I'm on the road a month and a half now and between differences in time zones, geography, temperature, and seasons it seems much longer! I'm happy to say that I'm only SLIGHTLY missing home--my aquariums, houseplants, and my bed (naturally).
I left Portland on the 2nd of March and arrived in Newark to tour with Téada in the Northeast. It was fantastic spending more time with some members I knew and just as fantastic meeting members I hadn't. The perks of filling in for their female singer was that I didn't have to share a room once! ;-)
After the tour ended in Cleveland, I flew to Kansas City and immediately threw myself into preparations for the Kansas City Irish Center's Irish language intensive weekend. The organization had recently moved into a new location in an historic Viennese-style venue called Drexel Hall. It's so exciting to see the change in location and also the plans they have lined up for future renovations. I've been working with them through the pre-planning, planning, capital campaign, stressing, etc. and it's so satisfying to see them in their new home. Go nearta Dia iad!
It was great meeting and teaching with Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Ian Mac Carlúis and 'Rí na Gramadaí' Éamon Ó Dónaill (of the Gaeilge Gan Stró series). We watched several films as Gaeilge including Cré na Cille, Déantús a' Phoitín, and Bob Quinn's Poitín--we also sampled a local distiller's Restless Spirits poitín recipe and I was so taken with its authenticity that I bought the last three bottles for myself.
My second week in Kansas City focused on researching and preparing for my presentation at the national American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS) held at UMKC. I spent my time chasing down academic studies of sean-nós dancing (there are only a few) to utilize in my presentation as well as condensing what was easily an hour-long presentation into a fifteen minute one! Not easy. It was fun crossing paths with old friends and making new ones AND I am all the more closer to sourcing enough material to write a formidable article about sean-nós dancing.
After catching the train to St. Louis and hanging with my older siblings there for a few days, I picked up my rental car and headed down to Jackson MS to start my Solo Tour of the Grand Ol' South. I'll be on the road a total of three weeks so check out the workshops and concerts I have planned in the Gulf States and Upland South (on my tour schedule page). I've been presenting concerts of unaccompanied singing and workshops on sean-nós dancing and it has been so heartening to see how warmly they've been received. I'm looking forward to my second leg starting on Monday in New Orleans with my buddy David Mehalko who's joining me for our dates in Louisiana and Texas.
Stay tuned for more news and developments! Ach go dtí sin...SLÁN!