Music Monday: Keith Harkin Band

So it took me absolute ages to post this feature…I’m sorry but vacations, sickness, and just the fact that I took a ton of pictures meant I had my work cut out for me. I swear all of my posts these day’s begin with an excuse…shame on me. Anyway back in December I had the great pleasure of attending a Keith Harkin Band gig, yep that’s right a Keith Harking BAND! I’ve seen Keith perform many a times and I am always blown away by his artistry and musicality, but oh my goodness to experience the kind of energy that is brought to the stage when there is a full band is nothing short of AMAZING! I had such an incredible time and I’m sure you can tell from the pictures everyone else was too! 9307

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If you weren’t fortunate enough to catch Keith at Poor Davids back in December fret not because he’s coming back March 18th and you can reserve your tickets here if you’re not able to make the gig might I suggest purchasing Keith’s LONG AWAITED SECOND ALBUM: On Mercy Street Here. Every song is so raw and honest you feel as if you have your own private show with Keith right there. I hope that you all enjoyed the pictures and that you all continue to support true artists like these lads here! Cheers!

 

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Keith Harkin at Poor Davids Pub

On Saturday I had the great pleasure of seeing Keith Harkin perform at the awesome venue that is Poor Davids Pub. If you aren’t familiar with Mr Harkin I demand you remedy that this instant! The blog can wait http://www.keithharkin.com/videos/ So good right? Well let me tell you this Keith is just as amazing (if not more so) live as he is recorded. Keith’s talent feels of a different time, like back when musicians were musician, not just people with the right connections, and is it any wonder? Keith has been passionate about music since he was a small child, singing at the age of four, and learning classic songs like “Everybody’s Talking At Me” and “Where Do You Go To My Lovely” from his father. His father is also the man who gave him the push (and cab fare) to audition for the Irish singing group Celtic Thunder, that he has been with since its very beginning in 2007 and continues to sing and write songs for to this day. As if that wasn’t enough Harkin is also signed with Verve, put out his debut self titled album in 2012, which he wrote several songs for, and even managed to do a solo tour across America last spring. Just thinking of all the work this man does makes me tired 😉146111721168That smile though12391610158615421550edit1364Dave Bakey, a badass guitar player and all around great guy, was supposed to accompany Keith, but unfortunately he fell sick and couldn’t make it. So not wanting Dave to miss out on some of the fun Keith gave him a call that way we could all tell him how much we love him. Too sweet.1244The man sings his heart out!15491165Sassy face 😉1273Even though he was super busy needing to pack up and hit the road he stuck around to talk to fans and sign merch…and even take a pic with little sis and I. What a guy!
16151616Regardless of your personal taste in music I can guarantee you will enjoy the musical stylings of Mr Harkin. Keep up to date with Keith through Celtic Thunder http://www.celticthunder.ie/tour his official website http://www.keithharkin.com/ and/or through his various social media platforms https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keith-Harkin/110997345657482 https://twitter.com/keithharkin http://instagram.com/keithharkin

PS the holidays are fast approaching and nothing could make a better gift than Keith’s self titled album which can be purchased anywhere you find music really, but here are some links through Celtic Thunder http://www.celticthunder.ie/content/keith-harkin-keith-harkin-cd Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Keith-Harkin/e/B0090QIRDW/ref=sr_1_2_acs_ent_artist?qid=1385510527&sr=8-2-acs and Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/keith-harkin-keith-harkin/24997900?ean=602537115488

Hope you all enjoyed this post and that you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Seriously its 2013?

Ya I’m way behind, most everyone had their “year in review” blogs posted new years day, but I’m a procrastinator *shoulder shrug of indifference* 2012 was quite a year, but I’ll just share the things that stick out the most.

Last year (February) I celebrated the fact I was no longer a teen, and like the sophisticated adult I am 😉 I threw my very first dinner party, complete with appetizers, boeuf bourguignon for the main course, and a three tiered birthday cake. It was by far the best birthday I ever had. Not because of what I did, but of who I spent it with, being surrounded by your closest friends and having them all talk about how you met, why you get a long, and any funny anecdote they feel the need to share about you has a surprising ability to turn someone as goofy as I into a sentimental sap. I honestly cried with my best friend of about 12 years because of a vintage necklace she bought me. Talk about softening with age!

