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 ūüėČ 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 ūüėČ 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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ 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!

Music Monday.

Hello blog readers. I thought I might try my hand at a new regular, scratch that make it semi regular (this is me we’re talking about after all) blog post series, titled Music Monday, this can be about my favorite cd, song, musician, music video, or whatever else I am currently digging that relates to music. So for today’s post I thought I might give you a cd recommendation. I bought myself Keith Harkin’s debut album through Amazon, it arrived last Monday, and I have been¬†unashamedly¬†playing this single cd all week.

Fabulous album cover ūüėČ

OK so I can hear what some of you are thinking, “uh huh sure it’s great, whatever you’re just one of those fan girls, who would buy his cd even if he sounded like a dying cat”. Well you my dear are wrong, very rarely do I buy cd’s. Most of the time I wait for it to hit youtube or pandora cause I’m cheap like that. I also don’t just get the sudden urge to buy whatever music, since I work hard for my money, I want to know that what I am buying is going to be great! Well I hadn’t any doubts, cause I have been to two of Keith’s shows and each time I was blown away by his beautiful vocals, and killer guitar playing skills. Seriously even if Keith wasn’t as good-looking as he so obviously is, I would still be just as much of a fan. Because you cannot argue with raw talent! Honestly I feel like that is the best description I can give Keith…Raw talent! His cd has finally been released and I would highly recommend that you go out and buy yourself a copy, and then buy a copy for someone that you like, because music this great deserves to be shared with the masses.

 everyone with the ability to hear would love this album!

Keith has some of his own songs on this album which are sublime, as well as compilations and some fabulous covers of classic songs (Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me is my favorite cover). Every song knocks it out of the park though. There is truly a song for everyone on this album, so no matter what your musical tastes may be you will not be¬†disappointed. I have placed the links below to where you can buy his album. Hope all of you have a very Happy Musical Monday!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/keith-harkin-keith-harkin/24997900?ean=602537115488

http://www.amazon.com/Keith-Harkin/dp/B008N5UX8S

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/keith-harkin/id559958870

http://www.celticthunder.ie/content/keith-harkin-keith-harkin-cd

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 ūüėČ 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.

Concert Photography.

So¬†the other¬†night I went to a concert, with some of my favorite people. It was a really great venue…for being up close and doing a little¬†photography! We got their shortly after the doors opened, so I was able to position myself quite close to the stage. Added bonus though, was that I brought my 300mm lens, so I could get right in their face all from the comfort of my seat. This was my first time photographing a concert, with all the equipment I would normally leave at home, because of rowdy concert goers. But since the setting was really relaxed I was able to get some great pictures of Elizabeth Wills, Emmet Cahill, and Keith Harkin.

Elizabeth Wills was the opening act for Keith, now I will be honest my expectations for an opener are always pretty low. But in this case was pleasantly surprised with Elizabeth. She has an amazing folksy sound and pretty much everything she preformed was her own. So be sure to check her out http://www.elizabethwills.com/!

After Elizabeth, Keith Harkin of Celtic Thunder was up, a nice surprise though was that Emmet Cahill came too. Emmet is new to Celtic Thunder he joined in 201o, and I must say is immensely talented for someone so young (21) he has a beautiful classical voice and winning personality. You can check him out at http://www.emmetcahill.com/ There is much more information about him on his website, including a long list of musical accomplishments, that would take quite a while to list on my blog, so be certain to pop on over and check him out.

Emmet Cahill and Keith Harkin. Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how adorable these two are? 

Keith Harkin, the main reason everyone came. Keith has been with Celtic Thunder from the beginning, 2007. His musical style is sort of hard to define, some of his influence include Tom Waites, Neil Young, The Beatles, and Bon Iver, so there is a little something for everyone when he performs. Keith not only tours with the world-wide phenomena that is Celtic Thunder, but he does individual tours, rocking out with his McPherson guitar and wonderful vocals, and winning hearts all along the way. All of his fans are currently waiting on his solo album, it has taken a good bit longer than originally thought, mostly because he has signed with someone new, just a little somebody known as DAVID FOSTER! Color me impressed. David has discovered house hold names like Michael Buble and Josh Groban. So I am certain even bigger things are in store for Keith. http://www.keithharkin.com/

Keith Harkin. Good grief! The way he plays guitar is like nothing I have ever heard before! So much talent.

His hands just fly when he is playing his guitar!

He was just killin’ it.¬†and I loved every minute of it.¬†When the concert ended, the guys stuck around to pose for pictures and sign things, so naturally I had to say hello, how much I love their music, and of course have my picture taken with them. It’s not everyday you get to be around gorgeous Irish musicians is all I am sayin’.

Keith was real sweet, even though just about every woman in the place was clamoring for his attention, he managed to give real attention to his fans individually (myself included) *swoon*.

Then I went and said hi to Emmet. He was such a sweetheart, great people skills, and really down to earth. He and I actually talked for a little bit, so that pretty much made my night. *swoon again*

All in all I had an amazing time and can’t wait to see these guys again. I hope¬†everyone enjoyed this post! Happy Tuesday!