I’ve never spent a single Christmas away from home. I’m not sure I could. Ireland is only a 6 hour flight away for me, so it is so much easier to come home than it is for my friends and family living in Australia.
This Christmas past was a very special one. It rounded off an amazing year for me. My debut album West Orchard was released in November, and I have been overwhelmed by the response. More and more people each day are getting in touch to say that they picked up the album, and they are enjoying it with their loved ones. People on their way to work in their cars are blasting it, or putting it on when sitting down with a glass of wine in the evenings. I love those emails, it really does make your day. I made a record for me and no one else, and I am just so happy that people are embracing it.
I lost my favorite venue in the world earlier this year when Ryan Lagan decided to close the doors on the Cellar Bar. Ryan Lagan and Paddy Glasgow (Mr Glasgowbury) have both given me endless support and wisdom right from start of my career, and without people like them I have no doubt that I would not be making music today. A few weeks before Christmas Ryan asked me to play a house concert for him and I said I would be honored.
I got in touch with my old partner in crime Zarah Fleming, and with a quick rehearsal at my Mum and Dads we played a very special set in Ryans front room. I refused to play until Paddy G did an introduction for us, just like he did at my very first gig in the Cellar.
To Ryan, Paddy and all my friends and family in the greater Mid-Ulster area, I hope you all had a very nice Christmas, and i’ll see you all soon. Thanks so much for your continued support from across the atlantic.