20th

I also managed to go to some pretty awesome concerts last year, not a bunch of concerts but its quality not quantity. One of my first concerts of the year (March I think) was seeing Keith Harkin. Man does he put on a great show! His guitar playing is unmatched, and his vocals are so strong! Most musicians are not as good live but I must say Keith consistently rocks the house.Ireland!!! 220Another highlight of the year was the fact Keith retweeted my blog about this concert! Consequently I had quite a rise in views on my blog, and met some other really fabulous people through twitter who had the same taste in music as I did.

Then during the middle of summer I got to be in a Family Force 5 music video. It was pure madness, we met in some rather sketch looking warehouse in Arlington, there was no air conditioning, just a few fans here and there, a bunch of other “5ers” and myself. I went by my lonesome because none of my friends could make it. I was so freaked out by that fact. I was a homeschooler so I never really experienced the whole walk into a group and not know a single soul thing. But I managed to meet some really great people and make new friends! I have a feeling I will remember that day for many years to come, I mean how could I forget dripping with sweat (sexy right?), dancing like a madwoman, and meeting so many wonderful people? By far one of my favorite memories of 2012

Cray Button 033Me and the guitarist of Family Force 5!

Then in November I got to see Keith Harkin again, yes I know one of his concerts was already a highlight, but this one was so excellent it managed to become another highpoint for me. On top of Keith putting on an amazing show, I also got to meet one of my twitter friends who went to the concert too, so that night was doubly wonderful.

keith harkin concert 223Keith also retweeted my blog about that concert too, so yet another highlight to whole experience.

I could go on sharing wonderful things that happened in 2012, but honestly I don’t really care to, I’m just getting back into the swing of blogging after all 😉 2012 was an exciting year and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2013 has in-store for me. Just in the next few months I have quite a lot to look forward to, turning 21, my baby sister becoming a teenager, being a bridesmaid for a close friend, and welcoming a nephew into this crazy world. I have a pretty good feeling that 2013 will be even more incredible than 2012 don’t you?

What are some of your highlights from 2012? Do you have any big events in 2013? I would love to hear some feedback from you guys! I hope you all enjoyed this post and that you’re having a happy Wednesday and 2013!

Music Monday No. 7!

I think this Music Monday should more than make up for my rather lazy post last week. Today’s post is about a concert I went to on Saturday…But not just any concert, I went and saw Keith Harkin! Fangirl if you wish 😉

The opening act was Aidan, a wonderful Irish music ensemble from Austin. The group consists of Jeff Moore, Christopher Buckley, and Jon Milton.  Jeff has been playing guitar for 35 yrs, is known as one of the Southwest’s most notable Irish musicians, and has performed alongside notable Irish musicians such as Cluan, Gilmer & Moore, and the Sarah Dinan Band.  He has also played with internationally touring musicians like James Keane, James Kelly, John Williams, Johnny B Connolly, Joe Burk, and Jerry Holland.

Jeff Moore.

Christopher began playing violin at 3 years of age then 9 years later he began learning Irish fiddle. In 2001 Christopher moved to Austin and soon after he and Jeff started playing together as a Texas Irish group Cluan. On top of that Christopher has performed with the Blaggards, and continues to play with The Tea Merchants, who won the Austin Music Award for Best World Music.

Christopher Buckley.

Jon has studied Irish music, culture, and history for over 15 years, he was greatly inspired by the great piper, music collector, and story-teller Seamus Ennis. Jon has been a regular at Celtic Festivals as well as session musician in the United States and Ireland. He has become a fixture of the Southwest traditional music scene, and has been performing with Jeff since 2010.

Jon Milton.

