All the DruidSong news that's fit to print
Once again, I find I've been remiss in keeping things up to date. As previously announced, I retired from all live performance work, as of 9/24/16. My shows at the Ligonier Highland Games on that date will be my last for the forseeable future.
For those interested in the gory details, I have developed peripheral neuropathy. I have no sense of touch in thumb and fore-finger of either hand. This makes playing guitar "interesting." I "miss" when reaching for chords, and have trouble hanging onto my pick.
My feet are also affected. For those of you that might not know, your sense of balance relies on feet, eyes and inner ear. Most people can get by quite nicely using one of those most of the time. For me, my eyes and ears are "busy" when I'm performing, leaving only the sense of touch in my feet to keep me upright and stable. Sinc eI can'[t feel my feet well, I am prone to staggering and loosing my balance.
These are the underlying issues that caused me to retire. Rather than stagger around the stage like a drunk, playing badly and dropping my guitar pick. I have chosen to retire from live shows completely. I have seen other performers that should have quit. It wasn't pretty, and I will NOT be that kind of entertainer.
I will miss doing live shows. I enjoyed it. I loved watching the audiences react to my songs, and changing the playlist to fit what I saw.
I can't complain, I guess. I have spent over 50 years on stage. that's a good run by any measure.
If the doctors find a solution, I will come out of retirement.
Until then, and until we meet again. fare well, be safe, and lift a glass when you can.
I have several things to relate:
"Mixed Nuts" is in progress and nearing completion. The album name reflects teh fact that this album is a mix of Celtic and more modern folk music. It ranges from things like "Scots Wha' Hae" to "Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime."
This may be my last album. That's the other bit of news.
I've developed several medical conditions that make it difficult for me to perform. None of them are life threatening, but the do make it very hard for me to play guitar as well as I have in the past. Rather than present performances that are less than what I consider acceptable, I am retiring from live performance work, effective 9/24/16.
My shows at Penn;s colony Festival, on 9/17 and 9/18, and my shows at the Ligonier Highland Games on 9/24 will be my last for the foreseeable future. If things change, I will come out of retirement, but as things stand now, I feel I must stop doing live shows.
It remains to be seen whether I can continue recording. Getting "Mixed Nuts" done was a challenge.
"Emergency gig." Odd story! I was handling some computer foo when the phone rang. It was my dear friend, Sue, who performs as Steel Clover and with Matt in Celtic shores. the venue they were working had a cancellation, and found themselves short an act. Fortunately, I was free and the venue was close enough that I could get there in a timely manner. So, there I was, on short notice, at The Grove Irish Pub, on Jack's Run Road,
The show went well, the patrons seemed to enjoy what I was doing and The Grove had a show when "all was lost."
Audience stories: A gentleman about my age was singing along. Tuirns out he is Irish enough to be a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He appreciated that I do "the old songs."
Another fellow and his lady friend sat up close during the second set. He approached me after the set to say how much he appreciated the fact that I include songs he'd heard The Corries do, and talked about how much he missed them.
There were, of course, the usual mix of bar patrons. We had a few dancing to my songs. There was a young lass that wanted to play guitar for me, which I declined, her being obviously intoxicated, and some clown that showed up looking for a fight. (the staff headed that off, and cleared him out without incident before he even got in the place.)
A fun evening.
The Wheeling Celtic Festival was fun. Shared the stage with the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dancers, Celtic shores, the a pipe band, Irish dancers and such. Always a fun time.
"Sinners and Saints" is now complete. Tracks have already been uploaded to bandcamp and cdbaby. the physical CDs are in the mail and the official release date has been set as 3/1/16.
In other news, my role as entertainment director for the Ligonier Highland Games has been soaking up a bit of time. We're expanding things this year, bringing up an additional performance area. That means I get to book additional performers. It's going to be GRAND!
I've got a very busy schedule in March. My relationship with the agent that books me into seniors residences has resulted in a bunch of shows. They're fun to do
I'm also returning to the Wheeling Celtic Festival this year. Thats on March 5, at the Wheeling Artisan Center. I'll be sharing the stage with the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dance Society and others. I believe Steel Clover will be there, as well. Come on by and say "Hello."
I see that I have once again been remiss in keeping this current. There have been a few things going on.
