Max T Barnes Interview: The Tour of Ireland and More

Max T Barnes Interview: The Tour of Ireland and More

Photo of Max T. Barnes Taken June 16, 2011 at Ray Stevens music in Nashville.

Photo of Max T. Barnes Taken June 16, 2011 at Ray Stevens music in Nashville.

I have featured interviews about Irish artists touring the United States. This time it is the other way around. This interview focuses on Max T Barnes who is a million-selling  American artist and his tour of Ireland which is happening very soon.  

It is great to get fresh perspective from a mind that has seen it all. But Max T Barnes does not carry the attitude of “ been there done that.” In fact he continues to thrive in the music world with a sense of humility underneath the wisdom. He shares them all unconditionally. And he is one fascinating artist that many can learn from.


1. After many hits in America, and having more than 20 million records sold worldwide, do you ever feel nervous or excited about this upcoming tour of Ireland?

    MTB: That is a great question. We are coming to have fun with the folks and make friends. Of course I am a little jittery about this tour – “Will they like me” etc. But I am coming over with a great partner in Craig Curtis who is a great singer and showman and that gives me some peace. We all are striving I guess for what we have yet to achieve. That is the human condition I reckon.     

2. You wrote songs for major labels like Warner Brothers, Sony, Curb, Polygram and MCA. What have you discovered so far? How competitive is the music environment?

    MTB: I would say it is dog eat dog but that would be an insult to dogs 🙂 just kidding.  No at the level which you are consistently having hits, it is very fun and rewarding but in your mind it can be very tense. Imagine you have to write a song a day. now imagine it has to be a great song a couple times a week. Now imagine your songs have to beat the biggest names in country music to get a #1 -consistently – it is heady stuff. I have learned humility.  Having said all that, I really don’t understand it fully  — I think God must have given me this gift and I hold on to my faith in God.   

3. You will be joined on stage by Craig Curtis, with Paul Hollowell. How do you feel performing with these talented artists? 

MTB:Paul is my best buddy and we talk every morning but he will be on tour with Dolly so he can’t come this time

I know they are playing Dublin and Belfast on their world tour “Blue Smoke” which I think is sold out. 

Craig Curtis has a Randy Travis like voice and I have a Vince Gill/Colin Raye Type voice so it’s a good blend. Craig is a very funny guy and we have a big big time on stage. Where appropriate, we have a beer on stage and ask the audience to join in our drinking game 🙂  We have a good time and I tell stories about these hits we sing – behind the scenes stories no one has heard. He and I write all his stuff together so it is very comfortable – Vey fun! 

4. What’s the reason behind your decision to launch a music tour in Ireland?

        MTB It is complicated- another story,  but I love traditional country music and from what I understand the Irish do to. 

That’s why.  

5. What will your Irish fans expect to hear from you?

         MTB My  big hits and my dad’s 24 hits. These are very well known songs    “Love me” by Collin Raye – “Who’s gonna fill their shoe”s by George Jones “Look at Us” by Vince Gill and so many more   so fans will recognize them but the cool thing are the stories about the back scene in the biz.   With the exception of Craig’s new stuff, We sing nothing but hits.  

6. What are the places you wish to visit when you are there?

         MTB I took my wife Robin some years ago for a 10 day vacation there so I have seen the tourist stuff. (it was amazing!!)

But this time, I could think of nothing better than to see the inside of someone’s home because we got an invite because we made a new friend.    

7. What’s the pivotal point in your upbringing that made you decide you want to be in music?

          MTB  True story— I was 17 at a movie by myself because a girlfriend broke up– and I remember thinking what do I want to be?

and the answer was —be in music (play guitar) and I realized that I needed to practice!!! so I got up and left in the middle of the movie, went home and practiced!!!    Still practicing 🙂 

8. Can you tell us a bit about your record collection these days? What tunes are you listening to?

          MTB I don’t really have a collection. I have maybe 7 or 8 hundred cd’s from artist’s my dad or I have cuts on —  or friends cuts — or my artist friends.