I was greatly impressed with Aidan, the moment they started playing I felt as though I was in a great little pub in Ireland listening to one of the local bands. So if you are craving a bit of Ireland but cannot manage a trip just yet, might I suggest going to see Aidan perform? You will not be sorry. You can check out their website for future tour dates here http://aidanmusic.com/

After a short intermission Keith took the stage. This guy is such a rock star, you could feel how excited everyone was to see him. Keith is no stranger to large crowds of adoring fans, after all he has been performing with the musical phenomenon Celtic Thunder since it started. However just this past year his solo career has skyrocketed! Keith was one of the very first musicians signed with Verve Records, whose new chairman is none other than David Foster. As well as releasing his first album back in September. The album quickly shot to number one in newest releases and number two in bestsellers on Amazon! Talk about successful.

I have been to a few of Keith’s gigs and I find myself having an even better time than before. During this show Keith was playing with Barry Kerr (flute player) and Dave Bakey on guitar.

 Great guitar playing!

The set consisted of some classic Celtic Thunder favorites such as Lauren and I, some covers Everybody’s Talkin at Me, and some of Keith’s own songs Nothing But You and I. Every song was fabulous. As someone who has gone to her fair share of concerts I have experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly. There have been times where I absolutely loved a band’s album, then saw them live and was so sad, because they sounded like a terrible cover band of themselves. I can tell you that Keith sounds just as incredible live as he does on his album. Which is saying a good deal. If you have the opportunity to see him live do not hesitate! Buy those tickets, because he does not disappoint.

Killer vocals!

During the concert Keith said something rather exciting. That come the end of of February he will be touring with a band! I’m crossing my fingers that he will come through Dallas! Because his shows are just too good.

Not only is the music top notch, but the interaction with the audience is really funny! In the picture above he was teasing someone about recording the show.

Looking through my viewfinder only to see Keith staring me down was rather startling. Whoops I’ve been caught 😉

Rather pleased with how this shot turned out.

Not only did Keith put on a stellar show he even stuck around to sign poster, cds, and pose for pictures. Seriously he is such a good sport, I have no idea how he does it. I would’ve been far too exhausted for all that. But I suppose thats why he is a rockstar and I am a photographer/blogger 😉

I’ve met a few musicians but I must say Keith is one of the nicest I have ever met. I mean the guy remembered me from a previous show of his and from my blog *swoon* Talk about a sweetheart haha. You can find more out about Keith on his website http://www.keithharkin.com/ or through the Celtic Thunder website http://www.celticthunder.ie/

I hope you all enjoyed this Music Monday post and that you all have a Happy Musical Monday! CHEERS!

Music Monday No. 5

Yes yes yes I know, last Monday I did not post. Shame on me, all of that bragging about how consistent I was being then…BOOM! No post. I do however have a good excuse, the internet was down. See a very reasonable excuse indeed ;).  Anyway today is a recommendation for an incredibly talented singer! Drum roll please…

Emmet Cahill!

I’ve made it well known that I am quite the fan of all the Celtic Thunder men, every guy is extremely talented and brings so much to the table. But today I thought I would focus on the classical singer of the group Emmet. I was so fortunate as to see Emmet perform alongside Keith Harkin at one of Keith’s solo gigs. I must say I was completely blown away, Emmet is a surprisingly strong singer for someone as young as he (I believe he is 22). Of course one does not need to be middle aged to be a great singer, but you can almost always hear a notable improvement from someone who is older. Well Emmet is quite the exception to this, he voice is so strong and pure that you would believe you are listening to a well seasoned man, of shall I say… advanced age 😉

I did a wee bit of research on Emmet and it is no wonder why he is so talented. From the young age of 5 he was learning to play the piano, and by 7 was taking voice lessons. When I was that age I was just trying to avoid soccer practice 😉 I wasn’t very disciplined haha. From there Emmet went on to win a music scholarship for highschool. Then he continued his studies of piano, organ, violin, and vocal training for the next few years. Another impressive accomplishment was the fact he earned a degree in Musical Performance from the rather prestigious Royal Irish Academy of Music, talk about dedication to ones craft.

