Hooray for the end of winter! Having grown up playing ice hockey, I am very much an appreciator of the cold. It allows us to skate, throw snowballs at each other, gives us an excuse to grumble… but enough was enough! I did manage to escape to the south for a couple brief patches, but a lot of my winter was spent in northerly climates. I had a nice little stretch in the Chicago area in January with the Irish House Party, and then a weekend with the Yanks at the 54th Annual University of Chicago Folk Festival, a very prestigious event which we enjoyed thoroughly. Next, I hit the road with Celtic Crossroads for a month, during which we went as far south as Houston, and as far north as Brampton, Ontario. I reached a milestone during that tour, as one of our stops was the great city of New Orleans, to which I’d never been, and upon arrival there I could finally say that I have now officially visited all 50 states in our glorious country! This called for celebration of a most hearty sort.
After the tour wound up, I had a little break for late March and most of April, during which I helped work on mixing for the upcoming Yanks album, and then in May I returned to my favorite place on earth, John D. McGurk’s Pub in St. Louis for a slew of gigs with the Bronx Boys. We had a fantastic month there, though I skipped out for one week to do some gigs with the Yanks around the northeast and mid-south. I was very sad to leave St. Louis, but we’ll be back in September, so I’ve got something to which I will very much look forward.