Interview with Irish Tenor David O’Leary : On emulating John McCormack, golf and touring

Interview with Irish Tenor David O’Leary : On emulating John McCormack, golf and touring

Highlights of some of Irish tenor David O’Leary’s major performances.

For more information, visit

I wrote my impressions on Going Home by David O’ Leary a few days ago. I am so glad he’s available for an interview! Without hesitation, I grabbed my Mac and typed the questions away. He’ll go places because of his fantastic singing and it is an honor to have him in this music blog.

David O’Leary during the 63rd Annual Artists vs Writers Charity. Picture courtesy of

1. You did your voice training in New York. I am curious as how this came to be?

I’m a huge golf fan and after finishing a year of teaching kindergarten in Quebec I came to NYC and worked at the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club. I got a job there as a caddie for the summer and came back for the next few summers while in law school. The golf helped pay for school and for singing lessons with some great coaches here in the city.
2. How was Going Home conceived?

I’ve always wanted to do an album and try to reach as many people as I can so the album was an obvious thing for me to do. The song selection was tough as I tried to get something that would appeal to as broad an audience as possible. I think it’s very much an easy listening experience and I hope people agree.

3. Who are your vocal influences and how did they shape your style?

I’m a huge fan of music and grew up listening to lots of it thanks to my parents. For me, vocalists in particular are tremendously inspiring. Great voices come in many shapes and sizes and I’m a huge fan of the great singers like John McCormack, Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli. In terms of style influence, I’ve wanted to emulate John McCormack in particular so I tend to sing a lot of the pieces he made famous.

4. What are the things that you avoid when are on tour to maintain your voice?

Talking! The day of a performance I speak very little and try to spend as much time as possible in my hotel room. I also try to get plenty of sleep the night before and generally just take it easy. About four hours before a gig I’ll go to the gym or go for a run and that usually relaxes me.

5. You have a diverse musical repertoire. What will we expect on your next album?

I’m going to do a Christmas album so for Christmas 2016 I’ll have a new release of holiday favorites. I’m very excited about it actually.

6. Can you tell us more about the recording of Going Home and the memorable time you had with the contributing artists?

Going Home was recorded here in New York with some friends and it was a scary, exhausting and exhilarating process. It was my first album so I didn’t really know what to expect but I’m had some great people working on it and feel very lucky to have had that guidance. I can’t wait to do it again.

7. Your message to the readers?
I’m looking forward to getting out there and touring with the album and hopefully meeting a lot of people in 2016. We’re finalizing dates at the moment so keep an eye out!

My huge thanks to Daly Communications for the opportunity to meet this wonderful artist!

Amazing Songs For This Week.

Amazing Songs For This Week.

Erin So Green.  

Think of the best melodic folk bands in the 70s and then combine that with pop rock sensibility and you have one of the best songs to come out this week. It’s by Northern Ireland singer/songwriter Dee McIlroy. Listen to his Soundcloud page and also listen to his other tunes and I am sure you will appreciate them all.

           Tracks from The Wild Atlantic Way – A Journey in Irish Music       

For lovers of traditional Irish music this playlist compiled by Tradconnect is a must. It will introduce you to the many wonders of Celtic music and the amazing musicians that inhabit this world. Listen to Danú, The Kilfenora Céílí Band and Kíla. These tracks will rouse you from your sadness and take you to the magical world of a musical style like no other. The Wild Atlantic Way is a compilation album of many artists within the genre.

Richard Parkes from Newtownards, Co.Down on bagpipes, and Trevor Stewart from Belfast on Uilleann Pipes, playing a hornpipe called Jimmy Blue, followed by a selection of jigs. 1996.

This is a beautiful blast from the past. The amazing skills of these musicians will leave you breathless. As if you are chasing after beautiful luminous balls bouncing in the countryside. I had to play it again and again because it is simply irresistible.

February 2015 Celtic music updates.

February 2015 Celtic music updates.

..And so we have amazing tunes to start the big bang of Celtic music for 2015!

Welcome to my ‘conversational post’ where I talk like a normal person especially when I am not doing album reviews or interviews. 2015 brings us fantastic tunes in the trad and fusion department. Celtic music is colorful as it embraces many. I will

The winning image from the Bodojo Header competition by Matthew Olwell.

The winning image from the Bodojo Header competition by Matthew Olwell.

bring you fresh uploads from musicians you have not or probably heard already. But guess what they have in common? Yes it’s fantastic music. These are artists who dedicated their lives in perfecting their craft. They have released albums independently and I think their persistence is admirable. Especially in a world where ‘common’ or ‘ordinary’ music is praised. But think about it. What’s so great about common right? Why not spice up your life with something you seldom read up the Billboard or Rolling Stone reviews. Why be part of the herd when you can be different. Think different. Act different and dare to be you.

This is a fresh upload from Irish musician Enda Seery(with James Hughes). I think a new album is on the way. What do you think? I love this tune.


I will be posting an album review of this amazing artist. He is John Breen. 


Have a taste of Buan, the new album by Danu. Yes they have a new album out if you haven’t heard yet. It’s been creating quite a stir in the trad community these days. Worth a check! Thanks to Trad Connect for this link.