Paul Byrom left Celtic Thunder in 2010 to pursue a solo career, so auditions were held in June of that year, and it isn’t any surprise to me that Emmet was chosen to fill the void, and to become the classical singer of the group. Emmet is winning over more and more fans with every performance. Singing the likes of ‘Kindred Spirits’ written by Phil Coulter specifically for Emmet, the beautifully haunting ‘Isle of Hope’, and the giggle inducing ‘My Irish Molly’. As well as singing Celtic Thunder favorites like ‘Galway Girl’, ‘Seven Drunken Nights’ and many others with the rest of the Celtic Thunder guys. So that is why Emmet is the topic of today’s Musical Monday Post.

You can check out some of Emmet’s music on his youtube channel and I highly encourage you to subscribe to it.

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0PIUMHZwycQj8-Jd2g_yg/videos?view=0

You can also like his page on Facebook and keep updated there

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emmet-Cahill-Official-Music/158928754151170?fref=ts

Or you could even follow him via twitter

https://twitter.com/EmmetcahillCT

Whatever you do, I highly encourage you to check him out. I hope you all enjoyed this post, and be sure to let me know what you all think, I adore hearing from you guys. As always have a very happy and Musical Monday! Cheers!

15 minutes…

Hey guys I know I have been MIA, and that I had promised to start posting more regularly, isn’t that always the way? You make a promise, promise is impossible to keep because life happens. First I was without internet service for a long while…may actually have this problem again quite soon, internet providers are not the most accommodating of companies, and then my computer would not turn on, oh lovely. So I am currently using my mother’s computer whereas yes technically it serves the same purpose, it is a good deal slower,  I am without photoshop, as well as all of my pictures I had spent hours editing. All of this on top of other life things has been shall I say distracting me from my blogging duties so to speak.  So I thought I might write a post today since things aren’t that crazy.

I believe it was Andy Warhol who said something to the effect that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame. Which got me to thinking, if this is in fact true are my 15 minutes already over?

Oh no my time is up!!!

Granted I am not gracing the covers of magazines, nor am I the topic of gossip columns. But I have been freshly pressed, and wow was that something else. I couldn’t believe my stats! Never had I imagined my blog post would be read by thousands from all over the world! I also never could have anticipated the loving words I would receive, or even the down right rude ones too, you know who you are ;)! I honestly couldn’t believe it! I like to think I handled it well, without any diva entitlement attitude.

“All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up”

Then another blog post of mine was read by thousands, no not because I was freshly pressed again, but because Keith Harkin retweeted my blog post on twitter, yet another reason for me to adore him hahaha. Keith has some rather serious fans I must say, because almost as soon as he retweeted it my stats sky rocketed, and his fans started sharing my blog via social networking sites. I was stunned yet again! Could people really be this interested in what I have to say and the pictures that I take?

 

One of the pictures I took of Keith.

Or did I just get lucky with the freshly pressed post, and were people only interested in the pictures of Keith Harkin because well…It’s Keith Harkin? Then I realized I was placing too much interest in the number of people reading my blog. My thought pattern had gone from “what do I want to write about?” to “what do I think will get me the most views?” Of course every blogger wants their blog to be read…it’s kinda the whole point. But you shouldn’t lose who you are as a writer or worse as a person. Defining your value through the number of readers you are getting is very dangerous idea, why do you think so many writers end up killing themselves? Sorry that was a wee bit morbid. But honestly, measuring yourself through someone else’s eyes will always leave you with a distorted image of yourself. This ties back into my other post about knowing your own value. It’s something I have been working on during this season of my life so that’s probably why it keeps manifesting in all my posts, sorry if it’s getting a bit old for all of you. I just feel like it’s something I should write about. So regardless if my 15 minutes of fame have come and gone I will continue to enjoy my life, work hard, and even work on the occasional blog. Because whether I make it big or not, I want this one life I get here on earth to be a great one, even if I am the only one who knows it. I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you didn’t I don’t really care 😉 hahaha just kidding… sort of. If any of you have had similar experiences or anything to add please feel free to share. I really love hearing from you all. Happy Happy Tuesday.