~ The first of the year was spent with all of us getting some personal
time for family, creating and whatever it is that touring
musicians do when they are not on the road!.
Margie continued preparing music for The Irish Immigrant in America CD,
as well as
continuing lessons with harp and penny-whistle students. Paul got back to work on the Mercedes Lackey
project, a CD of all original
music by Paul with lyrics by Paul and Mercedes.
This is a companion to her very popular "Valdemar" books. With some time
up in the Spring both projects should be close to completion by
mid-year! Kathy, meanwhile, soaked up some of that Hawaiian sun with
her husband John. Talk about the hard life!!
Our annual Robert Burns Night
Concert in San Leandro, CA was as successful as ever! As The Scotts
Bard himself might have said,
"We ha' tales to tell and we ha'
songs to sing, we ha' pennies to spend and we ha' pints to bring." A
splendid time was had by all,
with the haggis once again taking center-stage!
February found us back in the swing of things, with several school programs and
hitting the road once again, this time for
Southern California and Arizona. One of the highlights was The Arizona
Highland Games and Festival in Mesa, AZ. We shared the
stage with a local group,
Afan, that plays a great deal of Welsh music. It was exciting for us to
recognize a few of the Welsh tunes
(some that we play ourselves) and to also
hear songs sung in the Welsh tongue - a challenging language if there ever was
Our final set of the festival was a combined set with Afan - a wall
of Celtic sound! It was awesome! After connecting musically and
personally with the band, we are putting plans together to some day do a
March ~ We kicked off the month of St. Patrick with several concerts in
Southern California. We then had our annual St.
concert at The Palms (at The
Winters Opera House) in Winters, CA. We were once again joined by Florie Brown
(Golden Bough fiddle
player from 1982-1997) for
some rollicking double fiddles and wonderful violin duets from her and
Kathy. Hosting the Golden Bough
Stage at Calaveras Celtic Festival
in Angel's Camp, CA was next on our agenda. That is always a
fabulous festival with so much music
and fun it's difficult to fit it into a
single weekend! We were joined for some impromptu jams over the weekend by
(Tempest) and Richard Ferry (flute player and former Golden Bough
member) for a slight preview of our 25th Anniversary Concerts,
coming up in
January, 2005! We were
also joined on stage by David Brewer (incredible piper and whistle player from
We then headed straight for Colorado, where we spent several days working
with the students of Garfield Elementary School in Loveland.
The three day
workshop (building and learning to play resonator bells, as well as some
spur-of-the-moment dancing) culminated in a
concert at the Rialto
Theatre, with the students joining us for several songs - playing their bells
and singing along. We then played a
concert at The Lakewood Cultural Center in Lakewood, CO.
Both of these theatres were amazing, intimate settings where we were
by the enthusiasm of the audiences.
Without more than a day to catch our
breaths, we took off for Washington state, where we began that leg of our tour
in Forks, performing
for more school children and a concert for the community.
It rained the whole time, which seems to be pretty common along the extreme
Northwest corner of Washington - after all, they do have a real rain forest
there! We performed concerts over the last weekend of
March in Olympia and
Snoqualmie, then headed south end the month with several school programs in
Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR.
April, May, June ~
We started off in April with a showcase in Vancouver, BC for ArtStarts,
which brings programs into schools in Canada;
a performance in Lacey with Irish
dancers; California concerts and school assembly programs and some recording
time! In May and
June continued to be busy with our school shows, as well as
concerts and Highland Games in California. Margie also found time to
continue preparing music for the "Songs of the Irish
July ~ Another Highland
Games and local concerts continued through the month of July, with some
memorable shows including;
Lake Tahoe at the Valhalla Boathouse (an old boathouse
rebuilt into a beautiful theatre with a huge window at the back of the stage
that looks out over the lake), Sierra City at The Kentucky
Mine site (a wonderful evening concert in an outdoor amphitheatre) and
one of our favorites, an outdoor concert at The Black Diamond
Mines Regional Preserve.
August ~ This was about
as busy a month as you can imagine. We went up to Washington and Oregon, back to
California and back up to
The Pacific Northwest once more! Trivia question: How
many miles can a Celtic band put on their tour van in a month? One of the
highlights was when Florie joined us for a show in Lake
Almanor - it's always fun to have our friends sit in with us! There wasn't much
time for anything else in August other than driving,
performing and rehearsing the music for the new CD.
September ~ We had to
slow down the traveling in order to get into the studio and get the new CD
finished, which we did. We were joined
of the Irish Immigrants by David Brewer, who did a marvelous job playing
the Uilean (elbow) pipes on several tracks, adding
that very special Irish sound! We finished up the the CD in
October and released it in November. We were extremely happy with the
finished product. We like to think of it as the third
installment in our "Songs of" trilogy (Song
of the Celts, Songs of Scotland
Songs of the
Irish Immigrants). Everyone needs a good trilogy, don't
they? We finished off the month with our annual appearance at
our hometown festival, The Pacific Coast Fog Fest! Yes,
Pacifica does have an export!
October ~ Well, we just
couldn't get enough of Oregon and Washington! So we headed back up and enjoyed a
colorful fall in The Pacific
Northwest. We got to spend Halloween at home, which is
always delight. There is nothing more fun than greeting small ghouls and
goblins, giving them a treat and hoping they don't play any
tricks! The last touches were put on the music and artwork for the new CD
and off it went to the manufacturer!
December ~ This is always one of our most favorite times of the year.
The changing of the season (yes, we do experience it
in California, it's just on a more subtle level), the family
concerts and crafts festivals that add such a cheerful tone and all of the
that come out to celebrate with us at our shows. Songs
of the Irish Immigrants was a big hit at the CD release concert and we
received several congrats on a well-done recording!
2004 came to a close with us looking forward to big changes, knowing that the
we were spending on the road, dashing from performance to
performance was slowly drawing to a close and that a new lifestyle would
begin in mid 2005. January 2005 would mark 25 years of
performing and recording as Golden Bough and over 30 years of Margie and
Paul performing together!