I am typical of songwriters though- in that I rarely listen to music on purpose . I was cleaning out the barn the other day and my wife asked me why did I not have the radio on? I told her because I like the records in my head better – I really do hear music in my head and I sing along – But my mental jukebox is eclectic!   Coldplay, Bad Co. Hank Jr. Randy Travis (a lot of Randy lately)  And I love to sing in John Anderson’s voice!!

John Anderson was over to my house just yesterday recording!! Oh my gosh I love his voice!!! 

9. Thanks for you time Max .     MTB  Thanks buddy

Official website:


Nashville Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced tour of Ireland Plus Podcast #20

Nashville Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced tour of Ireland Plus Podcast #20

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Nashville is the home of great music. When the Chieftains went to the United States in 2002, they released a live album Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions (2002) featuring Nashville artists. It’s also a reminder how American music (Country and Bluegrass) are all related to Ireland. This time, it’s the other way around. Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced that he will be taking a month-long tour of Ireland, in early 2014. I heard a couple of his songs and they are really beautiful and uplifting.

With nearly 20 million records sold worldwide I think it is timely that he should meet his fans abroad. He is joined by Craig Curtis,with Paul Hollowell (Dolly Partons Piano Player). The tour is produced by Irish musician/traditional dancer Brian Cunningham of Atlantic Steps. Here’s the full press release:

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Nashville, TN  (December 11th, 2013) – Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced today that he will be embarking on a month-long tour of Ireland, in early 2014.

Barnes, who has written and published Thirty-Three Number Ones and country hits in America, and has had nearly 20 million records sold worldwide, is elated to bring his music to fans overseas. His tour is set to launch on February 28th, 2014, with a performance at Monroe’s Live in Galway, Ireland. Other scheduled dates include The Cork Opera House, The Helix in Dublin, Josie’s Country Tavern in Letterkenny, The Carlton Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe  and The Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran to name a few.
Performing hits such as, “Before You Kill Us All” by Randy Travis, “A Night To Remember” by Joe Diffie and CMA nominated Song Of The Year, “Love Me” by Colin Raye, Barnes will easily engage listeners as he shares the stories behind writing these songs. Barnes’ show will also include songs from his late father, Max D. Barnes, who was a Two Time CMA Song Of The Year winner and was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame. The late Barnes wrote dozens of hits for some of Country’s biggest names such as George Jones, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette to name a few, and has sold over 50 Million records world-wide.

As a staff writer in Nashville for over 30 years, Barnes has written for companies such as Warner BrothersSony, Curb, Polygram and MCA. Barnes is the only songwriter in history to be nominated for CMA Song Of The Year against his father in the same year.

Accompanying Barnes on stage and tour will be accomplished singer/songwriter, Craig Curtis, who’s YouTube Hit, “Keepin’ It Rural”, has made an impact on country fans nation-wide.


For more on Max T. Barnes, visit
For more on Craig Curtis, visit
For digital Press Kit including Bios, visit:

Contact & Media Inquiries:
Brian Cunningham
Hypermedia Nashville

Contact number 920 288 1151


Podcast #20 is up but you wont be hearing me talk. My radio show went live but the computer did not record my stream. I had to put everything back piece by piece the way I played them.

Clannad-Gaoth Barra na dTonn
Eileen Ivers-Crowley’s/Jackson’s (Reels)
Robert Doyle-Flags of Belfast
James Galway-Brian Boru’s March
Carlos Núñez-St Patrick’s Polka
Nightnoise-The Rose of Tralee
James Galway-Pennywhistle Jig [From The Molly Maguires]
J.P. Kallio-It Ain’t Easy
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians-Circle
Fleet Foxes-Drops In the River
Don BeeKeeper-Night is Falling Fast
Glen Hansard-Bird Of Sorrow
Mary Fahl, former lead singer of October Project-Exiles(from The Wolves of Midwinter)
Gavern-The Otherworld Fragments
Samuel Smith-Try

The Bombadils East Coast Tour

The amazing  musicians  of the Canadian Celtic band The Bombadils are now on tour. Sarah Frank reminds me of a smart friend I met in college. She has this nice aura. We finally get to see the house of Luke Fraser! Wait, he still owes me that interview!

