Voyager, DVD I

I got the DVD that was being offered on QVC (also the CD), and this is a review of the one I have.  I am aware that this one really has little to do with the show on PBS, which disappointed me, but I have been informed that there will be a second one, which will be more like the show.  Well, anything to get a little more money out of the fans.  It was sort of a dirty trick Sharon pulled, but to most of CT’s fans, Sharon can do no wrong, so I’m not going to go there any longer.  She has put me off more than once, and I have to live with it.

I also have heard Damian’s song on the CD, but this is not a review of the CD, which does have all the music from the PBS show.  That may or may not come later.  Suffice it to say, for the moment, that Damian was his beautiful self, sang more like an adult, and my niece pointed out Seven Drunken Nights, which is funny, but which I think I may see someday.

Deus Meus:  I love the beginning of the show, with the ladies and the men singing softly before the singers come onstage.  And they sounded good too.  But I had to laugh a bit because they did Dulaman with the same seriousness, and the same liturgical sound, as the Deus Meus, and Dulaman is a song about seaweed, falling in love, and should be sung more as a lilting kind of fun song, sort of like Maev did with Celtic Woman.  But it sounded good, whatever.

Emmet on the Brendan Graham song Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears, was absolutely gorgeous.  This lad, also on Kindred Spirits, has just the fabulous voice that should not be lost in an ensemble forever.  He is just that good.

The Dutchman:  I like this rendition of the song, maybe even better than on Heritage, though I missed Keith’s guitar.

Jigs and Reels:  Nichole Hudson really shown on this one – she gets better all the time, and I love her longer hair.  I also like Laura and Seana better than the last two ladies.  They had a little life to them – I particularly like Laura’s smile, and her interaction with the rest of the musicians.  And that yellow hair really stands out.  A fun number.  I have been told that this is the one they do on stage while the lads are changing into their kilts.

Neil Byrne:  He was given a lot to do on this, his first outing as a principal singer, though I was glad to see him later in the show playing his guitar.  I don’t ever want his guitar to go out of the picture – he is just so good on it.  But Lagan Love is one of my favourite Gaelic songs, and he does a good job with it.  Later, on Past the Point of Rescue, I noted the camera would pan from him to Nichole pretty often, and I realized their being a couple is no longer a secret.  They are so cute together.

Ryan:  he has certainly toned down his “bad boy” image, and that is a very good thing.  It will, I hope, mean he is no longer a target for the kind of women who have stalked him, and given him problems, that are ongoing.  His solos were repeats – Black is the Color and Ride On – but I imagine that is because rehearsals for the new show had already been well under way when he rejoined the group.  He is looking good for all the stress, the attack in Fairfield, the murder of the young woman for whose wedding he sang, and the other problems he has had.  I can’t go into that because I don’t know if the things I have heard about his later problems are true, or just hearsay.

Young Daniel:  Over the Rainbow has been done to death, by so many singers, but he did a credible job on it.  I much prefer him as part of the ensemble, in spite of how good his very young soprano is.  I wonder how it will all come about, after he goes through puberty, and if we will get another Damian out of it.  Since he was listed as a special guest, I am guessing he is not listed as a regular part of the group.

George:  Red Rose Cafe.  I don’t have George’s personal CD, but isn’t this song on it?  I thought I read a revue of it somewhere, but I may be confused.  It is a cool song.  I like that there are two songs on this DVD that take place in The Netherlands.  The Netherlands have always been a place I want to go, and if I ever make it to Amsterdam, I’m going to see if there is really a place called Red Rose Cafe on the waterfront.  And since it is not likely I ever will get to go, maybe someone who has been there can tell me if there really is a place like that.  The song reminds me of Cheers – a place where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.

Ensemble:  Maid of Culmore, Girls, Girls, Girls, Clancy Bros Medley.  All three of these songs are nice.  If I’m not mistaken, I believe Girls, Girls, Girls is an old Elvis Presley song from the movie of the same name.  I haven’t looked it up, but I feel pretty certain about that.  I like the upbeat way in which the lads do this one.  I note that Ryan was not a part of this one.  The Clancy Bros Medley is an old traditional medley, from, of course, the Clancy Brothers, and I like the way the lads “push” young Daniel around.  I’ve been told that in the show, at least the one my niece saw, Neil actually chases Daniel off the stage.

Now the two I most like.  Keith and All Day Long.  This is a sensational song.  It has a bit of country pop sound to me, and he has just the voice for it.  I know he wrote it – very talented this lad – and I am wondering if he has changed his style from the surfer sound to this sound.  Some of you who have seen his own shows – does he do a lot of things like this?  Or is he still pretty much rock and roll?  I just know this is a great song.  I was absolutely delirious with joy when I learned that he has hooked up with David Foster (as, I’ve also heard, has Damian).  David Foster is someone I very much look up to in the music world – he is a real star-maker, behind such voices as Celine Dion, Andrea Boccelli, one of the Josh-Groban-like singers (not Josh, but another one whose name isn’t coming to me at the moment, but is also now his son-in-law), and many others.  I think Peter Cetera is one of his.  Anyway, with David Foster behind him, Keith will get a lot of the public eye.  I imagine one day soon David will also pick up on Emmet.

And finally, The Galway Girl:  I’m telling you, the minute I saw this, I fell in love with CT all over again, in its present form.  I’m not going to get all publicity minded about them again, just going to enjoy what I see of them, but I play The Galway Girl over and over again.  My niece Sarah was with me when I got the DVD last Thursday and we promptly played it, and she laughed at me, with my bad knees, up dancing around, saying “ow ow ow”.  I just couldn’t resist.  I like Emmet and Keith harmonizing together, I like George in his solo bits, I like that they all play instruments, and now Emmet with his fiddle is much like Keith with his guitar to me.  It just fits.  Of course, Neil and George I was already in “luv” with as far as singing and playing, and Neil, certainly, playing.  Whether Ryan really plays that tin whistle, or was miming it while Barry played it behind him, I neither know nor care.  I appreciate that he also had an instrument in the ensemble, and while he plays guitar, they already had three.  Then young Daniel on the box drum, and his little “jig” was cute.  If Celtic Thunder did nothing but music like The Galway Girl, and other traditional tunes, I would love them.  That they do other types of music shows their versatility.

And Seana Davey on the concertina.  I want to play the concertina.

So though I was disappointed that I did not get the PBS show, this is a pretty good DVD.

One last thought:  so many of us “ladies” have carried on over Keith’s assets, and his way of dressing in this show, down to the suspenders that hang down behind his back, did a lot to show his physical self off.  My niece Sarah tells me “they” are calling it the pants show.  I dig that.

Carol Stepp, Austin

About carolstepp

Music is about the most important thing in my life, and I follow a large number of musicians, particularly Irish, Scots, Classical, Crossovers of any of these. I was writing a blog about Celtic Thunder regularly on MySpace, and now I have left them after a year, and will start writing my blogs here. I am 70, retired, living on Social Security, and have a lot of social network fans.
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