: March 28, 2018, 07:47:42 PM »
These ladies are even adorable when they're scared out of their wits  :D

Lisa Lambe Gets Scared:

Eabha McMahon presents...
The Celtic Woman "Scare Cam," 2017 Edition.

LOL! <3 <3 <3 <3

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