Tours, Concerts and
Golden Bough News - 2003
January ~ February ~ March ~ April ~ May ~ June ~ July ~ August ~ September ~ October ~ November ~ December
January ~ We began 2003 with two concerts to celebrate Robert Burns birthday. (That's 'two' too many haggis!!). These were perfect settings for us to perform the music from our new CD, "Songs of Scotland". Our annual Celtic Rock meets Celtic Folk concert with Tempest kicked the new year into full gear and we continued to bring our school music programs to thousands of kids!
February ~ Believe it or not, we finally took some time off! Preparation began on the music to accompany the works of fantasy writer Mercedes Lackey. This project is in the works and we'll keep you posted as to its progress. Margie also began research into songs for an upcoming CD about the immigration of the Irish to America. Lots more music to come!
March ~ In March we began a 6 week Spring tour. We started in Southern California with concerts in Carlsbad, Fallbrook (their largest crowd to date), Claremont and Ridgecrest. From there we continued with a concert at the new home of The Palms Playhouse in Winters. For that concert we were joined by The Reel Stepsisters, two dancers that are (as their name states) stepsisters. Denise and Danelle are wonderful dancers that perform with us from time to time. Watch for them to pop up at future shows.
We performed on the weekend before St. Patrick's Day at our favorite festival, The Calaveras Celtic Festival. It's always fun to have a chance to jam with our friends; The Wicked Tinkers and Tempest. The Calaveras Celtic festival began in 1987, when we were the single musical act to play in a small room at The Sonora Fairgrounds for Patrick Karnahan's art show. He displayed his Celtic art and a barrel of Guinness was the only refreshment! From that beginning, The Calaveras Celtic Festival has grown into one of the premier festivals on the West Coast and we are proud to have been a part of it for all these years!
St. Patrick's day was spent in Nevada where we performed on March 17 in the hottest spot for Irish music - Winnemucca, Nevada! A few nights later we performed in Reno at The Pioneer Center for Performing Arts, a magnificent performing arts theatre. In Reno we also performed at several schools and two different libraries; a rare opportunity to raise our voices above a whisper in a public library.
We ended the month with several more school programs, then headed North for the Pacific Northwest.
April ~ Our Pacific Northwest tour took us all over Oregon and Washington. We performed in Roseburg, Port Orford, Corvallis, Seaside and Portland, Oregon and in Lacey, Lopez Island and Bainbridge Island in Washington. Unfortunately we did not have time to really enjoy the beauty of those areas. But we had large enthusiastic crowds and had a great time! From there we traveled down to Nevada for The Las Vegas Highland Games. Talk about culture shock! We had a ball on Friday night, sharing the stage and jamming with Craicmore. Over the weekend we spent our time either performing our own sets or joining the Wicked Tinkers during their raucous sets. We had some exhilarating moments when the Tinkers backed us up on a few pieces, including a set of instrumental tunes from Galicia, "Zingaro" and "16 Come Sunday", complete with Highland pipes! We will be jamming with The Tinkers at more Highland Games later this year (check our calendar).
May ~ May included a performance at The Napa Valley Opera House. being in the middle of renovations, we performed in their cafe. However, we are scheduled to return for a Christmas concert there this year in the newly renovated Opera House! For more information on the Opera House, visit their website at http://www.napavalleyoperahouse.org/
Other highlights included headlining at The Celtic Nations Festival in Vacaville and The Cedar Springs Mayfaire in Placerville, where we shared the stage with Calaban (Lief and Sue from Tempest). The other major concert of the month was at The Newman Theatre in Newman, CA, one of the fabulous centers for art music and theatre in the Central Valley.
The rest of the month and well into June we had a well-deserved break, in which we worked on music for upcoming tours and projects, as well as individual pursuits (see Paul's page for a new story and Reviews for new review on Songs of Scotland).
June ~ We started back on the performance trail with our annual home town concert in Pacifica; always a wonderful, well-attended affair. How can you go wrong at home?
July ~ In early July we had two fabulous out door shows at Redlands Bowl in Redlands, CA and Ramona Bowl in Hemet, CA. At both of these show we were joined by The Larson Irish Dancers, a wonderful and energetic dance troupe. The sound of thousands of Celtic music lovers applauding our efforts reminds us what it's all about. Through the end of July, we toured the Pacific Northwest, where record breaking heat did not keep the fans away. We had several great shows and enjoyed meeting new people and bringing our music to new towns.
August ~ The 1st of August found us performing in the misty spray off of the Pacific at The Redondo Pier in Redondo Beach. The pier provided a lovely setting, as boats sailed by and the colorful sunset topped off a fantastic evening of music. From there we went on to the Long Beach Celtic Music Festival-by-the-Sea at The Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, CA, a fantastic place to hold an event. Creating some rare moments, we invited The Wicked Tinkers, Tempest and The Browne Sisters to join us on stage for various songs. The audience was delighted!
We finished up August with performances in Northern California, including one at The Valhalla Boathouse Theatre in South Lake Tahoe. The back of the stage is a huge picture window that looks out over the lake. It doesn't get more beautiful than that!
September ~ The highlight of September had to be our appearance at The Millpond Traditional Music Festival in Bishop, CA, where we shared the stage with Arlo Guthrie and Solas. Talk about some inspiring music! The backstage jam with Arlo and others was a rare treat. You wonít find a more beautiful setting for a camping, jamming and music festival experience! These festivals are a wonderful way to make new friends and hear some unique music, as well as share our own music and experiences with other musicians. Everyone had a memorable time. We were also joined in September for two concerts by The McGrath Irish Dancers. They have been performing with us, from time to time, for nearly 6 years. The dancers are a wonderful group.