We’re going on our first tour to the East Coast! We’ll be uploading vlogs whenever internet is available so please subscribe to our channel to keep updated on our tour!

We went to Luke’s today!

*NEW* Order our new CD online:

Sarah Frank: fiddle, vocals
Luke Fraser: mandolin, vocals
Anh Phung: flute, vocals
Kit Soden: guitar, vocals
Evan Stewart: bass
Noam Bierstone: percussion

Visit our website:

Become a fan on Facebook:!/pages/The-Bombadil

Book us at:

October Rising

Hi CMFs!  The month of October is going to be exciting because there will be more music . As the cold season sets in and there are less sunlight , there are people who get moody. Wanna hang out with me? Wanna have a walk on the foggy side? Just listen to my lists of bands and you will know what is it to be in this mind.

To be honest, it’s been more than two years when I set this site up, but whenever I face the screen and start to touch the keyboard, I still don’t feel that confident. I have done interview with musicians-which is easy because I know the formula. But doing something in between. Like covering music or writing a feature is something else.  I don’t want this site to be too ‘academic’ not too informal. I also don’t want this to be just a blog where I confess my sins. I want this to be a lot of things. But I really don’t know what to expect after typing away and sending my message in a  bottle.

I have been moody all day which explains why I have been away from facebook. If I am there all I’d do is post sad songs and that is not helping either. It’s just something in me that I can’t explain when the season is in transition.  There is a risk involved though. I don’t know how many friends are going to be put off by this. It’s the dark months-ah wonderful mysterious time of the year.

My friend Fiach Moriarty is releasing an album and he needs your help. Please go ahead and listen to his songs by visiting his website and his facebook page. I made an interview with him which i enjoyed so much. Fiach is truly a hard working irish musician and he deserves the love:



Fiach Moriarty-Be a part of my second record

In Studio

Created by:

More info
About a year ago I signed up for, a site where you upload your tracks and allow other members to rate them. If, after a certain period of time, your songs are rated above 75% you qualify for a showcase. I was lucky enough to qualify and got to choose an amount to raise from other members to record my second record. I opted for €3000 which translates as $4000 according to the people who run the website. You can pledge as little as $5 or go up to $500. In exchange for this there are a list of treats such as free gig tickets, signed copies of album, your name on the album sleeve, free download of all tracks on and more. If the target is not hit, everyone that supported will get a full refund. Check it out here:




Caladh Nua at ChristChurch Waterford

One of those traditional Irish bands I love to follow. Be part of their performance:

01 October · 20:00 – 23:00


Created by:

More info
See for booking information


Moya Brennan, Cormac De Barra LIVE VOICES & HARPS, Liffey Bank Sessions

Ah yes the First lady of Celtic music is promoting her latest album and please please do check it out because it’s worth your money and time. Now is the time to promote Celtic music because I noticed the decrease of sales due to the popularity of mainstream music. So get off your coaches lazy bears and go out there on the street and do your souls a favor by supporting and promoting these artists I mention here.  Yes Moya and Cormac will uplift your spirits.

Time:11 October · 20:00 – 23:00
Location:The Grand Social
Created by:Moya Brennan
More info
Moya and harpist, Cormac, continue their series of extraordinary performances.

Orla Fallon My Land Tour

Wow finally I am back home! It feels great to sit here writing about what is hot and latest in our musical culture. Orla Fallon who is part of the successful group Celtic Woman is busy promoting her music from the new album My Land . She is making rounds around venues in the United States until October. Fans of her clear soprano will surely  don’t want to miss this.  Here is the calendar for here tour dates:

She is also doing media promotion. By the looks of it , her management is really doing its best to back her up and make sure she makes waves around the US. Just check this out:

Orla made an impact for me personally when she played the harp singing Carrickfergus. Her red hair and beautiful voice make her distinctive from the group. And yes she’s the only one playing the harp.

