The 2nd annual Hopstring Fest is quickly approaching & promises to be one of the premier live music events of the season! In addition to the finest festival lineup in the Midwest region, John will be joined on stage by The Old Gang Orchestra for the first time in a festival setting! Join this celebration of “roots music & craft beer” & find your way to Hopstring! Full lineup, tickets & general info below:
A year of great happenings, both large & small, continues this summer around the country & across the sea! Recording projects, festivals, intimate shows, opening acts & a new position helping other artists to forward their careers have all come together to push the beginning of the season into the stratosphere w/ no sign of slowing down! The Earagail Arts Festival kicked off on June 21st & will continue to bring the masses to County Donegal until July 21st w/ the help of the song “Come Gather All“,co-written & produced by John, Mickey Harte & Paul Brady. A debut performance at Chicago’s famed Lincoln Hall w/ Rene Lopez & Joseph Arthur was met w/ wonderful reviews, a return to Milwaukee Summer Fest to perform on the Renegade stage saw John re-connect w/ some old friends & a number of very special intimate performances around the Midwest region of the US have helped to both grow the grassroots fan base & forge new & exciting relationships like never before. Most recently, John was asked to join the Flipside Works organization in a new capacity…as the Head of Artist Development. John will now be working w/ many of the other artists in the Flipside “family” to help propagate their careers & provide assistance & advice in all matters from recording to bookings & almost everything in between! The rest of the summer will see more performances, including a return slot @ the 2nd annual Hopstring Fest, a number of “mini-tours” to different regions in the States, some interesting recording projects & the long promised release of “..If Any or at All” on vinyl. Thanks for supporting original music & thanks for continuing to spread the word. Please check back for updates, new blog posts, & all other madness as it unfolds!
Many Thanks to all who made Saturday night’s performance @ Chicago’s Lincoln Hall a wonderful experience! The room was beautiful & the crew & staff took good care of us all! Rene Lopez & Joseph Arthur turned in terrific sets & it was a pleasure to be on the bill. Special thanks to Peter Wark & Mark Eleveld for masterminding my presence on stage! Pictures & a blog entry to follow…see you soon,
Just Confirmed! John will be opening up the show for Joseph Arthur & Rene Lopez @ Lincoln Hall in Chicago on June 15th! Special thanks to EM-Press , who is currently publishing Joseph Arthur’s poetry book, ‘I Miss the Zoo’, for their continued help & support! Tickets & more information @ the link below:
This past Saturday John joined the folks on the Topless Burrito Bar radio program for a special two hour episode of live performances, conversation & the U.S. premier of “Come Gather All” The links below (2 parts) will take you back in time…a few days any way so you can tune in if you missed it!
Saturday night Chicago Street Pub played host to a very special event. The Dean Comerford Memorial Concert was a wonderful evening of live music & stories bringing a fantastic crowd together from all walks of life to remember & celebrate the amazing life of one of our dearest friends. Thanks to everyone involved! There could’ve been no more fitting a tribute.
“Come Gather All”, The song co-written & produced by John, Mickey Harte & Paul Brady for The Donegal “Gathering” was officially released on Monday & is available NOW on iTunes! visit the link below to listen & download…Thanks for the support!
A great week of musical happenings kicks off Wednesday night w/ the weekly Acoustic Open Mic @ Tribes Alehouse in Mokena Il. Get there early, space is limited & the list fills up quickly! Thursday night the venerable Chicago St. Pub plays host to the first performance of a monthly “Acoustic Residency” ; The exhuming of old tunes, The potential birth of new ones, friends stopping by to lend a hand & as always some of the best company in the world! Friday morning it’s off to Black Mountain NC for a two days of performances & mayhem @ the “Cabin Creek Ceilidh” w/ Cutthroat Shamrock, Davy Morrison & Colm O’Brien
Check back to find out how it all turns out & don’t forget to join John &the Old Gang Orchestra for Mustache Fest on May 4th @ Chicago St. Pub!
This past Friday marked the official release of the song “Come Gather All” which was co-written & produced by Paul Brady, Mickey Harte & John Condron. Click the link below to hear the song & read a little bit about the project!
This coming Friday marks the highly anticipated return of The Old Gang Orchestra along with good friends The Regressors, to the Chicago Street Pub in Joliet Il, for what promises to be an amazing night of music & mayhem!