October ~ Our first two concerts of the month kicked off our Fall 2003 tour with a bang! A beautiful church setting in Ashland, OR and a concert/movie theater in Brookings, OR both provided excellent venues for intimate performances. We had a lot of folks turn out to wish us well and safe travels as we head towards Montana and Wyoming! We followed those two shows with a last minute Benefit Concert for Hiroshi Ogawa, a fabulous potter whose studio was destroyed by fire. Held at The Brandenborg Winery in Elkton, Oregon it was huge success. A lot of money was raised to help Hiroshi get his studio rebuilt. Having known him for over 20 years, it was a thrill for us to be able to be a part of helping a fellow artist and it was a great way to start our Fall tour!
From there we traveled to Pendleton, in the Northeast corner of the state. While there, we took a tour of the Pendleton Underground. Quite a fascinating history (see pics). After leaving Pendleton, we drove through Eastern Washington, across Montana and down to Wyoming, where we spent the next several days doing school residencies in Gillette.
Our next October stop was in Thermopolis, WY, where we performed for schools and did a concert for the Dancing Bear Folk Music Center. We also spent some well deserved time in the local thermal pools (whence the name of the town). We also got to enjoy the local high school football team, as they won a state playoff game and were introduced to our first buffalo steak. Quite a full few days in Therm! Back to Gillette, more school shows and a concert at The CamPlex Heritage Center on October 30. Unfortunately we did not get to perform in the famous rodeo arena! But the snow came - in a flurry! We finished the concert and jumped in our van to drive to Casper; the first of several drives through the ice and snow, and this one at night! Have we mentioned before the romantic lifestyle of a band on the road?
November ~ We began the next leg of our journey with school shows and a concert in Casper. Halloween night we spent knee deep in the snow, as Margie and Kathy checked out a local spot for kids to trick or treat off the streets. Following our Casper concert, we drove for several hours to Riverton, where we performed a matinee, braved the ice and snow once more and headed for Sheridan that same day so that we could be there to perform for kids the following morning. The Post Office has got nothing on us.
A week in Sheridan, performing at schools and doing after-school workshops, culminated in a fantastic concert in the beautiful WYO Theater, a 450 seat theater that was built in 1923 as a vaudeville theater. We left Wyoming and headed to Montana. Our first stop was Hobson, where we had the marvelous experience of staying on a cattle ranch. Kathy even helped "buck" hay! We arrived at The Clary's ranch in time for the lunar eclipse, welcoming us to Montana. Imagine standing in the middle of nowhere, snow as far as you can see and the lunar eclipse overhead. It truly was a memorable moment (among many).
Next we had another wonderful opportunity to soak in hot springs. This time in White Sulphur Springs, MT, where we performed for the local elementary school during the day and a public concert that night. It's always amazing to perform at the schools and then do a concert later, as the kids go home and insist that their parents come see the musicians that played at their school. Another snowy drive brought us next to Havre, which is at the top of Montana. We had visited Havre earlier in February for the Booking Consortium and that led to these remarkable concerts. It was a short drive to Fort Benton, MT, where we stayed in the historic Grand Union Hotel (Montana's oldest hotel) on the banks of the Missouri.
A late drive, once again after a matinee concert, saw us braving the worst snow yet, as we neared Seeley Lake. Driving the road into Seeley Lake, twisting and turning alongside the lakes, caused more than a few anxious moments. However, our mounts are always sure-footed and we reached our destination without event (other than bleary eyes and bones longing for a warm bed). The Emily A B&B was the perfect spot to spend a few snow-filled days, enjoying the local scenery and meeting new friends. Again we performed for the kids and had a well-attended concert, another extremely enjoyable show along the Wyoming/Montana trail!
Center Stage in Spokane, WA was the final stop of a most invigorating, challenging and rewarding tour. The Center Stage was a dinner show and we had a ball sampling the Celtic foods and performing on a stage that was decorated for a Christmas play. It was the perfect way for us to prepare for our Holiday Concert Season.
November ended with a weekend at The Sonora Christmas Crafts and Music Festival in California, where we have performed for over 20 years! Still one of our favorites, it kicks off our Christmas Season and get the carols warmed up and into high-gear!
December - Our annual Family Holiday Concerts are always a big hit. Full of Olde Worlde Carols and rare songs of Winter and Solstice from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, they are splendid opportunities for the family to come together to enjoy some Christmas cheer!
We began the month with shows in Stockton and Chico. From there we went to Sutter Creek, where we performed at the Sutter Creek Theatre Next The Woodland Opera House, built in 1885, it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 80's. A wonderful intimate setting! In Los Gatos we played our 15th Annual Christmas Concert for Woodhaven West Concerts, where we are always received with tremendous response..
Our next concerts were in Merced and Auburn, keeping us moving around Northern California. Of course, in between concerts, we played for several schools. We then performed at the Napa Opera House, which officially opened on Friday, February 13, 1880 with a production of Gilbert and Sullivanís HMS Pinafore. On to Pleasanton to perform at The Amador Theatre, accompanied by The McGrath Irish Dancers (always a crowd pleaser!). Our final concert of 2003 was our 5th Annual Christmas Eve Concert at The Old First Church in San Francisco. Beautiful acoustics and a gorgeous wood interior make this a lovely setting for the seasonal music of Golden Bough!
It was quite a year. We performed in new areas, made lots of new fans and friends and generally had a blast! Now it's time for a long winter's nap. See you in 2004!!
News from 2002 News and pictures from our trip to Spain Japan
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