DruidSong has been working on the new release, with lots of help from Larch Audio. It's now almost ready, and should be available on March 1st. I'm waiting on ISRC data for the tracks, and the liner notes are in progress.
The new CD is "Sinners and Saints." The title comes from the mix of songs on it. I've recorded a couple of hymn tunes (Amazing Grace and Be Thou My Vision) as well as some songs about less saintly behavior.
Track list: Crooked Jack, Twa Corbies, Navvy Boots, Maid of Fife, Amazing Grace, Hills of Connemara, Loch Lomond, Green Grow the Rushes, Ho, Finnegan's Wake, Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill, Brennan on the Moor, Be Thou My vision and Ye Jacobites by Name.
In other news, my schedule for St. Patrick's Day this year is quite full. It should be a fun time.
Recording session last night, at Larch Audio (http://www.larchaudio.com), with Lou. I haven't picked a name for the new album as yet, and don't have a release date this early in the process. At a guess, I may be looking at late spring or early summer. Stay tuned for updates...
I joined Red McWilliams for his show at Riley's Pour House. Red is always fun to work with. He usually invites me to join him when he's in town, and I'm happy to do it.
During the following week, Red had a chance to meet and jam a bit with Susan Borowski, who performs as Steel Clover. For those of you that haven't found Sue yet, DO IT. she's a marvelously talented lady, and Red agrees with that assessment.
9/28/15 - The Ligonier Highland Games for 2015 are over. It was a grand time. The weather was just about perfect. moderate temperatures, dry and partly cloudy. DruidSong shared the Raccoon Stage with the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dance Society. the shows were well attended, especially my 1 PM show, which was SRO.
On other stages, Steel Clover, Barra the Bard and Vince Burns and Kathy Fallon shared the Neighbohood Stage and MacTalla Mor and Red McWilliams shared the Hillside Stage. The bits I caught of their shows were all wonderful.
9/21/15 - Penn's Colony Festival is a "wrap" for me for this year. It was great fun. The weather during the day was fine, especially on Sunday. Attendance was good, in my opinion.
Celtic Shores was there, and did a grand job on the main stage. Congratulations to Matt and Sue on a job well done.
A long time fan, Breanna, joined both me and Celtic Shores for a set. Breanna is a young woman that has become a faithful fan. She comes by every year at Penn's Colony to catch my shows and stays to chat a bit after the show.
Last year, Breanna mentioned that she was learning bodhran. I invited her to join me on stage whenever she felt ready. This year, she accepted that invitation.
She joined me for my 4 PM show on 9/20. She played with me for about half the set, and did just fine.
I feel the need to explain a few things about this. Over the last several years, Breanna has come out to Penn's Colony at LEAST once every year. She has become not only a fan, but a friend to me and a number of other folks at the Festival. She follows DruidSong and Celtic Shores and always stops by the reenactor area to talk with them.
This year, Breanna sat in on a set with Celtic Shores, as well as DruidSong.
What makes this special? A couple of things: when I say Breanna is a young woman, I'm talking about someone that has not yet finished high school. OK, you might say, so what makes that special? Breanna is blind. She lost her sight at a very young age.
She does not see with her eyes, but sees more with her mind and heart than many adults I know. She acknowledges her limitations, and overcomes them with grace and style. She soaks up knowledge like a sponge, and assimilates what she learns into an understanding of the world surpassing many adults. Her courage in dealing with the world in which she must live and her insights into the way it works are inspiring.
When she came to my stage, she brought a following of her own with her. A number of the reenactors came by, to watch her stage debut. They cheered her on enthusiastically, honoring a lady of great courage and style.
I am humbled and honored to have shared a stage with her.
This girl, the WOMAN, is not simply a fan. she is not even simply a friend. Breanna is a daughter of my heart.
I've begun to upload things to MTV.com. It's an interesting process. MTV reviews each and every tune that is uploaded, for content and possible copyright issues. the results are sometimes curious. Check it out.
I'm gearing up for Penn's Colony Festival (9/19 & 9/20) and the Ligonier Highland Games (9/26). Everything is ready to go, and I'm really excited about the events.
Yikes! Nearly a year since I updated this page again. I really MUST pay more attention to keeping this up to date.