I wish Orla more success in her tour and hopefully we will be able to catch her when she performs live ion our town!

The new album My Land is now out. Visit the official store:


1. Mo Ghile Mear
2. Distant Shore
3. Morning Has Broken
4. Ni Na La
5. Down To The River To Pray featuring The Dublin Gospel Choir
6. Isle of Innisfree
7. Both Sides Now
8. Red Is The Rose featuring Tommy Fleming
9. My Land
10. Spanish Lady LIVE with the Dubliners
11. I’ll Tell Me Ma LIVE with the Dubliners, featuring Damien Dempsey

The High Kings, The Chieftains And Hints of Gypsy

Welcome back Celtophiles. I have fresh news for you today. Just finished my jug of black tea and all geared up to rock the keyboards…..

If you are looking for irresistible vocals with great instrumentals then Memory Lane by The High Kings will bring you those. From the lively Star of the County Down backed by a nice banjo to a capella Red is the Rose will surely grow on your Irish music garden.

The High Kings just returned from their successful January 29 The Children Need You Concert. As what these guys say:

“We are honoured to have performed with 12,000 champion children, who are the Hallelujah choir over the course of 3 days. Thank you for being the best backing choir ever!”

Memory Lane will be  released on  March 8, 2011!


American fans in Indiana, be  sure to catch The Chieftains , who will be appearing at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the IU Auditorium. These guys brought us decades of magical Irish music that are love by both old and new.

Originally founded in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, the band’s style  is grounded in traditional Irish instrumental music. From playing only  the fiddle, flute, tin whistle and bodhran, which gave the music a rustic and traditional sound, they incorporate world materials byt collaborating with artists like Loreena McKennitt, Sinead O’ Connor and MOya Brennan. More news in this link:


Florida Welcomes Scythian

Gypsy grooves meets Celtic spirit, Cythian(sith-ee-yin) will set you on your feet with their brand of fusion mixing blue grass, and world styles. Yes the core is Celtic and these guys have their own punk humors to keep you amused. I love them and you should check them out as they perform live at Skipper’s Smoke House courtesy of WMNF88.5 FM.

Source :


With a voice darker than Sarah Brightman’s but with music more organic than Enigma or Era, Hayley Griffiths unleashes Silver Screen. The title will probably give an impression of covers but the press release has confirmed she adds her own trademark to the songs. Check her out with that sample video. What do you think?


Hearing the Legend.

I stumbled upon Cape Breton’s fiddle legend Dan R MacDonald. Gives me shivers. More here:

Ballykissangel Plus the Amazing Blue Harper

It looks like this blog has taken a detour lately as we feature more and more heartwarming TV series. I don’t really watch television but I will make an exception to Irish-themed ones. They are always excellent. Nothing beats Irish humor. It is like a kick on the stomach. Remember Granny O’Grimm? I thank Christi for introducing me to this show. There will be more to come 🙂


An amazing talent has piqued my interest lately. This is no other than Athy Blueharper from  Buenos Aires, Argentina. His style is a combination of funk and jazzy type. He has an air of a prankster bard but he is a serious composer performer.  I will be doing an email interview with him soon so watch out for that one.

Great Big Sea, Need Fire, Denez Prigent and Future Events

July 13 marks a big day for Canada’s  Great Big Sea as they released a new album Safe Upon The Shore celebrating their 18th year in the industry.  The album is composed of 14 tracks . It has a wonderful cover artwork! “Nothing But a Song’ is the first single. There is something wonderfully bouncy about the song that reminds you it is summer.  Check out somewhere around 2:15 of this video where the fun really escalates..

Texas-based Celtic Rock band Needfire is also in the middle of a hectic tour. Their music is a combination of  straight ahead rock, Americana and celtic styles. Traditional instruments like bagpipes, fiddles and even didgeridoo are utilized both in recordings and live shows.   Check out the following schedules here:

Christian Celtic band Iona are preparing for their September tour this year. This band is fronted by Joanne Hogg who has one of the most beautiful voices since Moya Brennan and Karen Matheson. Watch out for latest updates here . Iona disappeared from the music scene for almost a decade and now it looks like they will sweep the scene once more.