Fans of Scottish artist Julie Fowlis will be pleased. She has released a new album called  GACH SGEUL – EVERY STORY. As always, her vocals are in between the haunting realm of Celtic music and the simplicity of indie pop. Find out more here:


Bodhran Drum Solo – Abe Doron

Fans of bodhran music will love this! I love the bodhran and I am trying to be an expert but I guess I need more time. If you want to check out anything related to this instrument then be part of Bodojo

Have a great weekend everyone and more to follow!

Christmas Cheers! We are Warming Up.

Christmas Cheers! We are Warming Up.

So many tunes, to little time. It’s always like that year after year. But I got a few of these goodies from the artists I’ve interacted in the last few weeks so I am bringing you their Christmas musical efforts. They are all great to hear and the tunes will add warmth to this month of reflection and joy.

Listen to this beautiful instrumental track from Dee McIlroy. By the way if you haven’t known yet, he runs a venture called McIlroy Guitars. Beautiful acoustic guitars for musicians of fine taste.

Happy Christmas from McIlroy Guitars with this piece of acoustic guitar music, written by Dee McIlroy.


Corpus Christi Carol

One of the track I play ever year from my dear friend Paula. She is primarily an electronic singer/composer but once in a while she dabbles with other types of music and is also a huge supporter of Celtic music. She made the Cara Dillon interview possible early this year. You can hear her voice and instruments in this tune called Corpus Christi Carol. She is also a history teacher.

Background(written by Paula):

This is referred to as a carol although it contains no reference to the Nativity….the predominant interpretation of the lyrics (below), which were found in a manuscript c.1504, is that they refer to Arthurian legend / holy grail quest.
The track was recorded with this historical interpretation in mind and the theme is reflected in the slideshow paintings. The melody is a traditional melody,not the Benjamin Britten arrangement.

Please see the link for further info:…

Lulley, lully, lulley, lully,
The faucon hath born my mak away.

He bare hym up, he bare hym down,
He bare hym into an orchard brown.

In that orchard ther was an hall,
That was hanged with purpill and pall.

And in that hall ther was a bede,
Hit was hangid with gold so rede.

And yn that bed ther lythe a knyght,
His wowndes bledyng day and nyght.

By that bedes side ther kneleth a may,
And she wepeth both nyght and day.

And by that bedes side ther stondith a ston,
“Corpus Christi” wretyn theron.

faucon: falcon
mak: mate, love
bare: bore, carried
purpill: purple (the royal color)
pall: a funeral pall, a cloth spread over a coffin
bede: bed
rede: red
lythe: lieth, lies
wowndes: wounds
bledyng: bleeding
kneleth: kneeleth, kneels
may: maid, maiden
wepeth: weepeth, weeps
stondith: standeth, stands
ston: stone
Corpus Christi: body of Christ (Latin)
wretyn: written


In the trail of her shows all over the United States, it is always important to remember that Moya Brennan will always be the first lady of Celtic music. 

I will be bringing you more tunes in days to come.


Upcoming: 2 albums from Allison Crowe!

I will be reviewing her two albums. I enjoyed her Newfoundland Vinyl(vol.1) and now she has released two goodies. Watch out for these peeps.

New October Songs

New October Songs

New music from Rachael McCormack and Cheers!

The exciting month of October is here! So how’s everyone? I am starting to bring out my Halloween decorations. I hope you are enjoying your time embellishing your houses with creepy and eerie goodies. This month is exciting because lots of music have arrived. And you will read about them soon. First of all let me showcase my own Halloween thingy:

So what do you think about that picture? Anyway, like I have mentioned exciting musical things are coming. Take a look at this wonderful soundcloud page by Czech group Cheers! The have new music up and watch out for these tunes via soundcloud as well as their official page.

The exciting month of October is here! So how’s everyone? I am starting to bring out my Halloween decorations. I hope you are enjoying your time embellishing your houses with creepy and eerie goodies. This month is exciting because lots of music have arrived. And you will read about them soon. First of all let me showcase my own Halloween thingy:

mrbaxteria's goodies.

mrbaxteria’s goodies.

So what do you think about that picture? Anyway, like I have mentioned exciting musical things are coming. Take a look at this wonderful soundcloud page by Czech group Cheers! The have new music up and watch out for these tunes via soundcloud as well as their official page.

Their new tunes retain that Celtic punk spirit but they always add new things to the mix.




Our Irish chanteuse is making waves in the music scene! Rachael McCormack has a new video out. It is an uplifting tune with a nod to the flower power spirit. It is called Stand Up, Be Counted [Ft. Deanie]. Ms McCormack has earned her star as she worked for it, starting her career performing live all over Dublin. Karma has been kind to her as I can see she in on her way to stardom. She keeps me updated and with that I will keep you all updated about her.



But what is Autumn without the spirit of Celtic music huh? Here’s Loreena McKennitt for you with The mummer’s Dance.

A Class Act

Christopher Lee sings.