It's been a busy year. My father died in February and my wife and I have moved to a new, larger house, much in need of renovation. We're obviously crazy. Most retired people look to move into a smaller place, but we've taken on a larger house that needs LOTS of work. It's a grand place, though, and we're having fun working on it.
DruidSong has been busy. although I do NOT have a new album this year, I have been performing more than usual. I was approached by an agent some months back about doing shows in senior citizens places. I agreed, and have done about a dozen shows over the last couple of months. It's FUN!
Upcoming events: Penn's Colony Festival, in Saxonburg, PA and the Ligonier Highland Games, at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, PA.
Because of scheduling conflicts, DruidSong will be at Penn's Colony festival on 9/19 and 9/20 ONLY. I'm not sure who else is schedule to perform, but it's always a nice lineup and the festival is FUN!. Stop by and say, "Hello." I'm always happy to meet fans, friends and casual strangers, talk a bit and learn what's happening in the world.
the Ligonier Highland Games on on 9/26, at Idlewild Park. We're running three stages again this year. On the main stage, we've got Red McWilliams and Mac Talla Mor. Steel Clover shares the "Neighborhood Stage" with Vince burns and Kathy Fallon. On the Raccoon Stage, the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dance Society shares space with yours truly, DruidSong. There will be pipe bands, highland dancers, heavy athletics and children's games. this is the 57th year for the Ligonier Games, and it promises to be the best yet.
Again, I find I've been remiss in keeping this page current. Mea culpa.
The year has remained interesting. Because of the knee surgery, I've cut back a bit on performing. As I mentioned, I _did_ perform at Tartan Day this year.I then took a break, to work on recovering.
During that time, I worked on the much delayed holiday CD. It is now released, and I'm happy with the results. "Yuletide" is a mix of Christian and Pagan music. some are familiar to all. Others are more obscure, but things I've come to like over the years. The arrangements are, of course, my own.
I've been performing a fair bit this month. There were two shows at Independence Court, the assisted living facility where my father now resides following the death on his wife in June. I was at the Ligonier Community Market in early September, the Ligonier Highland Games and Penn's Colony Festival.
The Ligonier games this year were a HUGE success. Since I am also the entertainment coordinator for the Games, this thrills me no end. the weather was wonderful. Attendance was a 15 year record and the entertainers were absolutely marvelous.
Colin Grant-Adams anchored the main stage, along with Full Kilt. Colin is great to work with - a real professional and considerate of his fellow performers. Full Kilt turned in the usual top notch performance, bringing a driving, full sound to the stage.
Along with Colin and Full Kilt, Steel Clover returned to the Family Stage to balance yours truly. She brings a marvelous voice and well rounded instrumental talents to the stage and it's a pleasure to work with her. I'll share a stage with this lass any time.
\The Ceilidh was well attended. Entertainment there was provided by Colin Grant-Adams, Full kilt and the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dance Society. A wonderful time was had by all.
I was at Penn's colony Festival on the 21st, and the 27-28. The first Sunday was a biot damp, which kept the turnout a little low. This weekend promises fine weather, so attendance should be good.
Once again, I find that it's been a while sing I updated the "News" page. There's been a lot going on, and there's some interesting things happening.
I've completed a new CD, "The Nautical Bits." On in, a number of songs from or about the ea are featured, along with songs exploring the Celtic views on life and love. There are sad songs, serious songs and some that are simply fun.Preparations for Tartan Day, Pittsburgh for 2014 are complete, and I'll be performing there on April 5.. That's at Bethel PResbyterian Church, on Bethel Church Road, south of Pittsburgh.
I had another round of knee surgery in February. Looks like we got it right this time. I'm more pain free over the last couple of weeks than I have been in decades. My thanks to Dr. Michael Levine. He seems to have corrected the problems that have plagued me for many years.
Coming up, DruidSong will be returning to the Ligonier Highland Games in 2014. That's in September..
I'll also be at the Ligonier Community Marker and Penn's Colonly Festival in September.
January, 2014: A blast from the past!At least some of you know that I used to play with a band called Twisted Knickers. The band played Celtic music, mostly instrumentals.
The band has been gone for many years, but the CD wwe recorded - "In A Knot" - is still available. We've enjoyed continued streaming, downloads and the occassional CD sale.