I have been looking for a Tri Yann site in English because their official site is in French. There is however this one helpful link in English which lists their discography and videos . Check out NME’s Tri Yann page.

Galician culture finally has a home in The Galician Way, an online magazine that covers  topics from films, books,tunes, art and shows. Everything you need is there.

The official site of Breton singer Denez Prigent is now on construction. One of his musical highlights was having two  songs   featured in a movie Black Hawk Down with Lisa Gerrard (Gortoz A Ran is one of them). This song is entirely in Breton as you can see in this video. This is one song that is simply perfect when sang as a duet with former Dead Can Dance other half Lisa Gerrard.

AlzheiMelilla of YouTube provided a translation for this song:

Teuio en-dro an avel c’hlas
[Will come back the blue wind]
– Da analañ va c’halon c’hloaz’t
[To breathe my wounded heart]
– Kaset e vin diouzh e anal
[I will be pulled away by its blow]
– Pell gant ar red en ur vro all
[Far away by its stream to another land]
– Kaset e vin diouzh e alan
[I will be pulled away by its breath]
– Pell gant ar red, hervez ‘deus c’hoant
[Far away by its stream, wherever it wants]

Hervez ‘deus c’hoant pell eus ar bed
[Wherever it wants, far away from this world]
– Etre ar mor hag ar stered
[Between the sea and the stars]

Tour Info from The High Kings, Darren Holden and Brian Dunphy

Contemporary with a dash of traditional and country, Darren Holden (who is popularly known as one of the High Kings) is quite busy this month with his touring schedules. That is not surprising considering the fact that his career did take off after relocating to New York and working with important names in the business. He holds the reputation as not only a singer of a high order but also as a composer and instrumentalist. Hopefully you’ll get to catch Darren as he makes it near you. Check out these schedules…

Speaking of The High Kings, hear them live at the sugar club. These guys never fail to dazzle listener with the energetic rendition of traditional materials and connection to the audience. Their anecdotes and humour create a relaxed atmosphere where they could explain the origins of each interesting pieces.

Brian Dunphy started his musical career as part of the Riverdance. From then on everything is history. Blazing the trail as part of the Three Irish Tenors, Brian now tours with The High Kings and has released his first solo CD Timeless.

Brian Dunphy

News from Connie Dover, Liadan and Save our Scenery Concert.

Today we are going to talk about passion. According to the English dictionary of synonyms, the very word also means: warmth, heart, ardour, fervor, rapture, ecstasy, intoxication, rapture, enthusiasm, gusto, eagerness etc. There are countless words that could mean the same thing. And of course we know that the antonyms of passion are apathy, indifference, coldness etc.

A friend used to say that the reason she finds musicians or people who are into music interesting is that these people have something that sets them apart from other. It could be because of how passionate they can get…

Now for the news…

I love listening to Connie Dover. I have listened to all of her recordings available and I have been passionate about her works since the 90s. She started her career fronting the Kansas based Blue Grass band Scartaglen in the 80s. From there she honed her skills into what would become her solo debut Somebody(Taylor Park) which resulted to positive reviews and a rave in the Scottish radio. I think her name stuck with me for the first time, while I was browsing through the pages of CD review back in 1991. And years later that music became a source of comfort for me when I was undergoing some troubling and lonely periods of my life.

Her pure and magical voice is undoubtedly unmatched by anyone in the business. Her materials are well-researched that span a thousand years. I also give her a high five for being the only American who is able to wield the songs of Early America with the traditional hymns of Ireland and the British Isles. Her recordings never fail and there featured a distinction between instruments used by guest musicians. From hammered dulcimer, Irish bouzouki, fiddle, concertina and other definitive instrument used in this type of music, each of the songs promises to entice and to wrap you up like fine silk.

