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Máiréad's new albums are here! Get your copies!
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 on: July 16, 2019, 06:10:43 PM 
Started by JimM. - Last post by Moscapoet
Thanks, Jim. They're talking about connecting Alaska with Canada so maybe some day big boy will visit us.

 on: July 08, 2019, 05:33:07 PM 
Started by JimM. - Last post by JimM.
One of the largest steam locomotives ever built started a month long trip today from Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Stops include Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and then back to Cheyenne.  A trip to California is planned for October.

UPDATE -- July 10th --  Due to flooding in Nebraska, the loco is being held at North Platte until further notice.

 on: May 30, 2019, 09:37:09 AM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Ron
Thanks, Scott. This was truly an honor and a privilege for me, as I'm sure you can imagine. Her doing this show again next year is very likely. In fact, there has been some talk that they would like to try to have her as the headliner act for the Celtic Festival next year. Of course, this is merely speculation at this point if not pure wishful thinking. But she did seem to enjoy her time here and did mention she'd like to work with us more in the future. We'd love to have you visit if and when that happens. Meanwhile, I'll see you soon.

 on: May 28, 2019, 11:13:00 PM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Moscapoet
I'm so glad all that worked out, Ron. It sounds like a wonderful event in every respect. If she chooses to do that show again next year I may find a way to attend. It is far cheaper traveling to and from Alaska when it sin't warmer up here. Mike posted a review on Facebook so I will try to encourage him to post it here as well. Thanks for your role in this and for the review from your perspective.

 on: April 18, 2019, 01:08:37 PM 
Started by Heathbrae - Last post by JimM.

 on: February 25, 2019, 04:28:44 PM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Ron
The Beginning…..

The roots of this show actually start way back in April of 2017, when Máiréad performed with Rocktopia. I’m a board member of the Celtic-Norse Heritage Society, a charity group that raises funds for promotion of Celtic and Norse culture in our community. We’re closely associated with the various Celtic Festivals and Highland Games that take place across Central Florida. Knowing that I had somewhat of a “rapport” with Máiréad, the Society asked if she might like to become an honorary member. I asked, she accepted. We officially “inducted” her as an honorary member after the Rocktopia show in Jacksonville. It’s a totally non-commital, non-obligatory title on her part. But in exchange for her “endorsement”, we promote her CDs and violin line at our tent at the festivals and games.

Fast forward to July of 2018. Every year, Ormond Beach holds a fund raising show for their Celtic Festival. The talent coordinator for the event, Chuck Spano, always gets prominent performers from Ireland or Scotland to perform for these events, to include Dougie MacLean (the composer of “Caledonia”). As Chuck is also a member of CNHS, he asked me if there was any possibility we could get Máiréad to play for the 2019 fundraiser. I told Chuck that it would surely have to go through her agent, but I’d be happy to drop her a line and ask if she’d be interested. I did, and she responded enthusiastically, and of course referred me to her manager (at the time). Contract negotiations began.

Unforseen Roadblock….

In December, Chuck messaged me that he hadn’t gotten any updates on the contract and was concerned. I (incorrectly) informed him that sometimes these things took time and to be patient. A few days later I was engaging with John Turbitt in small talk on Messenger. John had mentioned he was talking with Máiréad’s manager, Neil, about the possibility of her playing in Rhode Island at some point. I thought: “who’s Neil?” I went to her website, and sure enough, she had changed managers. I messaged Máiréad asking if negotiations were still taking place. She hadn’t heard anything herself and advised me to put Chuck in contact with Neil. Contract negotiations resumed under their watch. As much as I’d like to take credit for “saving” the show, I honestly can’t. That credit belongs to John Turbitt for alerting me to the management change, and Chuck and Neil for resuming negotiations. I was only the messenger.

Privileged Involvement….

Those of you who know me know that my profession is audio engineer. But to be clear, I was not involved at all with running sound for the show. My wife, Steph and I were listed on the contract rider as “merch”. Ormond Beach contracts a sound company, and Matt was the sound guy. The Front of House Engineer obviously has an extremely important gig and must be very focused. You NEVER interfere with the Front of House guy in doing his job. I met Matt when he arrived and told him if he needed anything let me know, then stayed out of his way so he could focus on his gig. But I did volunteer as opening band, Hard to Port’s, “crew”. When I do gigs, I always carry with me the “tools of the trade” regardless if I’m doing Front of House or sweeping the stage. When it came time to place set lists where Máiréad wanted them, a search for tape ensued. I had console tape (specifically designed for labeling audio consoles) with me. So I was honored with the task of taping of the set lists on the stage and also in the wings where Máiréad would be entering at her request. She also asked me if I’d make sure her wireless pack was on at the beginning of the sets. But as it turned out, the decision was made to leave the pack on and give Matt control over muting and unmuting her violin mic (for the technical geeks, a DPA 4061). This is much better as it insures there’s constant signal between the transmitter and receiver.