Recently, a track from the CD (Fireside Reel) was licensed for reuse through Rublefish. They are a clearing house handling licensing for soundtracks for commercials, television, films and such.
We do NOT know when/where/how the track will be used, but the license has been purchased. This is a REALLY cool ego stroke.
Once again, it's been a VERY long time sinme I updated the "News" page. There's been a LOT going on. DruidSOng has performed at the Ligonier Highland Games a couple of times, and Penn's Colony Festival. I've released a double album adn have generally been having a great time. The New CD is "Back In The Day." It's two full discs of the music I did on the coffee house circuit in the 1960s. That's where the title comes from - "Back In The Day." As usual, the album is available through CDBaby, and all the usual digital download sources, like Amazon and iTunes. On CD Baby, it's at ="">www.cdbaby.com/druidsong5Wow, I just realized it's bee a LONG time since I updated this. DruidSong has NOT been sleeping for 6 months!>
DruidSong played at the Pittsburgh Film Makers, Market District in March of 2012. There was Piuttsburgh Tartan Day in April of 2012, too.
The balance of the spring and nearly all summer were spent working on recording. Continuing to work with Lou and Larch Audio (www.larchaudio.com), we recorded a LOT of material - so much, in fact, that DruidSong has recently released TWO new CDs.
"A Wee Dram" has been released, and is a mix of somgs drawn from various Celtic nations. I am pleased that Susa Borowski (OSteel Clover) joined me to provide fiddle and vocal backup for a new version of "The Parting Glass". the CD is available at www.cdbaby.com/druidsong3, and digital downloads are available from cdbaby, druidsong.bandcamp.com and all the usual digital source. (If it's not on your favorite digital download site, wait a bit. Sometiomes it takes a while for things to actually arrive on the digital sites.)
"Freedom", the second new CD, was released in support of the upcomign referendum on Scottish independence. Teh title track is a DruidSong original. This one is all Scottish. CDs from www.cdbaby.com/druidsong4, and digital downloads from the same places mentioned above.
DruidSong is pleased to be returning to Penn's Colony Festival in 2012.
Playing at the Wheeling Celtic festival, 3/3/12. DruidSong is on at noon, followed by the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dance Society at 12:30. Admisison is $5, children under 5 are free. This is generally a fun event, and not far from Pittsburgh, so come along.
The album "DruidSong" has been withdrawn from circulation. The license for copyrighted material has expired, so the CD has been pulled. My other CDs remain available through CDBaby.com.
Sept 24, 25, 2011
Penn's Colony Festival, Saxonburg, PA
Sept 17, 18, 2011
Penn's colony Festival, Saxonburg, PA
Sept 10, 2011
Ligonier Highland Games, Idlewild Park, Ligonier, PA
Sept 4, 2011
Community Heritage Market, Waterfront, Homestead, PA
Sept 3, 2011
Shaw Party, Washington PA. (This is a private party)
August 19, 2011
Kennywood Park, Scottish Heritage Day"
Sept 11, 2010
DruidSong at the Ligonier Highland Games
Sept 3, 2010
DruidSong at the Moore-Wilson wedding.
DruidSong is now a member of ReverbNation and AirPlayDirect. These sites aid independent artists in promoting their material, hopefully resulting in more gigs, sales, etc.
http://reverbnation.com/druidsong is the link for reverbnation.
AirPlayDirect is geared more towards promoting radio airplay. the link there isn't very useful for folks other than radio station folks.
Feb 25, 2010
DruidSong has been booked to play the Rivers Casino for St. Patrick's Day.
Feb 25, 2010
DruidSong is booked to play at the Highland Country Club in the West View area on Mar 13. Three shows, starting at 05:30.
Feb 23, 2010
DruidSong is working on a collaboration with Nan Hawthorne, host of Radio De' Danaan, to record an original song. Nan wrote this about one of the characters in her book.
I expect this to be included in the release of my next CD a little later this year.
Feb 10, 2010
DruidSong has been booked for the Rivers Casino on St. Paddy's, 3/17/2010. I'll be doing four shows, starting at 6 PM.
Feb 2, 2010
Added a facebook "fan page". Check http://www.facebook.com/pages/DruidSong/457983070116?ref=mf
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