Right now Connie continues to be active in the music and poetry scene. Two poems called Radio Crane Collage and Cavort (from her book of poetry  Winter Count) are featured in her official myspace site) If you go to the National Public Radio website, there is an interview of Connie about her song I Am Going to the West (from Border of Heaven) and here’s the link:

She was also part of the 25th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, where she sang with her friend, Skip Gorman, and read a few poems. To view the event:

Here is an interesting blurb from her official myspace site:

Connie finds her inspiration in the landscapes, history and culture of the American West. When she is not performing, she works as a ranch cook in the beautiful country between Wyoming’s Wind River and Absaroka Mountains. She received the Grand Prize in the Western Folklife Center’s 2007 Yellowstone-Teton Song Contest and a 2007 Emmy Award for her soundtrack production of the PBS documentary “Bad Blood – The Border War that Triggered the Civil War”.

Her CDs (three were recorded in Scotland) show the close ties between the American folk and cowboy songs she sings around Wyoming campfires and their Celtic ancestors, and she has twice been a finalist for a Native American Music Award.

Listening to readings from the “Pit Poets” at Prospero’s Bookstore in Kansas City lit Connie’s literary fire, and her first book of poetry, Winter Count, was published in 2007. She is a recipient of the Speakeasy Prize in Poetry. Look for samples of her writing on her myspace blog.

Born in Arkansas and raised in Missouri, Connie is of English, Cherokee, Mexican and Scots/Irish descent. Her studies at Oxford University further enriched her unique perspective of the context of traditional songs. She has been a guest on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday and Sunday, A Prairie Home Companion, and Thistle and Shamrock. Acclaimed by the Boston Globe as “the finest folk ballad singer America has produced since Joan Baez”, Connie offers listeners a musical experience that transcends cultural boundaries and affirms our connection with the past.

Connie’s newest CD, The Holly and the Ivy (traditional Christmas songs and carols recorded with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra,) was released December 10, 2008. Her new digital-only release of “Amazing Grace” and “The Language of Flowers” is now available through CD Baby, itunes, emusic and other music download sites.

Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother, “The best way to know life is to love many things.”


Connie Dover
When: Saturday, June 26, 2010 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM MDT (End Time Estimated)
Where: White Sands National Monument – Full Moon Concert
19955 Highway 70 West
Alamagordo New Mexico 88310

Get Directions


Connie Dover and Skip Gorman — Full Moon Concert in the Dunes; an evening outdoor concert by the light of a full moon in White Sands’ beautiful natural amphitheatre; an intimate setting in the New Mexican desert – bring blankets or lawn chairs;; contact: 575.679.2599

For more info about Connie Dover: and

..Searching for a radio station which plays “Connie Dover” and
similar music ?

Check out radio “smorgasbord” – your internet
radio playing folk, Celtic, rock, metal & more.

Let the all girl band conquer the global arena of Irish traditional music, Liadan is here! Not only that they’re all pretty, they got original talent for clever arrangements, singing in harmony, and play traditional instruments at such a breakneck speed that destroys the myth that beauty and brains don’t go together. Liadan has proven to the world that traditional music is very much alive and kicking. We are assured, that there are still talents out there who will carry the torch lead by bands such as The Chieftains, Clannad, Cherish the Ladies, Altan and De Dannan in decades to come. From Galway and Limerick this inspiring all-female band comprises of six members: Síle Denvir, harpist; Deirdre Chawke, piano accordion; Elaine Cormican, whistles. Valerie Casey and Claire Dolan, fiddles; Catherine Clohessy, flute. Catch them perform in the following venues:

Jul 16 2010     8:00P Skatoy             Skatoy, NO

Aug 22 2010   8:00P Leverkusen      Leverkusen, DE

Sources: and

Don’t miss the big event at Leo’s Tavern this June 29th . SOS (Save our Scenery) is a benefit concert featuring Brian Kennedy and Frances Black. These are the two amazing voices of Ireland. The event is hosted by Leo Brennan’s daughter Moya Brennan whom we all know as the voice of Clannad and sister of Enya.

Sources: and

Leo Brennan

Leo Brennan