More updates on O.G.O. & solo performances to come, as well as news on a live recording this summer & the Flipside Works release of “…if any or at all” on Vinyl…plus special offers on music & merchandise for Facebook fans…Check back soon!
Hello All! What a month March has been so far…There’s been festivals & performances, reuniting with a few old friends & a trip back to Ireland! Thanks to everyone who’s been involved in such an amazing few weeks…great to see some fantastic ideas coming to fruition! The sessions for “Come Gather All” the song that I was involved in writing w/ Mickey Harte & Paul Brady for ”The Gathering 2013,Donegal” began on a Saturday morning @ the beautiful Attica Audio Studios in Termon Co. Donegal & I was fortunate enough to team up again w/ Mickey & joined this time by Rory Gallagher, who flew in from Lanzarote to be involved in the project. @ the helm of the sessions were engineer Michael Keeney (Van Morrison, INXS,Troy Vance, etc.) & a familiar face from the Greenroom performance in Letterkenny, back in September, by the name of Orri McBrearty assisting. The talent & characters that floated in & out over the next few days would be hard to match in any circumstance! Declan McClafferty from In Their Thousands stopped by to play a little lap steel & Our good friend Gary Porter (GP) rounded out the first day’s tracking with some inspired percussion parts before Mickey & I headed off to judge the Opportunity Knocks talent contest in Donegal town! Sunday morning saw the sessions intensify & the groundwork for what would become the final track begin to settle in. Martin Tourish was kind enough to answer a last minute request for his accordion skills on Sunday afternoon & gave the song it’s “anchor”. The gang worked fairly late into the evening preparing for the final day of tracking w/ Paul Brady himself & a slew of talented Donegal musicians…as well as some press & the event organizers on hand to document the happenings! The Monday session went beautifully & everyone was in top form…in spite of the chaos of so many performers & the added pressure of the camera crew, the job at hand was quickly executed & the amazing Paul Brady lent his talent & arranging skills to the song that he had co-written w/Mickey & myself. The Henry girls provided some lovely vocal harmonies & a wonderful sense of elegance to the track & were joined on the choruses by the likes of Pat Gallagher (Goats Don’t Shave), Declan & Aiden McClafferty (In Their Thousands), Rory, the fantastic Paul Tully & of course I snuck in there! Rory impressed everyone in the room by delivering the perfect drum performance as his final nod before heading off to his home town of Kilcar. Paul, Mickey & myself stayed on & worked on the finishing touches before calling it a night & heading out for a celebratory pint! What a pleasure & I look forward to seeing what comes of the song that started as a little jam back in September! The trip wasn’t over yet…but we’ll leave that for next time as well as a number of pictures & updates on the recording…See you all soon,
A last minute opportunity to return to Ireland at the end of February has been confirmed! John will head across the sea once again this week to help produce a song he co-wrote w/ label mate Mickey Harte & the legendary Paul Brady! John & Mickey wrote what became the “skeleton” of the tune while on tour together in Ireland in September & Paul Brady has continued working on & developing the track w/ Mickey over the last few months . The song is set to be used as the anthem for Donegal’s part of “The Gathering” 2013! Updates from the trip will be added as they happen.
Flipside Works has announced that it will be releasing John’s latest CD “…If any or at all” on VINYL this year & will release the details shortly! Unofficially, an April date has been discussed to coincide w/ recently added performances in Chicago, Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC & Durham NC during the month…Please check back for details & confirmed dates!
Festival season will be here before you know it & confirmations have already come in for multiple dates @ ENO-fest in Durham NC as well as a return to both the 2nd annual Hopstring Fest @ Silver Cross Field in Joliet IL & the annual Mustache-Fest @ Chicago St Pub…the latter two will feature performances w/ the Old Gang Orchestra!
So far it’s shaping up to be a pretty good year to say the least! More news & information on the possibility of an “Old Gang Orchestra” live release later in the year will be posted in the coming weeks. Thanks for the support!
It was a very special kind of trip back to the east coast this past weekend to participate in the “Musicians for Sandy Relief” benefit. There were re-connections with old friends in Boston & new friends made in NYC, but the highlight of the trip was a return to the “old neighborhood” of Tacony in Philadelphia as part of a wonderful event to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Thanks to event organizer Danny Quimby for a fantastic example of community through song & to all who particpated in any way…it was a pleasure all around.