A couple Elvis Songs for the Season

Sure enough –  we are having some fun with the seasonal songs….

And would it be Christmas season without Elvis coming to mind?  How about doubling down on that?

The first one is easy — Blue Christmas —
The second … we’ll leave as a bit of a mystery.  What’s the Christmas song, by another Elvis,to be found on the Chieftans’ “Bells of Dublin” CD?




Appearing with Chris Vaughan on Channel 23

On Thursday, May 10th,  I’ll be helping Chris Vaughan in an interview and live performance hour on local cable access channel 23 (7:00 – 8:00 PM).   Live streaming should be available through this link.

We’ll be in the studio in Manchester, telling the story of the development of Chris’s songwriting and performing from the beginning, in my home studio where we incubated and evolved his unique work.  If you have some time to check it out, please tune in.  You may well be able to call in as well.   The broadcast should be archived and available online soon.

I’m looking forward to it.

Go Chris!

The Makem and Spain Brothers at the Rochester Opera House

This past Saturday my wife Chris and I especially enjoyed the Makem and Spain Brothers Concert at the Rochester Opera House.  They’ve been doing a special concert there for over 10 years, back to the times that father Tommy would appear with them.  We were inspired to go this year, as I had seen the lads in the recording studio a few weeks earlier, when I  helped then capture some video connected with a new Christmas song Mick had just written (I Heard the Bells).  That helped me to see that they are sounding especially great, and to learn they’d be sprinkling in some special Christmas songs in this Saturday-after-Thanksgiving concert.

Well….we weren’t disappointed.   Nice cozy theater, great sound system, and all four voices and instruments blending and ringing out beautifully all evening.

Rory  (when he wasn’t playing guitar or bouzouki) played Tommy’s  old banjo – which brought a bit of history and nostalgia to the stage for me.  Connor does an excellent job with tasteful electric bass, and then adds a lot with concertina or whistle in some special songs or tunes.  Mick and Liam Spain bring their super-strong voices and tasty playing, and it all works as a whole with the ‘Makem’ part of the sound you just have to sit back and say, “Wow.”

They did indeed do some Christmas songs – including the new one.  That capped off the night with a holiday feel, which, now that Thanksgiving is over, we were ready to really enjoy.

If you haven’t seen them, or if it’s been awhile – I’d recommend you find a time to give a good listen.  In the mean time, their new CD, “Up the Stairs” is among their very best.



Celtic Crossing displays local music support

Debbie and Steve Codd and family go beyond just running a great shop at  Celtic Crossing  Portsmouth – as they are always finding new ways to support local musicians.  They have been the key sponsor for the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival for three years, they give local CDs  special display space and in-store listening, and this week they’ve unveiled a new ‘local music’ window.  Debbie has created large versions of a number of local CD covers, like the classic vinyl LP size.  These are hung in mobile form amidst  the actual CDs.  It’s eye-catching and very effective.  

Thanks again to Debbie and the whole Cobb family!

Reagh Rah!

Well… quite a party it was!   Reagh Greeneaf’s last appearance (for a while) with the Tom Lanigan Band at RiRa in Portsmouth raised the roof last night.

Many good friends stopped by to have a pint and a few laughs with Reagh and to give him the Wednesday night part of his Earth Walk sendoff. 

Some of us got pulled up on the stage for various songs and shenanigans



As you probably know, Reagh’s  Earth Walk across the US, to raise environmental awareness and promote ecological sustainability, will start this Sunday, May 1st at 9:30 at the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point, Rye.

Many of us will join him again there for the ‘real’ sendoff.    Learn more about Reagh’s trip at his website.

For now, the memory of last night’s fun will ring on for a good while….


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