Tolkien and Celtic music? Why not? Tolkien made either direct or indirect references to the Celtic lore. Even the film version by Peter Jackson embraced the look and feel of the druidic times. Although the movie didn’t feature Loreena McKennitt, Clannad or other artists noted for their haunting voices but it has Enya. And what could be more Irish than that? Or should we say Celtic?

I had no idea Christopher Lee did a musical project with the Tolkien ensemble singing Treebeard’s song. As a kid I was fascinated with his portrayal of Count Dracula. Just goes to show that an excellent actor will always be rediscovered through generations. His singing is what I consider as a class act.

More info:

Those were the broad days! Time was when I could walk and sing all day and hear no more than the echo of my own voice in the hollow hills. The woods were like the woods of Lothlórien, only thicker, stronger, younger. And the smell of the air! I used to spend a week just breathing.”
Treebeard fell silent, striding along, and yet making hardly a sound with his great feet. Then he began to hum again, and passed into a murmuring chant. Gradually the hobbits became aware that he was chanting to them:

In the willow-meads of Tasarinan I walked in the Spring.
Ah! the sight and the smell of the Spring in Nan-tasarion!
And i said that was good.
I wandered in Summer in the elm-woods of Ossiriand.
Ah! the light and the music in the Summer by the Seven Rivers of Ossir!
And i thought that was best.
To the beeches of Neldoreth I came in the Autumn.
Ah! the gold and the red and the sighing of leaves in the Autumn in
It was mor than my desire.
To the pine-trees upon the highland of Dorthonion I climbed in the Winter.
Ah! the wind and the whiteness and the black braches of Winter upon
Orod-na-Thô n!
My voice went up and sang in the sky.
And now all those lands lie under the wave,
And I walk in Ambaró na, in Tauremorna, in Aldaló më.
In my own land, in the country of Fangorn,
Where the roots are long.
And the years lie thicker than the leaves
In Taremornaló më.

Music by Caspar Reiff & Peter Hall
From the CD-box
“The Tolkien Ensemble & Christopher Lee – Complete Songs & Poems”

Soundtrack for a Rainy Day

Picture courtesy of

Rain has finally fallen in this part of the world. When it rains I usually create a playlist which changes a week. Rain is good. It is the best time for reflection, the best time to curl on a blanket and sip hot chocolate over bread and butter. It is the best time to watch the leaves dance and feel the breeze against your face. It is the best possible way to smell the damp earth rising to your nostrils as liquid diamonds patter and patter. The tympani of heaven break loose midst the spotlight dancing on clouds. There is something supernatural about this weather and what better soundtrack to match the moment than these gems I have compiled. You can look them up in the internet, or if you are curious and want a copy then email me.

  1. Suantraithe-Noirin Ni Riain
  2. Prayer-Oona McOuaut
  3. Stolen Child(live)-Loreena McKennitt
  4. Mhorag’S Na Horo Gheallaidh-Clannad
  5. The Wind That Shakes the Barley-Dead Can Dance
  6. Black is the Colour-Cara Dillon
  7. Erin-Solas
  8. When Juniper Sleeps-Seamus Egan
  9. Tighnn Air A’mhuir Am Fear a Phosas Mi-Capercaillie
  10. Dark Carnivale-The Gypsy Nomads
  11. Nau Bretoa- Carlos Nunez.
  12. Na Laetha Geal M’oige-Enya
  13. Brian Boru-Alan Stivell
  14. Dream Angus-Teresa Doyle
  15. The Dawning of the Day-Mary Fahl
  16. The House Carpenter-Mick McAuley
  17. To America-Ashley McIsaac
  18. Tread Softly-Grada
  19. Siamsa-Ronan Hardiman
  20. Daouzek Hunvre-Denez Prigent

Are you happy today? The top 5 happy tunes.

It’s four in the morning and it’s always the best time to write, read and listen to music I like to write about. Here are my list of lively tunes to make your day.

Orinoco Flow (Enya) She’s been around since 1980. Made this big splash in 1988. Enya is not all airy fairy stuff. This lady is made of steel. Just check out her more than 75 000,000 albums world wide without having a single tour. And yes, only trusted friends and family members are allowed in her castle. She  made all those voices and instruments. She does play a little violin in later albums to add that real pizzicato effect (she’s not all synths baby).

Whisper to the Wild Water (Moya Brennan) Taken from the album of the same title, Enya’s sister and Clannad’s lead vocalist simply knows how to take you on a journey with loops, swells, drums and yes a bit of rock and roll.

Santiago(Loreena Mckennitt) This Canadian and former veterinarian is now an international Celtic sensation. I just love how her voice swells in this Mid-eastern spiced track from The Mask And The Mirror.

One Glimpse of You(Brigid Boden) Trivia: After a childhood spent in Dublin, she studied dance there and in New York City, culminating in a scholarship to the Dance Theatre of Harlem.[1] She then moved to London to focus on songwriting. Her” hills to heaven” voice couldn’t be more sweeter when accompanied by reggae beats in this wonderful track.

Rithill Aill(Karen Matheson)-The Dreaming Sea is a solo album of Capercaillie’s

lead vocalist. Scottish singer Karen Matheson has been described as having a ‘throat kissed by God”.