She did ask my opinion on the sound during the sound check, and now I know exactly what effects she likes on her violin. So if I ever have the honor of doing Front of House for her someday, I’ll have presets ready to go.

So I joined Steph behind the merch table to see to our designated task. Unfortunately, my phone was having issues downloading the Credit Card app. Becky, a lovely young lady affiliated with Ormond Beach Mainstreet, joined us behind the table as she had the app already on her phone and the “square” for card swiping. She handled the card transactions while Steph and I handled the cash. It turned out to be very efficient as we could have two lines: one for cash, one for credit. I’m happy to report that all but three of Máiréad’s CDs sold.

The Show….

Unfortunately, unlike my previous reviews, I can’t give a lot of detail as I was in and out between the theater, backstage, and the lobby. I’m sure Mike Brown will add his review here, and he’s very good with detail.

I can say that what I saw of the show was spectacular! As mentioned earlier, Hard to Port opened. I saw very little of their performance. But Chuck is also the percussionist for Hard to Port. I’ve seen them perform many times at other events, and they’re very good.

Early on, it was planned that the Daytona Beach Pipe and Drums Corps and Worley-Hendricks Academy of Irish Dance would perform intermittently during the show, giving Máiréad breaks during the set. But she wouldn’t hear of it! She insisted they perform with her onstage. They did a fabulous job!

…….and Máiréad? Need I say her performance was absolutely flawless? It certainly was! She looked absolutely beautiful in her stage regalia. Her grace on stage was unparalleled as we’ve come to expect. I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen her perform multiple times. But it was an added thrill to see her for the first time as the focus in a show of her very own!

The After Show….

Ormond Mainstreet did an amazing job booking the 31 Supper Club to hold an after party for the VIPs. Honestly, I didn’t intend to attend the reception. I was “comped” as a worker behind the scenes. I felt I didn’t want to take Máiréad’s time away from her paying fans. But Máiréad insisted that Steph and I both attend. I’m so glad I did. I got to hang out with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in quite awhile. Máiréad, as well, had a cousin of hers, Kathleen, in attendance she hadn’t seen in years. After she had finished making her rounds among the tables of fans, she settled at one of the couches with Kathleen to catch up. As the crowd dwindled, Máiréad invited Mike,  Steph, and myself to join her and Kathleen. I was hoping I didn’t come across as anti-social in conversation as I didn’t want to interfere too much with Máiréad’s reunion with Kathleen. In retrospect, I’m sure that’s not the case. In past conversations I’ve had with her, we never run out of things to talk about. Of all the shows I’ve seen her as a “fan”, this was truly the best of all. I consider this a privilege and an honor.

Máiréad, if you happen to read this, thank you again for such a wonderful evening.

Normally, I post pics. But I didn’t get a chance to get any of my own. Mike Brown got some great ones he let me share on Facebook. But I won’t steal his thunder here. Just keep your eyes pealed!

 on: February 03, 2019, 04:40:12 PM 
Started by MrPeabody - Last post by Moscapoet
Thanks so much, Mike. Reviews here are rare treats now and yours are always appreciated. Very glad you were there not only as face of the forum, but to guide a new fan in meeting our favorite fiddler. Sounds like the Christmas pixie dust was flying throughout. 

 on: February 03, 2019, 04:34:46 PM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Moscapoet
Wonderful, Ron! Thank you for your efforts in helping with this gig, and congrats on your role in it on that date. Of course, we'll anxiously await your review from that day.

 on: January 07, 2019, 10:44:49 AM 
Started by MrPeabody - Last post by Ron
Excellent review as always, Mike. Looking forward to seeing you in Ormond Beach!

 on: January 07, 2019, 10:38:34 AM 
Started by Ron - Last post by Ron
Back in July, Chuck Spano, the talent coordinator for the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center approached me. Every year, they host a celtic music fund raiser to raise funds for the Ormond Beach Celtic Festival. In past years, Chuck had gotten Dougie McLean (the composer of "Caledonia") to perform as Chuck knows him. But this year they wanted a change. As Chuck and I are both board members of the Celtic-Norse Heritage Society (a charity organization that raises funds for aspiring Celtic musicians and is also one of the sponsors of the Ormond Beach Celtic Festival), Chuck knew Máiréad and I did have a level of rapport and asked me if it would be possible to get her to play. It's been a harrowing journey with the project falling through the cracks due to Máiréad's management change. But now, at long last, the show has finally come to together! I've been working behind the scenes with Chuck as an audio consultant to help meet her sound system requirements. As for the show itself, I'll be working the merch table as a representative of CNHS. It's my honor to be Máiréad's "Merch Dude" for this show! But I digress.

Show info:

Ormond Performing Arts Center
Ormond Beach, FL
February 22, 2019
$30 general admission - $50 VIP with Meet & Greet

Try to make it if you can. It will, of course, be an amazing show. Plus, the weather in Florida is generally very pleasant this time of the year. Grin

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